Jalen Christian to South Carolina: Gamecocks Land 4-Star ATH Prospect

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 15, 2014

Credit: 247Sports

South Carolina has officially secured the commitment of two-way star Jalen Christian on Thursday.

Willie Smith of the Greenville News broke the news:

Christian spoke with 247Sports' Ryan Bartow about his thoughts on South Carolina:

South Carolina made me feel at home. I have a great relationship with (quarterbacks) coach G.A. Mangus and (wide receivers) coach (Steve) Spurrier, Jr. I felt comfortable there. [...] South Carolina reminds me of my hometown. Everything around the town is based around the football team.

The product of Damascus High School in Damascus, Maryland, is a highly talented wide receiver/cornerback recruit. According to 247Sports' composite rankings, Christian is a 4-star prospect and is listed as an athlete. He ranks 10th among all others in that category and is considered the 144th-best prospect overall and is the third-best player in the state of Maryland in the class of 2015.     

No matter which position he ultimately chooses, Christian might inevitably be limited by his size. He's listed at 5'10" and 165 pounds.

If he opts for wideout, he could get jammed at the line of scrimmage and would offer little value as a blocker on running plays. Crafty offensive coordinators would be able to find ways for Christian to thrive, though. After all, he has special skills that can make up for his smaller frame, namely his athleticism and instincts.

Should Christian go with cornerback, he could struggle against bigger, stronger wide receivers. He has decent height for a corner, but he'll still need to bulk up and add more strength.

247Sports rates Christian just a five out of 10 for size, so it's clear this is one of his primary weaknesses. However, size is only a hurdle until the player figures out a way to compensate for it and make it a non-factor, and Christian has the abilities to do so. He receives high marks for his versatility and ball skills, as well as his ability to change directions. 

Christian will be helped out by the fact that he's pretty fast. Speed and explosiveness are two of his best qualities. Offensively, he can be a home-run threat in both the passing and return games. Defensively, he'll have no trouble sticking with quick wideouts in the open field.  

No matter which side of the field Christian's playing on, he should become a solid contributor and lethal all-purpose threat.