South Carolina Football Recruiting: 5 2013 Commits Who Will Play as Freshmen
The Gamecocks wrap up another solid recruiting class with players who can immediately contribute in areas of need.
The coaching staff knows exactly how to build a team. This was a year of building up the offensive trenches and filling out the thin linebacker group.
They did that with aplomb, signing one of the best offensive line classes of the year and getting very athletic linebackers that can compete early.
With all of that being said, what players have the best chance to come in and play with freshmen on a team that doesn't really have a lot of open spots for the "young'ns"?
Let's take a look.
Larenz Bryant, Inside Linebacker
Larenz Bryant is a a 4-star inside linebacker. He's the fourth-ranked prospect at his position.
At 6'1" and 215 pounds, he could stand to gain some weight. However, he runs a 4.6 40 and the shuttle in a very fast 4.47. His speed and agility alone will make him a monster on the field in a position of need.
There is a very solid chance that Bryant ends up on the two-deep. He's ready to play and play well. He could be used in blitz packages, or as a coverage linebacker. His weight and strength will need to improve to be effective against the SEC's brutal running offenses.
Kelsey Griffin, Defensive Tackle
Kelsey Griffin may be hard to keep off the field. The Gamecocks are absolutely loaded along the defensive line, and landing the seventh-ranked defensive tackle in the nation was a big coup for South Carolina.
He has elite size at 6'2" and 282 pounds. But the real kicker?
He runs a sub-4.7 40.
Griffin was also extremely impressive at the Under Armour Game.
247 Sports reported that "The 6-foot-1, 290-pound Griffin has been one of the top defensive tackles all week. With an impressive motor, natural strength, quickness and the ability to win the leverage battle a high percentage of the time, Griffin has been a tough ask for any guard and center in practice."
That's very impressive material coming out of the elite competition of the Under Armour Game.
He has the potential to be a starter...immediately.
Skai Moore, Outside Linebacker
While most of the Gamecocks' signees came early, Skai Moore made the team sweat a little. His announcement on signing day was a huge one for South Carolina, as he could immediately fill a need position and could fight for starting reps in his freshman year.
The 6'2" 4-star outside linebacker will need to add weight. He's coming in at only 210 pounds, but he's a great hitter who can diagnose plays and seems to always be around the ball.
He'll play early in his career. His swagger and ability cannot be ignored.
David Williams, Running Back
Speed, power, vision, agility and great hands.
David Williams has it all.
This shifty runner is coming in at a very good time to be a running back at South Carolina. He'll be following a legend, but he has the chance to push himself into the running rotation with a solid summer and fall.
The biggest concern for me is the logjam at running back.
Mike Davis will be back and hopes to build on a very solid freshman campaign that saw him lead the team in yards-per-carry.
Brandon Wilds is a power back who started for the Gamecocks when Lattimore went down after his first injury.
Williams has the skills to be a part of the team's plans for the immediate future. A redshirt wouldn't hurt the team's depth for the future, though.
Pharoh Cooper, Athlete
Pharoh Cooper has the chance to come into the league and become a fan favorite right away. This wide receiver/defensive back/safety plays fast and hard.
His highlight films are absolutely amazing. He's a Swiss Army knife who could play any of the positions listed at a high level. He was an early commitment to the Gamecocks. He was a 3-star player who had monsterous senior season. This raised him to a 4-star player with offers from schools like Alabama and Virginia Tech.
He stayed the course and signed with the Gamecocks.
He'll be a campus "pharoh" when he gets there.