College Sports

Here’s how South Carolina should use its young corners, according to Stephon Gilmore

What was the best moment in Stephon Gilmore’s USC career?

South Carolina alum and New England Patriot Stephon Gilmore talks Will Muschamp recruiting and NFL lessons.
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South Carolina alum and New England Patriot Stephon Gilmore talks Will Muschamp recruiting and NFL lessons.

The future is bright for South Carolina football when it comes to the defensive backfield — sophomores Jaycee Horn and Israel Mukuamu are coming off strong first-year campaigns in which they pushed each other to excel, and they’re comfortably slated to start at cornerback in the recently-released depth chart.

They’ve also caught the eye of a Gamecock great in NFL All-Pro Stephon Gilmore, who took to Twitter on Monday night to offer coach Will Muschamp and defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson some advice on how to properly utilize Horn and Mukuamu in 2019.

The former All-SEC star likes how Horn and Mukuamu, both tall, physical players match up with just about anyone and encouraged Muschamp to “play press all game and send that rush,” promising no receivers outside would get open while “7 and 24” are on them.

Horn, who wore the jersey number 7 but will switch to 1 this season, and Mukuamu, who wears 24, combined for 62 tackles, six for loss, and nine break-ups as freshmen. Horn was named to the SEC All-Freshman team, while Mukuamu snagged an interception.

Gilmore, meanwhile, has flourished over the past few NFL seasons into a Super Bowl champion and two-time Pro Bowler. Expectations for his own 2019 season are high too — CBS Sports ranked him as the best corner in the league, and Madden recently gave him the third-highest rating of any defensive back in the video game.

Muschamp will have his chance to talk about Horn, Mukuamu and his defense, along with plenty of other questions facing South Carolina, at SEC Media Days, where he is scheduled to speak Wednesday. The Gamecocks open their season on Aug. 31 in Charlotte against North Carolina at 3:30 p.m.

Greg Hadley is the beat writer for South Carolina women’s basketball and baseball for GoGamecocks and The State. He also covers football and recruiting.