Jimmy Legree: The playmaker

USC picked up a commitment from Beaufort (SC) standout cornerback Jimmy Legree last week, and while Legree has flown beneath the proverbial recruiting radar of many schools thus far, Beaufort head coach Mark Clifford believes the Gamecocks have picked up a real steal in his star playmaker. Read inside as GamecockAnthem.com talks with Clifford about what type player Legree is on the gridiron.

The 6'0", 170 pound Legree, who runs a 4.5 second forty dash, was one of the top performers at South Carolina's prospect camp back in June and picked up an offer from the Gamecocks following that strong performance. At the camp, Legree displayed natural coverage skills and the ability to use his size and athleticism to make plays on the ball in the air. According to Clifford, that's nothing new for his standout cornerback.

"In practice, we haven't shied away from him. We've been trying to throw at him. We've completed a couple on him, but not many. He's a great cover guy. He's really coming into his own as a cover guy. You've got to throw a perfect ball to complete one on him, and even then he's probably going to get in there and knock it down," said Clifford. "In fact, he went over the top of somebody the other day in practice. (Our quarterback) threw it right in the receiver's chest, and Jimmy went over the top of him and picked it off. He's just a playmaker. He's got great ability, and he's a good, solid football player."

Legree has had a very strong summer gearing up for his senior season, and Clifford plans to use his versatile playmaker in a variety of roles this fall.

"Jimmy has had a great summer. He's probably worked out this summer more than anybody," he said. "We're going to ask a lot out of him this year. He's a leader on our team. He's going to play return man and receiver, and we'll use him in the backfield. Obviously he'll play DB. He might even be the long snapper."

As far as his future at South Carolina, Clifford believes that Legree has all the tools to be successful on the SEC level.

"He has the work ethic to be successful, and I definitely think he has the skill to become successful. It's all about being tough and competing and making plays at that level. I think leaving here, he'll have all the skills and the work ethic to be successful at South Carolina."

While Legree is obviously a tremendous talent on the football field, Clifford says that he is also a first class young man away from the gridiron.

"He's got a good mom. She's very into his life, and he's had a great upbringing. He's real motivated by his brother, who's in junior college now and is getting ready to come out. We never get any bad comments from any of his teachers. He's a good student. He's got about a 3.5 (GPA). He's just a good kid."

Legree is one of the top performers in the Beaufort HS weight room, as he benches 245 pounds, power cleans 255, and squats 300. He totaled 65 tackles, 6 interceptions, and 10 pass break-ups in his junior season last fall.

He joins a talented South Carolina defensive back class that also includes Corey Addison, Damario Jeffery, and Chris Payne.

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