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Jalon Kilgore details South Carolina's preparations ahead of 2024 season

Griffin Goodwynby:Griffin Goodwyn06/10/24

South Carolina sophomore defensive back Jalon Kilgore appeared on an episode of The Welcome Home Podcast this past week.

Kilgore discussed many topics on the podcast, including his commitment to the Gamecocks, the early adjustments he made early in his college football career and how his debut season went. He also shared the team’s (and his own) outlook on the 2024 season. Here are some of the key points he mentioned during the interview.

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Question: What are some goals you want the team to accomplish this year?

Kilgore: “I just feel like everybody’s thinking it’s a harder schedule, so people are going to make it seem like, ‘Oh, we’re not going to win any games. I honestly feel like that puts fire in me because I love being the underdog. (If) we go out here and knock out LSU, Ole Miss… I feel like that’s just going to put us on a whole ‘nother level. It’s going to make the whole story better, in my opinion. There’s nobody on the team that’s looking at the teams and saying, ‘There’s no chance we can beat them.’ No one’s looking at the schedule like that.”

What have you seen from the offensive line during the preseason?

“I don’t see anybody else that meets more than the DBs other than the O-linemen. Like, the O-linemen be in there working – before workouts, after workouts, even when they’re doing the workouts. Because Coach (Luke) Day, he’ll tell us, ‘The O-linemen have been working.’ They’ve been making their times. They’ve been burning calories, getting to the right weight. Losing weight, gaining weight – whatever they need to do to be the best, they’ve been doing that. And Coach (Lonnie) Teasley – he’s been having those guys working. He’s not letting them slack off, none of that. He took it personally, too. They’re coming for a new name next year. They’re going to earn the respect they deserve.”

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How great has it been to see new coaches get integrated into the South Carolina football program?

“They just bring a whole different energy to the room. First day, Coach (Shawn) Elliott came in – him and Coach D (Joe DeCamillis) – yelling, screaming, just showing their attachment to the game. The military video… that was Coach D’s first day. That was his first or second day. (He) came out there in jeans, shirt, all in the mud, just showing his fight and love for the team. Once we saw that, we were like, ‘Oh yeah, we know he’s down for anything. And we know they’re going to make us better, especially with Coach D’s background. His years in the NFL, the Super Bowls he’s won, the natty’s he’s won – just him having that background, it’s so much knowledge he can give.”

What matchups are you looking forward to this upcoming season?

“I’ve never played Alabama or Oklahoma before, or Ole Miss. I’m really just looking forward to the teams I haven’t played yet, honestly. Everybody I haven’t played yet, I’m really just looking ready for those games, definitely. I know, back in my home town, I got a lot of Alabama fans, so I’m really looking towards that game.”

What are you looking forward to most about this year’s rivalry matchup against Clemson?

“I’m just feeding off their energy. Whatever we do, we’re going to do together. No matter what we got to do to win, we’re going to come out with a win – just know that. We’re going to put our hearts, blood, sweat on the line for that game – for every game, not just that game. But especially that game.”

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