South Carolina’s Tonka Hemingway Carving Out A Role
When this season started, defensive tackle Tonka Hemingway was a backup on the depth chart. Of course, defensive tackle depth is critical. It may be the most physically demanding job in football, and you need several reliable options to sustain an excellent interior presence. Hemingway had a small amount of snaps until a few weeks back. Hemingway had a great moment in week five against South Carolina State. He took a snap on a two point conversion attempt and seamlessly weaved through the field to complete the conversion.
“Well, basically, I was back there, and I was like, ‘I got to get in, because if I don’t get in [I’m] probably not going to get [another chance]. This is my only chance. I was allowed in and told to act like I’ve been there before. I then handed the ball to the ref and the rest is history. “
Hemingway’s next appearance against Kentucky would be just as eventful. He recovered a ball from Kentucky’s first offensive play, and racked-up four tackles, including one and a half sacks. Hemingway was active and often found himself in Kentucky’s backfield.
Special teams coordinator Pete Lembo spoke about how he decides who gets an opportunity on two-point conversions. Lembo was able to praise Hemingway’s manner of carrying himself.
“I’ll tell you what, if you could give me a team full of Tonka Hemingway’s, we would be just fine because that’s a guy who approaches his game the right way. He’s as hardworking, thorough, and a great guy as I’ve ever seen. If you have the chance to place Tonka in that role, you want to keep your fingers crossed. You know that he is the type of guy you can build your program around. He is a wonderful human being. “
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The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.