South Carolina senior safety D.J. Swearinger was selected by the Houston Texans in the second round of the NFL Draft on Friday night with the 57th overall pick.
A 6-0, 210-pounder from Greenwood, S.C., Swearinger served as a team captain in 2012 and was considered the biggest hitter on the defense and one of the team's top playmakers. He was recognized as a second-team All-SEC performer by the league's coaches, the Associated Press and Phil Steele. He started all 12 games in which he appeared this season and was credited with 79 stops, which ranked second on the team. A Senior Bowl invite, Swearinger also collected two interceptions, one of which was returned 69 yards for a score, a team-high seven pass breakups, two fumble recoveries, including a 65-yard fumble return for a touchdown, and two forced fumbles. He was named the Walter Camp Foundation National Defensive Player of the Week and the SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Week after tallying 13 tackles, including 10 solos, and a 69-yard interception return for a touchdown in a win over Arkansas. He played in 52 of the 53 games over the past four seasons, making 33 starts and recording 244 tackles and six interceptions.
Swearinger is the 23rd Gamecock drafted under head coach Steve Spurrier. South Carolina has now had at least one player selected in the NFL Draft in 12 consecutive years.