University of South Carolina defensive end D.J. Wonnum was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week and punter Joseph Charltonwas named the SEC Special Teams Player of the Week, the Southeastern Conference announced today. Both players were honored for their performances in the Gamecocks’ convincing 24-7 win over Kentucky last Saturday night.
Wonnum, a 6-5, 260-pound senior from Stone Mountain, Ga., was in the Kentucky backfield all night, as he was credited with five tackles, all solos, including a career-high 3.0 sacks, accounting for 25 lost yards, with a forced fumble and a quarterback hurry. Wonnum led a Carolina defense that allowed just 212 total yards, the fewest for the Gamecocks since 2012. It’s the fourth time in his career that he’s been honored as a weekly award winner by the SEC, but the three previous times were as the Defensive Lineman of the Week - in back-to-back weeks against Arkansas and Tennessee in 2017 and against the Volunteers again in 2018.
Charlton, a 6-5, 190-pound senior from Columbia, continues to have an impressive season. He was called on nine times in the win over the Wildcats and responded with a 51.2-yard average, with five of the nine putting Kentucky inside their 20. Included was a season-long punt of 65 yards and four were over 50 yards. Due in large part to Charlton, Kentucky’s average field position was its own 23-yard line. He is second in the SEC and in the country with a 49.8-yard average and is Carolina’s career punting leader at 45.2 yards per punt.