USC Gamecocks Football

Former Gamecock ranked among the NFL’s best at his position

Five questions with D.J. Swearinger

Former South Carolina Gamecock DJ Swearinger looks at NFL experience, USC football career, Alabama win
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Former South Carolina Gamecock DJ Swearinger looks at NFL experience, USC football career, Alabama win

Former South Carolina safety D.J. Swearinger bounced around the NFL for a while, spending time with the Houston Texans, Tamapa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals before finally finding a stable spot with the Washington Redskins.

This season, he’s thrived as an anchor on Greg Manusky’s defense.

Swearinger was named to Pro Football Focus’ NFL 2018 Midseason All-Pro Team. He’s alongside Cincinnati Bengals safety Jessie Bates with a 90.4 overall grade.

There isn’t much Swearinger hasn’t done at a high level this season,” PFF’s Michael Renner wrote. “His four picks are the most of any safety in the league while his seven coverage stops rank sixth at the position. Swearinger is also the fourth highest-graded safety in run defense at 78.4.”

In terms of standard statistics, he had 31 tackles, seven pass breakups and a pair of forced fumbles.

Swearinger came to USC after a career that included at state title and playing both sides of the ball in Greenwood. He broke into the starting lineup as a sophomore, and ended up starting 33 games at USC.

He was a second-team All-SEC player as a senior, known as an emotional leader and a hard hitter. He helped anchor a string of strong defenses that were part of the team’s 31-9 run from 2010-12.

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