Josh Kendall

TJ Brunson’s history with Carolina-Clemson goes back to ‘split household’

T.J. Brunson revealed a secret this week.

He used to root for the Tigers in the South Carolina-Clemson rivalry. It was more an allegiance to his brother Markas than to the Tigers, though.

“I have always watched this game,” said Brunson, a Columbia native who is now a junior middle linebacker for the Gamecocks.

Brunson’s father was a South Carolina fan but his brother Markas rooted for the Tigers.

“Growing up in a split household, I tended to side with my brother most of the time,” T.J. Brunson said. “I didn’t really understand when I was younger, but I just wanted to go against my dad at that point.”

The No. 2 Tigers (11-0) recruited Brunson early in his high school career but “kind of fell off” after that. The Gamecocks (6-4) made Brunson a priority recruiting target the first day Will Muschamp was hired.

Brunson leads the Gamecocks in tackles this year with 83. He leads the team in sacks with four and is tied for the team lead in tackles-for-loss with 10, and Markas Brunson is “slowly but surely” becoming a South Carolina fan.

“He’s been buying a lot more Gamecock gear over the last few years,” T.J. Brunson said. “When I first got here, he still watched a lot of their games but now he’s locked in every weekend to see us play.”

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