It’s not often you see a position coach leave one job in the SEC for the same role at another school without earning a promotion but that’s what happened this offseason when John Scott Jr. left Arkansas for South Carolina. The former Razorback defensive line coach now coaches the same unit in Columbia and a week into his first training camp with the Gamecocks, he seems very pleased with the caliber of players he inherited.

Scott was the lone holdover from Bret Bielema’s staff at Arkansas that managed to stay with the program when Chad Morris took over in Fayetteville but before landing the defensive line coaching position with the Razorbacks, Scott worked as a defensive line assistant with the New York Jets for two seasons.

There’s no doubt the Jets haven’t been successful in recent seasons but when Scott was coaching with the team in 2015, the Jets’ defense led the NFL in rushing touchdowns allowed and finished second in rushing yards allowed thanks to having standout players Muhammad Wilkerson and Leonard Williams.

During his Monday morning media availability, Scott was asked to share his thoughts on senior lineman D.J. Wonnum and he favorably compared the Gamecock lineman to some of the players he saw in New York.

“I think D.J. Wonnum is a really good player, he is a special guy. He can set the edge for us, he can rush the passer,” Scott said in a YouTube video uploaded by “I was with the Jets for two years and when I look at his body type, when I look at his athleticism, he was better than some of the guys I felt like we had up there. I think he’s got a lot of potential, he could be special for us.”

That’s high praise for a player that has been a captain for the Gamecocks dating back to his sophomore season. Fortunately for Scott, Wonnum isn’t the only standout on the line in Columbia.

When asked about Javon Kinlaw, Scott immediately perked up talking about the senior lineman on the field entering training camp.

“Makes you smile as a coach. Just a guy that big, Javon is physical, he’s a tough-minded guy and I like the way he practices,” Scott said. “He practices hard. He came into camp in shape so he’s moving around well. It’s a pleasure when you have a guy that can be disruptive like that and play the way you want him to play.

“He and Kobe [Smith] are doing a really good job for us inside, leading the other guys on how to practice, the techniques, the assignments and getting off of blocks. Having a guy like that, playing the way he’s playing, he’s been really valuable for my room.”

While leaving one SEC job for another without landing a promotion is unusual, when you look over the talent Scott has to work with this season in Columbia, it makes all the sense in the world.