South Carolina defensive end Boosie Whitlow became a bastion of hope coming out of the difficult 2015 season.
The Alabama native made three starts as a true freshman, and added spark to a sub-par pass rush. He’s the sort of player a fan base can gravitate toward as somebody with the potential to be key contributor.
Then he came out of spring practice and wasn’t listed on the two deep roster, slipping behind Daniel Fennell and Darius English at the Buck position.
“Boosie’s an outstanding kid, but he needs to figure out where football is in his pecking order,” USC defensive line coach Lance Thompson said. “And he needs to raise it, and then he needs to become more consistent as a performer.”
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Whitlow opened the spring listed behind English at one defensive end spot. Numerous players were given shots at the Buck position in the spring, and Whitlow had four tackles, including a pair of sacks, in the spring game.
“He’s got to be more consistent physically,” Thompson said of Whitlow, who had five tackles for loss and a sack last season. “He’s got to like striking people. It’s not like you can play finesse and be a good player up front. Can’t do that.”
The Gamecocks have a long way to go before any role on the line is set. With summer conditioning and August camp still to come, Thompson had faith a fellow coach can bring the best out of Whitlow.
“Mike will get him right,” Thompson said of Mike Peterson, who’s a former Florida All-American and All-Pro NFL player that’s working directly with Whitlow. “Mike will do a good job with him.”