South Carolina defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson was asked recently to name a sleeper on his unit.
His answer was almost immediate.
“Aaron Sterling,” Robinson said.
Sterling is a 6-foot-1, 240-pound sophomore from Atlanta who was a three-star prospect in high school. As a true freshman last year, he played in 13 games at defensive end and had 23 tackles, including three for loss.
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“If you see him you will say there is no way this guy can play defensive line in the SEC,” Robinson said. “That’s not ideal size at all. I don’t know how he does it, but he does all the things we ask him to do every single time.”
Sterling started at defensive end in the South Carolina’s spring game. One player he could have to battle for that spot is senior Bryson Allen-Williams, who sat out this spring and could play outside linebacker or Buck in the fall.
“Aaron reminds me a lot of myself when I was younger,” Allen-Williams said. “He’s real quick, real aggressive. He does a great job of making plays.”
Outside linebackers coach Mike Peterson said Sterling reminds him of himself. Peterson played in the NFL for 14 years.
“You look at him and wonder, ‘How does he get it done?’” Peterson said. “Similar to myself when I played, finds a way to get it done, that’s why I like him.”