An Interview With Charles Silas

His was one of the most hotly contested signings on the board. One day it was South Carolina, the next day it was Arkansas, then the Gamecocks again, and so it went. But on signing day Silas made it final when he penned his name to the Gamecocks' Letter of Intent and thus, made a lot of Gamecock fans happy in the process. This is how it all went down and more about this super defensive end prospect ...

Charles Silas is one of those players that comes along rarely ... a combination of size and speed coupled with a great work ethic and intensity.

We first spoke with one of Charles' coaches at Georgia Military, Coach Jeff Tatum.

"Number one Charles is a very good leader ... he's not one of those vocal kind of guys, but he steps up and when it is time to go to work the rest of the guys really follow him well."

And what about the battle between Arkansas and South Carolina for Charles' services that had fans from both schools on the edge of their seats heading into the final days?

"It was going back and forth between Arkansas and South Carolina ... and I think he is a good person and a good leader, that's why they both wanted him," said Coach Tatum.

Tatum continued to word his comments carefully.

"He came from a real good high school program - and with him being a defensive linemen, which are hard to find nowadays ... and when there is a good one out there you really really have to recruit him hard. And Arkansas was recruiting not only his high school teammate but also a teammate from here and I think there was a comfort factor involved."

Silas commented, "It got crazy for awhile. I signed with South Carolina out of high school but then Arkansas came in hard. And I started hearing things from all directions. I mean it was just a lot of people saying this and that about South Carolina ... they (unnamed and unspecific) were talking negative and saying I was going to be just another number on the depth chart in Columbia. People were saying they were going on probation ... things like that. It got real confusing sometimes."

Tatum added, "South Carolina signed him out of high school. He really liked Coach Roberts. Plus SC has signed guys from the Swainsboro area before ... plus all of the Georgia Military guys already on the team up there. Plus he is closer to home and those kind of things so it was hard for him to turn down South Carolina in the end and I think that's why they won."

"I feel very good about signing with the Gamecocks now that's its over. I signed with them out of high school so I liked them first, and I know I am going to do well there," said Charles.

Silas is 6-5 255 right now ... but he runs well. "He's a good athlete most of all," according to Tatum. "He started on the basketball team at Swainsboro High and they went a long way in the state basketball playoffs ... and the South Carolina coaches really liked him out of high school because he is a quality athlete that can do so many things for a young man his size."

Tatum continued to tout his untangibles, "He plays hard ... that's why everyone wanted him. He doesn't just go out there and lay around ... he really gets after it when he is out there on the field and the ball is in play. Listen, our stats are very accurate on him because we took them off straight of off the film ... 38 solo tackles, 17 assists, 5.5 sacks, 9 tackles for a loss, and he also made Junior College All-American this past season. He's a big time football player."

"He played linebacker for us last year (his first year at GMA) if that tells you what kind of athlete he is. I think South Carolina knew he would grow into a defensive lineman eventually ... but last year at 225 he was undersized. But he has the defensive lineman (end) body now."

Silas says there have been some comparisions made to Kalimba Edwards and John Abraham.

"The coaches told me I'll be playing both defensive end and outside linebacker ... like they did with Kalimba Edwards and John Abraham."

"I've got two to play two so I have to use those two years wisely and not waste any time. I talked to (Coach) Dave Roberts about that, he was my recruiter ... he's a straight up guy and he knows his stuff and I trust him."

Silas is unsure about his major at the moment but he does tell us that academics was a factor when it came down to his final choice between Arkansas and The Gamecocks. "Once my Mom saw the graduation rate at South Carolina as compared to the others, she was really impressed. I'll go in undecided on my major ... no idea what I want to do just yet."

And as far as Silas' physical attributes beyond his height (6-5) and weight (255) are concerned?

"My speed is one of my best attributes ... the last time I was timed was a 4.55 forty. My bench is 315 but that will get a lot better when I get to USC. I squat 425 and my verticle leap is 30 inches."

"I want to get up there early and start working out with the team. I think I can come in there and earn a starting position .... I practice hard, I like to play the game."

Silas finished by asking to send this message to all Gamecock fans reading on the web site

"I read that web site all year long and I just want to tell the Gamecock fans that will be reading this that I am coming there to contribute and I'll give them my all. All of us coming in with this class intend to play for the SEC Championship, or even a national championship before we leave there."

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