Defensive end Dante Sawyer has graduated from East Mississippi Community College and is on track to enroll at South Carolina later this month, he confirmed on Thursday.
Sawyer (6-3, 280) is a four-star prospect and a two-time Gamecocks signee. He originally signed with USC in the Class of 2014 before heading to East Mississippi Community College in Scooba, Miss.
He was able to get his associate degree in just over a year, and he recounted that accomplishment Thursday with AJC recruiting reporter Michael Carvell.
“I give God all the glory,” Sawyer told Carvell. “I was able to do it all because of Him. I give God all the credit.”
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The Suwanee, Ga., native helped lead the Lions to an undefeated record and the JUCO title this past season thanks to his 21 tackles (10.5 for loss), 6.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. He was offered out of high school by Alabama, Auburn and Arkansas, among others.
“I feel like I can come in and work hard and be starting against North Carolina the first game of the season,” he said before signing with USC a second time in the 2015 class.
The Gamecocks’ defensive coaches are counting on Sawyer and fellow JUCO signee Marquavius Lewis to make an impact right away.
“I really believe that Dante is going to be a really good player for us,” defensive line coach Deke Adams said. “Those coaches at that junior college do a great job so we expect him to step in and be able to help immediately.”