South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp judges his assistant coaches by looking at the players they oversee.
That’s why he was pleased with outside linebackers coach Mike Peterson’s first season as a full-time member of a college staff.
“Darius English had very little production in his previous three years in South Carolina,” Muschamp said. “I think he was fourth in the Southeastern Conference in sacks. So stats speak for themselves as far as those things are concerned. He did an outstanding job with Darius, really the entire room. He got Dennis Wonnum … played extremely well as a freshman.”
English led the team with 4 1/2 sacks as a reserve his junior year. But he asserted himself as a starter and got 9 1/2 sacks in his senior campaign.
Peterson said before meeting English, he’d been told plenty about what the tall, thin product couldn’t do, but the coach focused on what he could.
Wonnum wasn’t heavily recruited, having committed to both Iowa State and Indiana, but he caught the eyes of coaches early and spent most of the year as the second-string Buck (the position Peterson primarily oversees).
Peterson will have another challenge this year, losing English and having to get production from Daniel Fennell and freshmen. But Peterson has limited, but solid experience as a coach.
“The players are usually a reflection of their coach,” Muschamp said. “And those guys have played at a high level and I compliment Mike for that.”