College coaches often times are looking for specific characteristics in potential prospects that they feel will be conducive to their scheme whether it be offensively or defensively. One prospect who just oozes with potential in the 2013 class is Abbeville linebacker/defensive end Kennan Gilchrist. As one of Abbeville's defensive standouts Gilchrist has helped the Panthers win back to back 1A state championships. The 6'3 200 pound prospect put together an extremely impressive junior campaign and has schools already taking a hard look at him. That's why Gilchrist is "UP NEXT" with SCPrepNation.com.
His junior season saw him dominate playing at defensive end for the Panthers where he put up some strong numbers. Gilchrist shared his junior stats with us.
"I had 60 solo tackles, 39 assists, 7 quarterback pressures, 7 sacks, 2 interceptions, 3 batted passes, 1 caused fumble, 3 recovered fumbles, and 3 defensive touchdowns."
Gilchrist also talked about the game he considered his very best as well.
"My best game was against the traditional powerhouse, Lincolnton County Red Devils. I had eleven tackles and two assists. It was so memorable because it was a big time rivilary and at that time they were one of the best football team in 1A in the state of Georgia. Also I had made a milestone with 13 total tackles in that game."
The game against Lincolnton County was the Panthers' only loss on the season as they would run the table again and hoist another state championship trophy. Having won back to back titles and set to return for his senior season next year what are Gilchrist's goals looking ahead to next year?
"My goals are just to help my team win another state championship and just give them my best with everything I do. My personal goal is to have more tackles and make more game changing plays."
His abilities haven't gone unnoticed by college coaches either.
Gilchrist has already taken a couple of visits and he talked about what he liked about the schools he's seen so far.
"I visited South Carolina for their game against The Citadel. I like the facilities they had and how when I got there we got to see coach Spurrier and listen to him. I was also able to watch a former Abbeville High player play so that was nice. I visted Clemson for their game against Wake Forest. I love the atmosphere and how everybody seems like a family. I also liked getting to talk to the different coaches which makes it seem like home."
Gilchrist has an upcoming visit to Duke on March 17th he says and is looking forward to see what the Blue Devils have to offer in Durham.
Right now he says most college coaches are recruiting him as an outside linebacker or spur. It's a position that he's comfortable with and although he's lined up at defensive end a great deal a move to linebacker won't affect his decision making process.
"No sir I have always been a team player and willing to play whereever my team needs me."
Asked to talk about where he feels his biggest strengths are on the field Gilchrist replied, "I've got a nose for the ball, my tackling abilities, and my non stop motor are my biggest strengths."
He says that he'll continue to work on his strength and footwork heavily this off season in an effort to improve.
Gilchrist already knows what factor will play a huge role in his decision making process and he shared that with us. In fact, he stressed it by mentioning it multiple times.
"Education, education, and education."
Having said that Gilchrist reports a 3.6 GPA in the classroom and he says he received a 1020 on the SAT in his first try. He actually will be taking it for the second time on Saturday March 10th in an effort to improve on his score. He hasn't ruled out taking it even more times to achieve the highest score possible.
With that said we expect Gilchrist to start picking up more interest in the very near future heading towards his senior season. Be sure to check out his junior season highlight clips courtesy of SCPrepNationTV to see why we're so high on the talented Abbeville standout.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS...KENNAN GILCHRIST
Bench press: 285 lbs
Squat: 365 lbs
Power clean: 235 lbs
Fastest 40 time: 4.68 seconds