Gamecocks in the NFL: Gilmore, Stallworth to play in conference championships

Gamecocks in the NFL: Gilmore, Stallworth to play in conference championships

By Josh Hyber/Photo courtesy of the New England Patriots

On Oct. 7, Melvin Ingram became the first player in NFL history to intercept a pass, record a sack and have a rushing attempt in the same game. Five days later Alshon Jeffery caught eight passes for 74 yards and two touchdowns.

On Sept. 23, Ryan Succop kicked three field goals to lead Tennessee to a 9-6 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, and on Sept. 16 kicked a game-winning field goal with a minute remaining as the Titans edged out a 20-17 victory over the Houston Texans. 

In other words, South Carolina football alumni are all over the NFL. Turn on a television any given Sunday, Thursday or Monday night and you’re bound to see a former Gamecock on a football field.


For the rest of the NFL season and beyond, Spurs & Feathers will update you on how South Carolina football alumni are doing in the NFL.



Stephon Gilmore (2009-11), New England Patriots CB: Gilmore — who attended South Carolina’s win over Chattanooga — had an interception, two pass deflections and a tackle in New England’s 48-21 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers. He now has 46 tackles, two forced fumbles and three interceptions this season. He has also deflected 22 passes.

The Patriots are the No. 2 seed on the AFC side of the playoffs and play the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship game on Sunday, Jan. 20 at 6:40 p.m. on CBS.

Taylor Stallworth (2014-17), New Orleans Saints DT: Stallworth had three tackles — including a crucial one in the fourth quarter the play before the Saints made a game-sealing interception — in the Saints’ 20-14 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. The defensive tackle has a sack, 10 tackles and recovered a fumble this season. 

The Saints are the No. 1 seed on the NFC side of the playoffs and play the Eagles on Sunday, Jan. 20 at 3:05 p.m. on FOX. 


Melvin Ingram (2009-11), Los Angeles Chargers OLB: Ingram had two tackles, a pass deflection and a quarterback hit in the Chargers’ 48-21 season-ending loss to the New England Patriots. The linebacker finished with 52 tackles, nine sacks, an interception and four pass deflections this season. 

Alshon Jeffery (2009-11), Philadelphia Eagles WR: Jeffery had five catches for 63 yards in the Eagles’ 20-14 loss to the Saints. He finished his season with 76 catches for 988 yards and six touchdowns. He missed the Eagles first three games with a shoulder injury. 

Jadeveon Clowney (2011-13), Houston Texans DE: Clowney had five tackles in Houston’s season-ending 21-7 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. He finished his season with 52 tackles (40 solo), nine sacks, three fumble recoveries, a pass deflection and a touchdown.

Mike Davis (2012-15), Seattle Seahawks RB: Davis had 10 yards on four carries and two catches for 22 yards in Seattle’s season-ending 24-22 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Davis had 524 yards on 116 carries and four touchdowns this season. He also had 36 catches for 234 yards and one touchdown. 

Hayden Hurst (2015-17), Baltimore Ravens TE: Hurst did not have any catches (one target) in the Ravens’ season-ending 23-17 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. Garnet Thor finished his rookie season with 13 catches for 163 yards and a touchdown in 12 games.

Johnathan Joseph (2005), Houston Texans CB: Joseph, who was questionable to play because of a neck injury, had six tackles in Houston’s loss to the Colts. He finished his season with 66 tackles (46 solo), two interceptions and 13 pass deflections.

Damiere Byrd (2011-14), Carolina Panthers, WR: Byrd was placed on injured reserve with a broken arm on Nov. 27. He caught his lone pass of the season, for eight yards, in a 21-17 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. He also had two fumble recoveries.

A.J. Cann (2011-14), Jacksonville Jaguars OG: Jacksonville rushed for 30 yards on 16 carries in its 20-3 loss to the Houston Texans. The Jaguars, with the 6-foot-3, 315-pound Cann at right guard, finished the regular-season ranked 19th in the NFL in rushing offense (107.7 yards per game). 

Jared Cook (2006-08), Oakland Raiders TE: Cook had three catches for 28 yards in Oakland’s 35-3 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Cook finished his season with career highs in catches (68) and yards (896, tied for 22nd in the NFL) and touchdowns (six). On Dec. 9, Raiders’ head coach Jon Gruden called Cook “awesome, clearly our MVP” after Cook hauled in seven catches for 116 yards in Oakland’s win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

Pharoh Cooper (2013-15), Arizona Cardinals WR: In his second game with the Cardinals (after being released by the Rams), Cooper returned five punts for a combined 66 yards (13.2-yard average) in Arizona’s 27-24 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Cooper — who missed nine games with an ankle injury — finished his season with eight punt returns for 79 yards (9.9-yard average) and 13 kick returns for 277 yards (21.3-yard average). 

Patrick DiMarco (2007-10), Buffalo Bills FB: On Dec. 16, DiMarco had one rush for nine yards — his first rush of the season — in the Bills’ 14-13 win over the Detroit Lions. He had one catch for 38 yards and a tackle in Buffalo’s 21-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Dec. 2. He finished his season with three catches for 62 yards and one rush for nine yards.

Bruce Ellington (2011-13), Detroit Lions WR: On Dec. 22, Ellington was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring strain. He finished his season with 31 catches for 224 yards and a touchdown.

Isaiah Johnson (2015), Tampa Bay Buccaneers DB: Johnson had four tackles and a pass deflection in the Buccaneers’ 34-32 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. He finished the season with 48 tackles (41 solo), two pass deflections and a fumble recovery.

Darian Stewart (2006-09), Denver Broncos S: Stewart had two tackles in Denver’s 23-9 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. He finished the season with two interceptions, 60 tackles (46 solo), three pass deflections, one fumble recovery and one sack. 

Skai Moore (2013-17), Indianapolis Colts LB: On Dec. 18, Moore was put on injured reserve list due to a neck injury. On Nov. 18, the recent South Carolina graduate had two tackles in the Colts’ 38-10 win over the Titans after being moved from the practice squad to the active roster on Friday, Nov. 9. He was signed to the Colts’ practice squad on Oct. 15.

Captain Munnerlyn (2006-08), Carolina Panthers CB: Munnerlyn had two pass deflections in the Panthers’ 33-14 win over the New Orleans Saints. He finished the season with an interception, 47 tackles (38 solo, three for loss), two sacks, nine pass deflections and a fumble recovery.

Brandon Shell (2012-15), New York Jets OT: The 6-foot-5, 324 pounder starting right tackle injured a knee during the third quarter of the Jets’ loss to the Texans on Dec. 15 and on Dec. 19 was placed on injured reserve. 

D.J. Swearinger (2009-12), Arizona Cardinals S: Swearinger, who last week was released by the Washington Redskins for criticizing the team’s game plan on a weekly radio show appearance, did not play in the Cardinals’ season-ending loss to the Seahawks. Swearinger finished the season with 53 tackles (42 solo), four interceptions (two against the Indianapolis Colts on Sept. 16), 10 pass deflections, three forced fumbles (one recovery) and one sack. 

Ryan Succop (2005-08), Tennessee Titans K: Succop made his lone field-goal attempt (38 yards) and both of his extra-point attempts in the Titans’ 33-17 loss to the Colts. Succop finished the season 26 of 30 (86.6 percent) on field-goal attempts and 28 of 31 (90.3 percent) on extra points.