Dylan Stewart’s first showing at South Carolina hints at big things to come

It’s just a teaser trailer: That’s how offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains described the South Carolina Garnet & Black spring football game.

Show a few flashes, get fans excited and then start the countdown until August — that’s all the Gamecocks have to do. Let someone new and unexpected shine a little, or let a proven veteran flash some confidence.

Or let the five-star edge out of Washington, D.C., prove exactly why he could become a massive addition for the Gamecocks’ defensive line.

Does it surprise anyone on the team that Dylan Stewart is as advertised? No. Nor should it surprise fans witnessing his debut spring game. Stewart signed early to participate in spring ball, get acclimated to college a semester ahead of schedule and, more importantly, get to football.

“In January when he (came) here and he starts classes and he’s in a weight-room program, weight program and all that, that was an adjustment,” Shane Beamer said. “But as far as being out on the field, that’s what he’s at his best and he’s a really good player.”

Stewart, along with Nick Barrett, were the two Team Black defenders to record any sacks in the spring game. Each had one sack, and Stewart tacked on three tackles for loss. He looked comfortable on the field.

“Dylan’s been a guy that’s really, just, it’s never been too big for him,” Beamer said.

Even with the estimated 32,500 fans inside Williams-Brice Stadium, the “2001” entrance and the flashing lights during quarter changes, it was still a scrimmage for Stewart. The new environment was new and fun, but he didn’t feel overwhelmed witnessing the USC atmosphere for the first time.

“It wasn’t too much different,” Stewart said nonchalantly. “It was just more fans, more intensity.”

Of course the Gamecocks’ head coach then added that he probably missed count of a few sacks — the quarterbacks can’t be hit or tackled — and he’ll add them if that’s the case. Stewart and Bryan Thomas Jr. joked there were about 10 sacks from their perspective, with the two of them officially earning 3.5 between them.

Stewart actually said 12 or 13. Thomas Jr. was more conservative, estimating closer to 10.

Stewart was the only five-star recruit from the last two years to take the field at Williams-Brice on Saturday evening, since wide receiver Nyck Harbor has been managing his track requirements throughout spring ball.

Previous USC five-star recruits have created their own storied history: Marcus Lattimore, Jadeveon Clowney, Jordan Burch and Zacch Pickens. A few of those names remain written on the walls of the Gamecocks’ stadium, making themselves a staple beyond South Carolina.

Those players were recruited by everyone and anyone. Same for Stewart. The rookie edge showed exactly why.

“I thought he finished strong and had fun out there tonight,” Beamer said. “He doesn’t say much at all, but he’s just the same guy, all the time. But it’s go time, look out because he can go.”

He’s quiet. There’s not much Stewart has to say to show off what he’s capable of. He’ll just show up on the field and do whatever needs to be done.

How’s that for a rookie’s personal teaser trailer?