by UofSC Athletic Communications
Senior defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw was named to CFN's second-team All-America squad, was selected to the second-team All-SEC squad, and was considered the 15th-best player in the Southeastern Conference. The 6-6, 302-pound senior from Charleston, S.C., was a co-winner of the Joe Morrison Award along with T.J. Brunson last season, which goes to the team's MVP on defense. He was credited with 38 stops in 2018, including 10.0 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.
Brunson, earned a spot on CFN's preseason third-team All-America unit, was named first-team All-SEC and was considered the 13th-best player in the Southeastern Conference. The 6-1, 235-pound senior linebacker from Columbia, was the team's leading tackler in 2018 with 106 stops. Selected as one of four team captains last season and a starter in every game over the past two years, Brunson has registered 206 career tackles, including 15.0 tackles for loss and 6.0 sacks.
Senior Bryan Edwards was named to the preseason first-team All-SEC unit and was considered the 22nd-best player in the Southeastern Conference, according to CFN. The 6-3, 215-pound senior from Conway, S.C., caught 55 passes for 846 yards a season ago, and has 163 career receptions for 2,229 yards. He is among the school's all-time career leaders in receptions (5th), receiving yards (6th), and receiving touchdowns (t9th) with 16.
In addition, senior quarterback Jake Bentley was recognized as the 25th-best player in the SEC, according to CFN. A 6-4, 220-pounder, Bentley owns a 19-13 career record as a starter. He is poised to finish among the all-time statistical leaders at Carolina, as he ranks second in completion percentage (62.8), third in pass completions (610) and passing touchdowns (54), fourth in passing yards (7,385), pass attempts (972), and touchdowns responsible for (62), and fifth in total offense (7,533) entering his final campaign.
The Gamecocks open the 2019 season in Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium on Aug. 31 against the North Carolina Tar Heels.