"The sky is the limit" for new USC commitment

South Carolina picked up a commitment from American Heritage (Plantation, FL) standout LB Brent Singleton on Thursday evening, giving the Gamecocks another athletic, hard-hitting defensive pledge in the 2009 recruiting class. GamecockAnthem.com spoke with American Heritage Head Coach Byron Walker on Friday, and he talked in-depth about what type of player USC has landed in his star linebacker.

The Gamecocks entered the 2009 recruiting cycle with a need for athletic outside linebackers, and with the addition of Brent Singleton to go along with earlier commitment Quin Smith, USC is off to a good start in filling that need. According to Coach Byron Walker, the Gamecocks have landed a great football player in Singleton, and he'll only get better once maturing through USC's strength and conditioning program in the coming years.

"Brent's got a great nose for the ball, and he's a very physical player. He covers a lot of ground. He's a strong kid too. We play an aggressive style of defense, and he takes the lead in being a big-hitter for us," said Walker. "I think he'll do very well at South Carolina. Once they get him on campus and help him build his body to its full potential, I think the sky is the limit for him as an outside linebacker. I think they've got themselves a heck of a player."

Singleton totaled 60 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, and 5 sacks in his junior season last fall, and he rushed for another 780 yards and 15 touchdowns on offense. Walker stated that Singleton's versatility, playmaking ability, and leadership have meant a great deal to the American Heritage program throughout his high school career.

"He's meant a tremendous amount to our program. He's obviously a great player and a great athlete. He's a kid we count on every day. He's a great leader for us," he said. "He's played mostly linebacker and some defensive end for us. Our plan is to use him as a half-field safety some this year where we run more of a 3-3-5 scheme. He's played running back for us. He's just very versatile and can do a lot of things."

Singleton, who bench presses 250 pounds and squats 400, has had a very strong offseason and is measuring in at a solid 6'1" and 204 pounds this summer. Walker believes Singleton feels somewhat overlooked despite his on-the-field accomplishments and has used that as motivation to prove his doubters wrong this fall.

"He had a great spring, and he's not slowed down this summer. I think in his mind he's probably felt like he didn't get the attention that some (other prospects around the state) got coming off a great year last year. He feels like he still has a lot to prove, and I'm sure he'll do that this season."

While Singleton is a very talented athlete and football player on the gridiron, Walker says that he is equally as impressive off the field.

"Brent is a great kid and comes from a great family. He really represents the personality of our team. He's a kid that's easy to talk to for his teammates and coaches. He's got a great work ethic and is a natural leader. We all think a lot of him, and we couldn't be happier for him and his family."

Singleton, who runs a 4.58 second forty yard dash, chose the Gamecocks over offers from Syracuse, Minnesota, Indiana, Colorado State, Vanderbilt, and others. He's expected to be upgraded to high 3-star status in Scout.com's rankings next month.

The following is Scout.com Southeastern Recruiting Manager Burk Hayes evaluation of Singleton:

Highly athletic LB/RB combo simply makes plays. As sure a tackler as there is, he unloads from his feet and has outstanding hips. Smooth and always in control, he doesn't waste movement and has incredible body control. Plays faster than time would suggest and carries high value on both sides of the ball. Is a highly-instinctive player who puts himself in position to make plays, arrives in a bad mood and finishes.

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