Tuesday started early for the players when they had the honor of
attending the FCA breakfast where Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe entertained with an outstanding speech.
The morning practices were a little warmer on the weather front even
though the practice fields were still very wet. We attended the South Carolina practice this morning, and there were no major surprises or
disappointments. For the most part, every player was about what we thought they would be.
Here is a list of players that caught our eye Tuesday morning:
QB-Both William Richardson of Sumter and Trey Elder of Byrnes showed
some skill throwing the football. Richardson is the taller quarterback that excels in the pocket, while Elder is more athletic and can hurt you with his feet also. Both of these players will continue to receive attention and we think both will get a couple of more D-I offers.
RB-The North Carolina running backs appear to be ahead of the SC running backs. Both Vernell Jones of Lake View and Rafael Little of T.L. Hanna showed some athleticism, but neither looked as impressive as the NC pair. Jones has a good burst and Little is stronger than some coaches thought.
WR-In a position change, Sinclair Cannon of Greer played wide receiver
as opposed to defensive back. Cannon is the most complete open field
runner on the SC squad. He is very dangerous with the football in his hands. The SC team could look to utilize him on slip screens and try to get him the ball in space. Brooks Foster of Boiling Springs is a very smooth athlete. One coach said he makes things look so easy; it’s how a lot of basketball players would look on the football field. He is still raw, but he has a very big upside. Foster runs very well.
OL-This is the strength of the SC team. We have not seen four offensive tackles like this team has on one all-star team. The surprise of the group of James Thompson of Sumter. With all of the pre-season attention going to Hart and Lambert, we think Thompson is underrated. There is not a lot of gap between Thompson and any lineman we have seen this week. It is easy to see why FSU offered. Hart is an athletic offensive tackle that may be more polished than the other three. Hart deserves his high ranking. Corey Lambert of Greenville is the best looking physical prospect on the line. Lambert is tall, slim and athletic and is listed at 6-7, 319. It is no wonder he has been called one of the top two or three players in the state. Terrence Brown of Summerville is another D-I offensive tackle. He has good
feet and showed some toughness. Brown has major offers and will play at BYU. Jeremy Burgess of Loris is another tough offensive lineman. He is a versatile lineman than can play any of the three offensive line
DL-Three defensive linemen caught our eye for the SC team. The surprise was Rashaad Jackson of Union. He is physical and might be the top prospect in this group. Matt Raysor of Bamberg-Erhart is a giant with tremendous strength in his lower body. Raysor also runs very well for his size. He made a few plays on the perimeter and rushes the passer well. Dorel Scott is an athletic defensive tackle that carries 300 pounds very well. Scott is another of the top 10 players in the state.
LB-The best prospect on the South Carolina without question is Lawrence
Timmons. LT was impressive. This is the kind of linebacker that
resembles Rocky McIntosh. Timmons can do it all. He can cover, rush the passer, and play between the tackles. He is one of the top two players we have seen all week. Robert Ayers is another top-notch linebacker with impressive skills. He can play inside or outside at the next level. Courtney Vincent was a surprise because he was bigger and more athletic than we thought. He reminds us of Anthony Waters. The surprise at linebacker was Alonzo Middleton of Orangeburg. Middleton is an inside linebacker that can also play fullback at the next level.
DB-The top defensive back we saw Tuesday was Michael Hamlin of Lamar.
Hamlin is a safety that can get much bigger because of his nice frame.
He needs to get stronger, but his athleticism and speed caught our eye.
C.J. Barber of Rock Hill is a versatile defensive back that can play corner or safety. Barber has very good instincts.
We will continue to scout both teams this week and compare the squads
through Saturday afternoon. You can also hear several of our interviews with the top prospects on our daily radio show "The Overdrive."
Coaches in attendance at the South Carolina morning practice included
Clemson (Burton Burns, Mike O'Cain, David Blackwell, Ron West, Dabo
Swinney), South Carolina (Skip Holtz, Jappy Oliver, Paul Loundsberry,
Dave Roberts, Erik Kimrey), Vanderbilt (Robbie Caldwell), North Carolina, South Carolina State (Buddy Pough, Robbie Wells), Newberry (Joe Blackwell), Furman, Wofford, former college coaches Sparky Woods, Todd Fitch, Dave DeGugliamo and many of the top high school coaches from the state.
One final note: Coaches that have seen North Carolina practice continue
to rave about running back Jamaal Edwards and defensive lineman Marque
Hall. One coach told us that of the backs in a five state area, Edwards is the one back he would take. Another coach told us that Hall is the best defensive linemen he has seen all year in the three states that he recruits.