Signing Day Targets: Safety

Here is the second of many indepth looks of athletes already looking in the Tigers' direction. Today, we present you with an initial glance at all of the possible safeties that could come into focus come Signing Day 2003.

S Maurice Nelson (6-1,205,4.5)
Terrific strong safety/linebacker prospect. Super speed for his size. Could grow into a linebacker. Solid in coverage and likes to come on the blitz. Recorded 141 tackles and 5 sacks as a junior.

"Speed is the one thing that sets him apart on the football field," said Crestwood Head Coach Keith Crowley. "Maurice is a determined kid that works hard. He is our leader. Maurice could play either position in college. It just depends on the school. He is that versatile."

Nelson is likely the top safety prospect in the state of South Carolina in 2003. He will be camping at Clemson this summer, and he'll start receiving many more offers after the May Evaluation Period. His only offer on the table right now is from Maryland.

S Renaldo Gaskins (6'3,187,4.5)
Gaskins finished his junior year with 81 tackles, 3 INTs, 2 fumble recoveries, and 7 passes broken up. He's an outstanding hitter with good speed.

He has good size at 6'3, and he'll likely be able to grow into his frame a little more this year. He has decent quickness, but he's most known for laying out recievers. The bottomline on this kid is that he's a great pure tackler.

Currently, he is hearing from schools all over the southeast, including Clemson, South Carolina, Michigan, Tennessee, North Carolina, and North Carolina State among others.

Gaskins will also be camping at Clemson this summer.

S Carlos Washington (6'1,207,4.5)
Assistant Coach Brian Clary said the staff is really high on Washington's abilities. "He's been starting for us since he was a freshman," said Clary. "We play him at free safety so he can roam sideline to sideline. He's one of the best tacklers around. When tackles people, they stay tackled."

Washington has gotten early offers from Wake Forest and North Carolina, but does not list a clear leader at this point. "I like North Carolina, South Carolina, Michigan, Florida, and Oregon right now. I don't really care about staying in state or going out of state. I'm camping at North Carolina for sure, and I might go to Clemson."

If Nelson is the top safety in South Carolina, Washington is best in North Carolina.

S Michael Hinton (6'3,195,4.52)
"I like Tennessee, Florida, Michigan, and Virginia. I'll probably be camping at NC State, Elon, and Clemson this summer as well."

He looks like a linebacker, but moves like a corner. "Some of the coaches I've talked to have spoken to me about gaining a little weight and playing linebacker, but I think most of them want me at free safety. My favorite position is corner, but I'll play wherever I can help the most."

He currently has offers from Virginia, East Carolina, and Elon.

Without question, Maurice Nelson is the guy you want to focus on out of this group, at least right now. The kid is as strong as an ox, he has a linebacker's mentality, and the speed of corner. He also is looking favorably at Clemson.

Washington is another solid defender, but you'd like to see him camp this summer in Clemson. The same goes for Michael Hinton- who has really started turning heads in North Carolina.

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