Gamecocks defensive line coach Jimmy Lindsey is headed to take the same position at LSU, meaning that Shane Beamer now has an opening on his coaching staff.
When Clayton White was hired as Beamer’s first defensive coordinator in 2021, he inherited a defensive line coach that was held over from Will Muschamp’s staff: Tracy Rocker.
Rocker’s stint under Beamer was short-lived, as he left for Auburn in January 2021. That stint also lasted a week; he then went to the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles.
Jimmy Lindsey was a natural name for Beamer and White to turn to, since White had worked for several seasons with Lindsey – at Illinois for the 2020 season – at Western Kentucky. Indeed, that’s the direction that the Gamecocks ultimately took.
There will be more to report in the coming days about Lindsey’s replacement in Columbia, but for now, GamecockCentral.com takes a look at the impact of Lindsey’s departure.
Although South Carolina was Lindsey’s “biggest job” to date in his career, he arrived in Columbia with plenty of years under his belt. He began his career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater – Chattanooga – in 2000. He had some focus on the linebacker position – where he played in college – his first few seasons before turning to defensive line and some special teams work.
Lindsey is from the Pete Jenkins tree of coaches, has coached plenty of good players in the past, and has lots of experience.
Looking at USC’s current roster of defensive tackles, there’s some depth and accumulated years of service. Gamecocks fans will likely feel for veterans like Boogie Huntley and Tonka Hemingway (who can also play EDGE), because of how much turnover there’s been at this spot.
Since Huntley and Hemingway have been involved with the USC in recruiting and as players, there have been four defensive line coaches in Columbia: Lance Thompson, John Scott, Tracy Rocker, and Lindsey. Only Rocker and Lindsey have been on-field coaches for them, but this coming hire does mean the duo will be on the third d-line coach.
Lindsey had plenty of familiarity with Clayton White’s defensive system immediately upon arriving at USC, which likely aided in developing players and overall cohesiveness.
The 2021 class is one that’s hard to judge anyone on, with not only a brand new head coach and staff, but also a short window of time to put a class together. That’s not even counting recruiting during the COVID-19 situation that prevented any in-person recruiting.
USC landed TJ Sanders and Nick Barrett from that class, holdovers from the Will Muschamp era. Keem Green – no longer with the program – joined as a transfer from Nebraska in January of 2021.T
The Gamecocks signed Felix Hixon, Jamaal Whyce, Demetrius Watson (in the transfer portal), and D’Andre Martin in the ’23 class. 2024 was a better year with Xzavier McLeod and Elijah Davis joining the defensive tackle fold.
Lindsey is a coach who has made deep connections in the industry, especially in the state of Georgia. Four-star acquisitions Jalon Kilgore and Vicari Swain, for instance, were in his region last class.
For the 2024 class, there are no interior defensive linemen currently committed. USC’s in the mix with more than one, such as New Jersey product Jordan Thomas, who’s set for an official visit this summer.
One interesting question to answer for the Gamecocks is how much of an effect Lindsey’s departure will have on five-star Elijah Griffin from the 2025 class.
USC’s currently locked in a battle with Georgia and others for Griffin, and Lindsey’s been a significant cog in the Peach State product’s interest level.