Tracy Rocker landed a nice raise to come to Columbia.

South Carolina was in need of a new defensive line coach after John Scott Jr. left the program for Penn State this offseason and while losing a position coach after one year rarely works out for a team, it’s fair to say the Gamecocks upgraded by hiring Rocker from Jeremy Pruitt’s Tennessee staff.

The biggest knock on Rocker following his tenure in Knoxville was his inability to land elite recruits for the Volunteers but no one questions the assistant’s ability to coach defensive linemen.

Rocker took over a Tennessee defensive line unit featuring several former touted recruits that never produced much on the field and developed two of his starters into NFL players in one year. Last season, with no starting experience and a unit of complete unknowns on the defensive line entering the season, Rocker developed his unit into a strength of the Tennessee defense.

Now coaching for the Gamecocks, Rocker is inheriting one of the SEC’s most talented defensive lines featuring Keir Thomas, along with five-star prospects Zacch Pickens and Jordan Burch and four-star recruits Rick Sandidge, Kingsley Enagbare, Joseph Anderson, Alex Huntley and Tonka Hemingway.

On Friday, South Carolina’s Board of Trustees approved Rocker’s two-year contract worth $525,000 annually. Rocker made just over $500,000 last season at Tennessee.