South Carolina’s senior class helped set school records and some are now being invited to participate in postseason all-star games. Six seniors have been selected to play in three different games, which will be another chance to show off for NFL scouts and improve draft position.
Kicker Adam Yates will play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on January 19 at The Home Depot Center
The Senior Bowl, the most well-known of the postseason all-star games, selected safety D.J. Swearinger to participate in its game. Swearinger was one of two defensive captains this season and finished with a career high 88 tackles. He had two interceptions, seven pass breakups, and also scored a pair of touchdowns.
The Senior Bowl is played on January 26 at 4 p.m. at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. The game is broadcast on the NFL Network. The Gamecocks had two players - Melvin Ingram and Antonio Allen - in the game last season. Both players were drafted with Ingram going No. 18 overall to San Diego and Allen pick No. 242 overall, which was a seventh round selection by the New York Jets.
Three now former Gamecocks were selected to play in the East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Fla. on January 19. The game, which is broadcast on the NFL Network, kicks off at 4 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Two players - offensive lineman T.J. Johnson and defensive end Devin Taylor - were selected to play for the East team, which is led by former Atlanta Falcons head coach Jerry Glanville.
Johnson started every game during his college career. After redshirting as a freshman, he started 53 straight games with some coming at the guard position but the bulk at center. Johnson was named second-team All SEC by the Associated Press this season.
Taylor was a third-team All-SEC selection this year by Phil Steele and started all 13 games this season. He finished the year with 50 total tackles, including three sacks, six pass breakups, and three hits on the quarterback.
Playing on the West side in the game is linebacker DeVonte Holloman, who will face his former Gamecocks teammates. Leeman Bennett, a former head coach of three NFL teams, will lead the West squad. Holloman finished the year with 60 total tackles, which included two sacks and 9.0 for a loss of yards. He also had three interceptions, three forced fumbles and four pass breakups.
The set of Gamecocks selected for a college all-star game is kicker Adam Yates and defensive tackle Byron Jerideau, who will play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on January 19. The game is played at The Home Depot Center in Los Angeles, Calif. with kickoff set for 6 p.m. on ESPN2. The team - National or American - that Yates will play for has not yet been released but he’ll play for either Herm Edwards or Dick Vermeil.
Yates finished the season hitting a touchback on his kickoffs 53 percent of the time, which was good for fourth in the league. He was eighth in the Southeastern Conference connecting on 65 percent of his field goals converting 11-of-17 opportunities.
Jerideau posted to his Twitter account late Monday afternoon that he had also accepted an invitation to play in the game. Jerideau started every game this season for the Gamecocks at defensive tackle. He finished the year with 40 tackles and 2.5 sacks.
Linebacker Shaq Wilson will play in the inaugural Raycom College Football All-Star Classic, also on January 19. The 3 p.m. ET contest will be played at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala., and will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network. Wilson, a 5-11, 224-pound team captain from Jacksonville, Fla., paced the Gamecocks in tackles in 2012 with 86, including 4.5 tackles for loss and a pair of sacks. He also had two interceptions, forced two fumbles and recovered one fumble.