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Columbia, SC — South Carolina defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward has been preparing his team for the Gamecocks opener against Texas A&M for several days.

He's happy with the progress of his unit.

"The concern is making sure we know what we're doing and we play fast next Thursday," said Ward.

Ward has been particularly pleased with several freshmen that will be part of Carolina's game plan.

"We're preparing all of them to play," said Ward. "(Defensive tackle) Taylor (Stallworth) is probably not getting as many reps right now because we've got 10 linemen ahead of him. But he can play if we need him because he understands what we're doing."

One freshman who appears destined to play is linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams.

"When we recruited Bryson we thought he had the ability to come in and play," Ward said. "Bryson was told early in his recruitment the system that was going to be in place. We held true to our word on what he was going to do."

Williams is slated to get most of the playing time at the "BOB" position in the Gamecocks 3-4 set.

"We have a lot of freshmen who have been impressive, especially with all the stuff we do on defense," Ward said. "We made sure (Allen-Williams) he learned one position, which is the BOB, but I think some of the young (defensive backs) have done well…They came into college ready to play."

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