Josh Kendall

Gamecocks looking to get defensive leader another year on campus

South Carolina will attempt to get defensive end D.J. Wonnum an additional year of eligibility following an injury-shortened 2018.

“We are going to try to get a medical redshirt for him,” Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp said Thursday at a news conference for the Dec. 29 Belk Bowl.

If the medical redshirt season is approved, Wonnum would play next year as a junior again and would have the option of returning for the 2020 season. He played in only five games this year after suffering an ankle injury in the first game of the season. He had 11 tackles and two sacks during the regular season and will not play in the Belk Bowl against Virginia after having surgery to repair the injury.

The team is also applying for medical redshirts for safeties J.T. Ibe and Nick Harvey and linebacker Eldridge Thompson.

Wonnum was third-team preseason All-SEC after having six sacks as a sophomore in 2017, and he was expected to be a linchpin for the South Carolina defense this year. Instead, he missed games two through six and was limited in the remainder due to ligament damage in his ankle suffered against Coastal Carolina.