South Carolina Football: Top Under-the-Radar Recruits for 2012

Adam Garrett@lifeofagamecockAnalyst IJanuary 31, 2012

South Carolina Football: Top Under-the-Radar Recruits for 2012

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    National Signing Day has become a day to celebrate the future as recruits across the country will sign their national letter of intent to the college of their choosing.

    South Carolina has seen some top-ranked recruiting classes in recent years and the class set to sign on Wednesday is another one expected to be atop the recruiting rankings.

    The Gamecocks have landed several highly ranked recruits like Mike Davis, Brock Stadnik, Jordan Diggs, Shaq Roland and Chaz Elder. These are the headliners of the 2012 class who are expected to be the next superstars of the South Carolina Gamecocks.

    There are a few recruits who have flown a bit under-the-radar for the Gamecocks and this is a look at some of the top players that were rated three stars and under.

    Take a look at some of the under-the-radar recruits for South Carolina.

CB Rico McWilliams

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    Rico McWilliams has been a long-time commitment for the Gamecocks.

    He committed to South Carolina on June 16, 2011 and is considered one of the top defensive backs in the state of Georgia.

    McWilliams is a three-star recruit but has tons of potential at the next level for South Carolina. He has the ability to play safety or cornerback at the next level but the idea is for him to make an impact at cornerback for the Gamecocks.

    He's known to have great closing speed as he runs a 4.40 40-yard dash and has great size for this position out of high school at 6'0" and weighing 170 pounds. He's a physical and aggressive corner and those attributes will serve the Gamecocks well.

    There's a great chance McWilliams will make an impact at South Carolina.

ATH Chris Moody

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    The Gamecocks' newest commitment is a versatile athlete capable of handling multiple positions at the college level.

    Chris Moody made the switch from Vanderbilt to South Carolina on Monday after completing an official visit to South Carolina this past weekend.

    He's a player, like Rico McWilliams, that can play safety and the cornerback position at the next level. Moody will probably start out as a cornerback for the Gamecocks but he's likely to move over to safety later in his career.

    Moody is another three-star recruit but someone with the potential to play above his ranking.

    Moody has the size right now to handle the college ranks standing 6'1" and weighing 190 pounds. He's very fluid on the offensive side of the ball handling the quarterback position in high school but South Carolina likes him on the defensive side of the ball. It's hard to argue with that size already and his quick speed will allow him to keep up with the SEC's talented receivers.

    There's even a chance that Moody will get to showcase those offensive skills in the Wildcat formation for the Gamecocks.

    It may take a redshirt season for Moody to learn the ins and outs of the cornerback position but he's got a chance to be a nice player for South Carolina down the road.

K Nick St. Germain

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    Signing kickers in a recruiting class is a rarity these days. Coaches prefer most kickers to earn scholarships as a walk-on instead of signing straight out of high school.

    Nick St. Germain may be the exception.

    Germain had offers from schools like Georgia Southern, Middle Tennessee State and South Alabama before South Carolina jumped in the mix. The Gamecocks may have landed their next kicker when they offered him a scholarship in early January.

    The Gamecocks kicked only 11 field goals total in 2011 but they lost senior kicker Jay Wooten and will need to replace him in 2012.

    Germain may be that guy for South Carolina.

    He's got the leg to kick the long distance field goals and to be a factor on kickoffs. He was 11-of-17 of field goals and had 59 touchbacks out of 74 kickoffs. This is definitely something that the Gamecocks desperately need in 2012.

    Kickers don't get a lot of fanfare but Nick St. Germain may impact the South Carolina football team as early as his freshman season.

RB Kendric Salley

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    Kendric Salley was South Carolina's first commitment for the 2012 class. He's been a Gamecock for a long time and he'll get to realize that dream on Wednesday when he signs with South Carolina.

    He's not the highest-rated running back on the board but don't be surprised if he has a say in the running back rotation in a few years.

    Salley has a big frame standing 5'10" and weighing 210 pounds but has excellent speed as well. He runs with power along with some solid acceleration and has the ability to slash in between defenders and break away.

    The bad news is Salley had a slight ACL tear and will have to redshirt for the Gamecocks in 2012. This will give him time to regain his strength and create some separation between some of the running backs currently on campus.

DB Kyle Fleetwood

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    Stephenson High School has been good to the Gamecocks in this recruiting cycle with three recruits committed to South Carolina.

    Kyle Fleetwood is one of those recruits and has some impressive abilities although he's only ranked as a three-star recruit. 

    He's a guy that has great size who passes the eyeball test. He stands 6'2" tall and weighs 200 pounds. He's a versatile guy having played both sides of the football in high school but has some big play ability at the safety position.

    The closing speed is there as Fleetwood runs a 4.5 40-yard dash. He moves well and plays an aggressive brand of football.

    Fleetwood should fit right in with this South Carolina defense in the coming years. He's another big hitting defensive back to add to mix to give the Gamecocks plenty of talent to stay atop the SEC on defense.