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February 6, 2013
GamecockCentral.com's Josh Low gives out several superlatives to 2013 South Carolina signees in this feature.
Best Player - Larenz Bryant
Bryant is exactly what South Carolina needed in this class. He is a true linebacker that can make plays all over the field. He is top 100 in the country good. He is very advanced in pass coverage already and can move sideline to sideline with the best of them. He will play this coming season and should be a leader of the defense for years to come.
Other Candidates: Kelsey Griffin, David Williams
Steal of the class - Pharoh Cooper
After seeing Cooper's junior film last year it really made me wonder why he only had offers from South Carolina, East Carolina, and N.C. State. I can't name one thing that Cooper doesn't do well as an athlete and he proved that at the Shrine Bowl in December. I do love him with the ball in his hands but I also really like his potential at defensive back. I think Cooper will have a good career at South Carolina and there will be a lot of teams wondering why they didn't go on him.
Other Candidates: David Johnson, Jamari Smith
Underrated - Mohamed Camara
South Carolina and G.A. Mangus identified Camara early in the process and offered before any other major program. Camara later received offers from Arkansas, Wake Forest, Wisconsin, and East Carolina. I understand why Camara is rated so low. It is because of his size and he is considered a tweener. But I think he fits South Carolina's defense very well. He will be playing the spur spot, which is a position for tweeners. Once he adds a little more weight, he will fit the position perfectly.
Other Candidates: Alan Knott
Tough Guy Award - Bryce King
If I had to pick one prospect in this class to help me in a fight, then it would be King. He is an old school type football player. He is a blue-collar offensive lineman that doesn't mind getting dirty. These are the type of offensive lineman that South Carolina needs. He does already have that mean streak in him.
Other Candidates: Gerald Turner
Don't Sleep On - David Johnson
Johnson should start his career at MIKE linebacker but he could play a lot of different positions during his career at South Carolina. He is currently 6-foot-1, 268 pounds but he carries his weight very well. He doesn't look 268 pounds at all. The person I would compare him to is Melvin Ingram. Ingram was a freak athlete and there aren't many people that have his type of athleticism, but Johnson is up there.
Other Candidates: Ali Groves
Future Pro - Kelsey Griffin
An argument could definitely be made that Griffin is the best recruit that South Carolina signed during this recruiting cycle. Griffin has all the tools you look for in a defensive tackle. His athleticism and quickness is better than most. If he reaches his potential at South Carolina, then he will be playing on Sundays.
Other Candidates: D.J. Park, Larenz Bryant
Best Interview - Devin Washington
This one is pretty obvious. Washington will excel at whatever he does in his life. He was all Gamecock from the day he committed. He has been outspoken about his love for South Carolina and has helped the Gamecocks recruit in this class. He should be one of the future leaders/captains on the football team.
Other Candidates: Na'Ty Rodgers
Instant Impact - Ronnie Martin
There isn't much depth at cornerback for South Carolina and Martin was brought in to help with that. He has good length to go with great speed. He had a really good showing at the Shrine Bowl two years ago and showed that he is a legit cover corner. I think he has a very good chance to be on the two-deep at cornerback this season.
Other Candidates: Larenz Bryant
Sleeper - Jamari Smith
Smith hasn't garnered as much love on the message boards as he should have. He committed during the summer over several impressive offers like Auburn, Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Notre Dame, and Penn State. Smith put up a very impressive senior season in 8A football in Florida. The thing I like most about him is his balance. He teams with David Williams to form a good running back class for the Gamecocks this year.
Other Candidates: David Johnson, Mohamed Camara
Best Late Get - Skai Moore
Moore filled a need for South Carolina at linebacker. South Carolina lost everyone on its two-deep at linebacker and is in need for depth at the position. The staff filled that need in this class with the finish it had on signing day. There are a lot of people down in Florida that think Moore is one of the top linebackers in the state. He is a true outside linebacker.
Other Candidates: Jonathan Walton
Most Upside - D.J. Park
Unlike his teammate King, Park doesn't have that mean streak yet. He is getting close. He played some of his best football during the playoffs and then in the state championship game this season for Dillon. He followed that up with an impressive Shrine Bowl performance. It does seem like the light is coming on for Park. When it does, watch out. Park has all the tools you look for in an offensive lineman. His size is impressive but he can bend and move his feet. His upside is through the roof and if he reaches it, then he will be playing in the NFL.
Other Candidates: Devante Covington
Best position group - Offensive Line
Shawn Elliott continues to bring in talent at the offensive line position for the Gamecocks. The headliners of this group are Na'Ty Rodgers and D.J. Park. But the depth is impressive with Bryce King, Alan Knott, and J.P. Vonashek. Elliott is doing things right with his position and now all he has to do is develop them. He has the young talent needed on campus to field an impressive offensive line over the next five years.
Other Candidates: Linebacker
Recruiter of the Year (Player) - Connor Mitch
Yes, this should be Devin Washington but I wanted to give this to someone else since he was already listed. Mitch did good job during the process as a recruiter as well. He had a good relationship with Na'Ty Rodgers and hung out with him most of the time he was on campus during his official visit. He also developed good relationships with current commitments like Washington, Pharoh Cooper, Bryce King and a few others.
Other Candidates: Devin Washington
Not a member of GamecockCentral.com? You're missing out on tons of signing day coverage that you can find right here in SIGNING DAY CENTRAL as well as blowout coverage of USC's recent junior day featuring a host of four-star prospects and more. Also go INSIDE the class and get several interesting behidn the scenes storylines from the 2013 class, including a timeline of how the recruitment of LB Jonathan Walton played out during the final week.
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