Pair of Gamecocks taken on final day of NFL Draft

Pair of Gamecocks taken on final day of NFL Draft
South Carolina linebacker D.J. Wonnum (8) sacks Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Sawyer Smith (12) during fourth-quarter action in Columbia, S.C. on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (Travis Bell/SIDELINE CAROLINA) (Source: Travis Bell)

Two Gamecocks were taken on the final day of the NFL Draft. DJ Wonnum went to the Minnesota Vikings with the 11th pick of the 4th round and LB TJ Brunson taken in the 7th round by the New York Giants.

Wonnum became the first Gamecock selected by the Vikings since Jasper Brinkley was selected in the fifth round of the 2009 draft. He is the third Gamecock to be selected this season, joining Javon Kinlaw (first round to San Francisco) and Bryan Edwards (third round to Las Vegas).

Brunson became the first Gamecock selected by the Giants since tight end Jerell Adams was selected in the sixth round of the 2016 draft.

Brunson becomes the fourth Gamecock to be selected in the 2020 NFL Draft, joining Javon Kinlaw (first round to San Francisco), Bryan Edwards (third round to Las Vegas) and D.J. Wonnum (fourth round to Minnesota). The four selections are the most for South Carolina since the 2015 Draft that saw A.J. Cann, Mike Davis, Corey Robinson and Rory “Busta” Anderson selected.

Here is Wonnum's bio:

2019

Senior BUCK who was one of five permanent team captains... also was a captain as a sophomore, just one of three players in school history with that distinction... was a second-team All-SEC selection by the Associated Press... named honorable mention all-conference by Pro Football Focus... was on the Mayo Clinic list for Comeback Player of the Year... selected by the Carolina coaches as the Comeback Player of the Year... also was a Nutrition Award, Strength & Conditioning, and Dr. Harris Pastides Outstanding Student-Athlete Award winner... accepted an invitation to play in the Reese's Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine... finished the season with 37 tackles, including 9.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks... named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against Kentucky when he registered a career-high 3.0 sacks among his five tackles and forced a fumble... it was the fourth time he had been recognized by the SEC for a weekly award in his career... also had 3.0 tackles for loss while logging a season-high seven stops in the season opener vs. North Carolina... intercepted a pass at Missouri, setting up a touchdown... blocked a field goal attempt off the foot of All-American Rodrigo Blankenship at Georgia, helping the Gamecocks to an overtime win... named to the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll... appeared in 43 games with 30 starts over his career... logged 137 career tackles including 29.5 tackles for loss (ninth on the school's all-time list) and 14.0 sacks.

2018

Junior who suffered through an injury-plagued season... limited to five games, all starts... credited with 11 tackles, including 3.5 tackles for loss and a pair of sacks... made three tackles against Coastal Carolina, including 1.0 for loss, before leaving the game with a sprained ankle... returned from a five-game hiatus to have a big day in the Tennessee win, with three tackles and 2.0 sacks, including a sack on UT's final play... named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week for his efforts... with brother, Dylan, earning SEC Freshman of the Week the same week, became the first set of brothers to earn league honors the same week... had a key fumble recovery in the Ole Miss win... missed the final three games due to the ankle injury... a member of the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll.

2017

Sophomore who was named a permanent team captain... also honored as a Strength & Conditioning Award winner and the Most Productive Player for the defense... started all 13 games... collected 57 tackles, while leading the team with 13.0 tackles for loss and 6.0 sacks... ranked eighth in the SEC in tackles for loss... earned his first career start versus NC State and responded with eight tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss and a sack... tallied three tackles and a sack in the Missouri win... made seven tackles against Kentucky along with 1.5 tackles for loss... collected four tackles, a tackle for loss, two pass breakups and a quarterback hurry in the win over Arkansas, earning his first SEC weekly honor... earned SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors for the second-straight game after recording six tackles and two sacks in the win over Tennessee... blocked a PAT in the win over Vanderbilt... set a career high with nine tackles against Georgia, which included 1.5 tackles for loss and a sack... recorded a sack on Florida's final drive of the game to help seal the victory... had 2.0 tackles for loss against Wofford... posted four tackles and two pass breakups against Clemson... had five stops in the Outback Bowl win over Michigan... named to the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll.

2016

True freshman defensive lineman who played in every game... named to Athlon's All-SEC Freshman second team... logged 32 tackles, tops among all Gamecock freshmen... also had 3.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and a pair of quarterback hurries... came up with three tackles at Mississippi State... had his best game in the East Carolina win, with four solo tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss and a sack... notched two tackles and was credited with two quarterback hurries against Texas A&M... matched his season high with four tackles at Clemson... named to the 2016-17 First-Year SEC Honor Roll.

