10 Recruits Who Could Join 5-Star DE Shameik Blackshear at South Carolina

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IApril 21, 2014

10 Recruits Who Could Join 5-Star DE Shameik Blackshear at South Carolina

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Shameik Blackshear is a 5-star defensive end who committed to South Carolina before his junior season. At 6'5" and 240 pounds, Blackshear is a dynamic speed-rusher off the edge who chases quarterbacks with quickness and athleticism.

    Blackshear is definitely the type of player a recruiting class can be built around, which is what South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier should do with his 2015 haul.

    Several other top-tier talents remain high on South Carolina's board, and Spurrier's recruiting pitch will surely include the chance to play with Blackshear. A talented pair of defensive tackles could join the 5-star defensive end, while a familiar face could also get a second chance.

    All recruiting ratings and rankings are from 247Sports.
    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals and 247Sports.

Davon Durant, LB

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    Davon Durant is a 4-star JUCO linebacker who plays for Butler Community College in Kansas. He fits best inside on the second level, as that is where he sees things develop the quickest.

    Durant, who is 6'2" and 240 pounds, has solid toughness and strength at the point of attack. He takes on lead-blockers well, as he excels versus the run. Durant also has the speed to keep up with running backs in coverage.

    He's expected to sign with South Carolina, according to 247Sports.

Damon Arnette, CB

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    Cornerbacks who are tall and long are in high demand these days. That's why 3-star cover man Damon Arnette is wanted by many schools.

    The Florida native is 6'2" and 185 pounds, and has the skills to play cornerback at a high level. Arnette is a solid athlete who uses his long arms to throw receivers off of their timing when they release off the line. His length also helps him get his hands on balls other cornerbacks can not.

    Florida State and South Carolina are his top schools, says 247Sports.

Zack Bailey, OL

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    An in-state target for South Carolina, 4-star offensive lineman Zack Bailey can play guard or tackle for an offensive front.

    Bailey is strong on his feet at 6'5" and 307 pounds. He has solid athleticism to pull and trap, plus he plays big at the point of attack. If Bailey doesn't become a guard, look for him to play right tackle in college.

    Clemson, South Carolina and Oregon are his main trio of suitors, per 247Sports.

Carlton Davis, CB

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    Carlton Davis is another big cornerback prospect South Carolina is after. He hails from Florida, and is 6'2" and 185 pounds.

    Davis can play tight to the line in press-man coverage, plus he has the physicality to work well in Cover 2. Also, Davis has the ability to bump and run with a receiver while racing up the perimeter in Cover 3. With his size and length, he also could develop into a safety.

    South Carolina, Alabama, Miami, Florida and LSU are among the 3-star prospect's top schools, according to 247Sports.

Marquavius Lewis, DE

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    Marquavius Lewis is a 4-star defensive lineman who could be a "swing" player in the defensive trenches. The JUCO prospect plays defensive end, but his 6'4", 271-pound frame can also play inside at defensive tackle.

    Lewis has a quick grab on blockers. He plays with good strength at the point of attack, plus he reads plays well from the edge. He has enough quickness at the snap to jump on top of guards as a pass-rusher from the defensive tackle position on passing downs.

    Auburn is South Carolina's biggest competition, says 247Sports.

Jalen Christian, ATH

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    While he can certainly play receiver, Jalen Christian could develop into an outstanding college cornerback. His hips are awfully loose, plus he has a great deal of short-area explosiveness.

    At 5'10" and 165 pounds, Christian is a terrific athlete who can impact the game in many different ways. He can play receiver and running back on offense, and he also has return ability.

    The 4-star Maryland native has South Carolina out in front, according to 247Sports.

Arden Key, DE

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    Credit: 247Sports

    A Georgia native, Arden Key is a 4-star defensive end who spends a lot of time standing up as an outside linebacker on tape.

    Key, who is 6'5" and 200 pounds, has deceptive strength. Yet, the athletic edge-defender gets the job done with explosive athleticism. He bends well when crashing off the edge, plus he has a tremendous burst to close on the ball to finish plays.

    South Carolina is just one of many schools after Key, says 247Sports.

Dante Sawyer, DE

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Dante Sawyer signed with South Carolina in 2014, but he will instead spend a year in the JUCO ranks, according to Josh Kendall of GoGamecocks.com

    Sawyer will likely sign with the Gamecocks in 2015. At 6'2" and 262 pounds, the 4-star pass-rusher has a good combination of speed and quickness. He'll certainly be ready to contribute to the Gamecocks defense whenever he arrives.

D.J. Jones, DT

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    Credit: 247Sports

    A South Carolina native, D.J. Jones is a 4-star JUCO defensive tackle who plays for East Mississippi Community College.

    Jones is listed at 6'2" and 305 pounds, but it would not be shocking if he actually weighed more than that. He has solid quickness at the snap, and he naturally eats up a lot of space. Jones displays great strength to anchor versus the run, plus he can push the pocket some as a pass-rusher.

    Alabama, Clemson, South Carolina and Tennessee are just a few schools to name in the mix, per 247Sports.

Albert Huggins, DL

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    Albert Huggins is a 4-star defensive lineman who can play defensive end or defensive tackle. Huggins has enough athleticism and range to play on the strong side of the edges.

    However, the 6'3", 279-pounder also has the strength and gap-penetration ability to work well as a three-technique defensive tackle. Huggins hails from the Palmetto State, and he could be South Carolina's top remaining target.

    The Gamecocks will have to beat out Clemson and Georgia for him, according to 247Sports.

    Justin Rowland of TarHeelIllustrated.com (subscription required) wrote on Feb. 4:

    Clemson has told Huggins they want him to play defensive end but Huggins' high school coach believes he projects as a defensive tackle.


    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.