Five Sleepers To Watch In The 2007 Class
#5. S Arkee Smith
This Jacksonville, FL native flew beneath the radar of the major Sunshine State programs during the recruiting process, but USC believes they got a steal in the 6'1, 190 pound Smith. He is a rangy defender who possesses good football instincts and loves to dish out punishment from his safety position. Smith is also a fixture in the weight room, and he is always looking for ways to improve. With that kind of dedication and raw ability, Secondary Coach Ron Cooper, who has a strong history of developing DB's, will enjoy coaching Smith in the coming years.
#4. RB Patrick DiMarco
The 6'3, 230 pound Dimarco came out of nowhere to commit to the Gamecocks in mid-December, but he has since become a fan favorite for the leadership, versatility, and hard nosed play he displayed in helping lead his high school team to a state runner-up finish in the Florida 6-A playoffs. The Gamecocks plan to use Dimarco's talents at the H-back position on offense, which is a combination of tight end and fullback. Some have compared his skill set to former Florida Gator fullback Billy Latsko, and USC hopes that he will have a similar impact in the Gamecock offense during his career in Columbia.
#3. CB Addison Williams
Another defensive back who is often forgotten amongst the star studded 2007 class is Atlanta, GA native Addison Williams. The 5'9, 170 pound Williams may not be physically imposing, but he more than makes up for that with his play on the field. He has already drawn comparisons to former Georgia standout cornerback Tim Jennings due to his fearless, physical brand of play. Williams, who has already graduated from high school and will join the Gamecocks in the summer, also has excellent hips and ball skills from the cornerback position. With a little coaching and some time in USC's strength program, he will certainly be a player to watch in the Carolina defensive backfield.
#2. TE Mat Williams
Although he claimed offers from major programs like South Carolina, Louisville, Ole Miss, Pittsburgh, and Wake Forest during the recruiting process, Williams, who was rated as the #50 tight end prospect in America by Scout.com, did not receive the national recognition that one would expect. The 6'5, 230 pound Williams is an athletic playmaker who runs well, has soft hands, and simply loves to compete on the gridiron. While he may need a couple years in the system before being physically ready to contribute at the SEC level, Williams will eventually show why the Gamecocks made him such a top priority in this class.
#1. WR Michael Bowman
When looking at South Carolina's 2007 wide receiver class, which many consider to be the top receiver class in the country, Anson, NC native Michael Bowman is often the forgotten man. While the 5'11, 165 pound Bowman may not have the name appeal of players like Chris Culliver, Matt Clements, or Jason Barnes, he could very well end up being the steal of this class. Bowman is an explosive playmaker with the ball in his hands, and he possesses uncanny elusiveness in the open field. Bowman could be an immediate impact player as a return specialist, similar to Florida's Brandon James this past season, but he may need some time to adjust to the wide receiver position on the college level. USC Recruiting Coordinator David Reaves recently commented on Bowman, by saying, "Michael Bowman did not get a lot of publicity, but if you watch his highlight tape and put the ball in his hands, he's making plays all over the field." If that holds true, then Bowman may not be the "forgotten man" for much longer.
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