Pre-Season South Carolina Top 25

Summer camps and combines have now come and gone as players begin to look toward their senior years. Which prospects have seen their stock rise or fall the most?

With more evaluations on hand and a better idea of what prospects are capable of, CUTigers takes a look at how the best players in South Carolina stack up.

THE GOOD: No one saw their stock rise more than Manning's Johnavon Fulton. He possesses great size for a corner and has decent straight line speed. However, there were questions with regard to his ability to play the position and his natural cover skills. At every single camp that he performed, he showed why he is deserving of being regarded not only as one of the best corners in the southeast, but in the nation. He has the ability to be an absolute lock down corner at the next level and has the size to be an even match for even the most physical of receivers. Fulton is a prospect that should make a serious run at the top 100 players nationally if he continues to blossom this fall.

Kalon Davis also saw his stock take a significant rise after working out for coaches. Though the huge prospect is tipping the scales at a hefty 340+ lbs., he carries it exceptionally well. He is light on his feet shows decent technique. His pass protection is especially advanced for this stage in his career. There are no concerns regarding his physicality as Davis plays with a nasty demeanor and enjoys getting after it in the trenches. Davis will need to spend some time reshaping his body, reducing some of the "baby fat" and adding on some functional weight in the form of muscle.


Clemson commitment Kalon Davis also saw his stock take a significant rise after working out for coaches.
A new comer to the list that saw their stock soar is Gamecock commit Brandon Golson. A virtual unknown, Golson managed to rack up some gaudy numbers in very limited action due to being sidelined for much of this past fall. After working out in front of South Carolina's staff, he garnered an offer and committed on the spot. His explosion and attacking style allow him to make plays behind the line of scrimmage. However, one must be cautious with heaping too much praise on the young prospect as he has a painfully small sample size from which to draw on and has a body and game that may land him as a tweener prospect between defensive end and linebacker. That being said, Eric Norwood doesn't seem to have suffered from being a tweener…

THE BAD: Earlier this spring, it was mentioned that though Lattimore was the clear No. 1 running back in the state, there was another that wasn't far behind in Mustafa Greene. In terms of talent, nothing has changed. Greene is a physically impressive back that runs with power and determination, almost seeking out contact rather than turning away from it. However, off the field troubles have kept recruiters at bay. Because of this, Greene took a tumble in this batch of the rankings, but don't let his current ranking fool you; he still has tremendous talent and ability. If he is able to clear some things up, expect several BCS schools to come calling.

A pair of defensive ends saw their stock drop dramatically. Kendrick Frazier and Kegan Funderburk saw their recruiting take flight earlier this spring only to find it grounded by the time summer rolled around. Both recruits have some work to do in the classroom in order to qualify for enrollment next year. Frazier, although not as big as advertised and somewhat stiffer than anticipated, has a lot of upside and could find himself a hot commodity next year from the Prep School ranks. Funderburk could work his way into some teams' interest late in the process if he can get his grades in order. Talent wise, both are worthy of being in the top 20 in the state, but the other factors pushed their stock lower.


Jerrell Priester saw his stock rise significantly after making the rounds at several camps this summer.
COMING AND GOING: As always, the extensive evaluation period leads to heavy shuffling in the rankings. Part of the re-ranking process involves players who fall out of the rankings entirely and some new faces that rise up to take their places. First, those who are no longer on the list: Kegan Funderburk (previously 17) dropped out due to the reasons given above, Andre Whitmire (previously 19) failed to impress during any of the camp evaluations and has seen his stock suffer, Clayton Geathers (previously 22) did nothing to cause him to drop, but also didn't do enough to hold off the other risers, Sheldon Robinson's (previously 23) height is still a concern as are his stiff hips, but he should still land at a Division 1 school, Antuawn Blue (previously 24) is one of the best pure athletes in the state, but academics are diverting major attention, and Quinten Darby falls out, though he could be a sleeper, "big back" gem for a smaller school.

Entering the fray are a host of new names: the aforementioned Brandon Golson, Jerrell Priester was a big oversight from the initial rankings and deserves his spot within the top 20, Cornelius Jones was impressive both as a do-it-all athlete and as a QB and he could wind up doing either in Rich Rodriguez's high-powered offensive scheme, slot receiver Nick Jones showed in various 7-on-7 tournaments why he belongs, Tom O'Brien knows how to build a team in the trenches and may have found a gem in Thomas Teal at DT, and finally, Logan Stewart is one of the better offensive lineman in the state and makes the cut for the top 25.

ODDS AND ENDS: Several players may have jostled around a few spots without their stock moving up or down due to the other prospects on the list moving. Many of these guys were already committed and thus, did not work out in many, if any, combines or camps. As a consequence, their stock didn't move up or down and will have to wait until the season to see any real change in their ranking. Some of these players include the Gamecock commits of A.J. Cann and Eric Mack, as well as Clemson's Joe Craig.


Corey Miller is a player that has been an absolute animal at every camp he has attended, shredding the competition. However, there are concerns that he is roughly as good as he is ever going to get.
There are several players who are already committed to Division I-A schools or are should end up with some offers that just missed the list. In no particular order, prospects who were considered but missed the top 25: Brice Laughlin, Marques Pair, Sheldon Robinson, Okoye Houston, Stephen Curtis, Justin Henderson, Kegan Funderburk, Zach Miller, Antuawn Blue, and Clayton Geathers.

Finally, this discussion should include a quick note about the prep powerhouse of the state, Byrnes High School. Byrnes develops their players better than virtually any other program in the entire nation. As a result, their players always appear dominant at camps and, indeed, dominant at the high school level. While this allows the Rebels to maximize the productivity of their players at this level, much of the time, their ultimate develop or potential upside is more limited than that of other prospects. Corey Miller is a player that has been an absolute animal at every camp he has attended, shredding the competition. However, there are concerns that he is roughly as good as he is ever going to get. This is not to say that he is not a very good prospect (he is), but, that while his dominance now is impressive, other, currently less imposing recruits, may end up being better players down the road. While attempting to maintain impartiality to prospects and their respective schools, this must be taken under consideration when ranking the players.

Note: CUTigers.com will release its updated Top 25 Thursday.

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