HIGH SCHOOL

Graduated from Stephenson High School in Stone Mountain, Ga. in 2016... named to the All-Region team for Class 6 - AAAAA Division A as a senior... collected 38 tackles with 11 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks... the Jaguars posted a 9-2 record and earned a spot in the state playoffs in 2015 under head coach Ron Gartrell... earned all-state honors at tight end during his junior season... 247Sports rated him the 126th-best player in the state of Georgia and the 87th-best weakside defensive end in the land... ESPN listed him as the 113th-best player in Georgia and the No. 121 defensive end in the nation.

PERSONAL

Full name is Dennis O. Wonnum Jr... born Oct. 31, 1997... is a sport and entertainment management major... brother, Dylan, plays offensive tackle for Carolina.

Here is Brunson's bio:

2019

Senior linebacker who was one of five permanent team captains named following the season... selected to play in the NFL Players Association Collegiate Bowl... picked by his teammates for Leadership Award for defense... started all 12 games in 2019 and made 38 career starts... finished second on the squad with 77 tackles including 6.0 tackles for loss... also had five pass breakups... had a season-high 12 tackles at Missouri... also had double-digit stops against Georgia (10) and Tennessee (10)... had a fumble recovery in the upset win over Georgia... notched his first career interception against Vanderbilt... named to the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll... graduated in December... sat out the spring while recovering from off-season surgery... logged 283 career tackles, including 164 unassisted tackles, tying for 10th on the school's all-time list.

2018

Named as one of four permanent team captains... recognized by his peers with four postseason awards for the defense: shared the Joe Morrison Award as the MVP with Javon Kinlaw, was one of three Unselfish Teammate Award winners, garnered the Leadership Award, and shared the Most Productive Player Award with Jaycee Horn... received the Nutrition Award from the coaches... led the team with a career-high 106 tackles and tied for seventh in the SEC averaging 8.2 tackles per game... led the team with 10.5 tackles for loss and was second with 4.0 sacks... led the team in tackles in seven of 13 games... posted a three-game SEC stretch in which he recorded a total of 45 tackles... logged 14 stops versus Tennessee, had 15 tackles including 3.5 for loss and 1.5 sacks at Ole Miss, then finished the stretch with a 16-tackle performance at Florida that included 3.0 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks and a forced fumble... collected a dozen tackles in the Belk Bowl versus Virginia.

2017

True sophomore linebacker who started all 13 games... ranked second on the team with 88 tackles... credited with 4.5 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks and a pair of quarterback hurries... tied for the SEC lead and tied for fourth nationally with three fumble recoveries... posted a game- and career-high 16 tackles in the season-opening win over NC State... it was the most tackles by a Gamecock since Antonio Allen logged 16 stops against East Carolina on Sept. 3, 2011, and the first of three games in double-figures in tackles... logged a dozen tackles against Kentucky... finished the Louisiana Tech win with eight tackles, including a tackle for loss... added seven stops against both Georgia and Tennessee... recovered a fumble and raced 73 yards to paydirt in the Arkansas win... posted a game high 13 tackles with his first two career sacks in the Outback Bowl win over Michigan... earned a spot on the Associated Press All-Bowl Team... presented with the Strength & Conditioning Award by the coaches and the Tenacity Award for the defense by the players.

2016

True freshman who played in 11 games... used at linebacker and on special teams... logged a dozen tackles... made his debut in the win over Vanderbilt... made his first career tackle vs. East Carolina... singled out by Coach Muschamp for making a key block on A.J. Turner's game-opening 80-yard kick return against the Pirates... made four tackles and was credited with a quarterback hurry against Texas A&M... added three tackles in the UMass win... did not play against Missouri and Florida.

HIGH SCHOOL

Local product who played at Columbia's Richland Northeast High School, graduating in 2016... coached by Jay Frye... overcame a serious hip injury during his junior season to log 140 tackles as a senior, leading the Cavaliers to the Class 3A state playoffs... named the Defensive MVP of the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas after leading the Sandlappers with 13 tackles and a sack... credited with 134 tackles as a junior... Rivals considered him the 14th-best player in the state and No. 56 in the country among outside linebackers... 247Sports ranked him as the 13th-best player in the state and the No. 30 inside linebacker in the nation... ESPN ranked him as the 22nd-best player in South Carolina and the No. 40 inside linebacker in the land... a PrepStar All-Atlantic pick.

PERSONAL

Tremari Jerelle Brunson was born Dec. 3, 1997... graduated in December 2019 with a degree in interdisciplinary studies... was the first recruit Coach Muschamp visited after being hired.