Published December 6, 2010 - 6:00am
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The South Carolina Gamecocks have had a great regular season in 2010 and even won the East, something they have never done before. Even though the Gamecocks lost to the Auburn Tigers in Atlanta, don’t expect them to disappear anytime soon. They are very young and talented, and they return a lot of that talent in Columbia next year.
However, during the 2011 recruiting cycle, it will be very important to build depth behind the players that will be returning, as well as add more talented players that could have an instant impact. Here are five recruits that could have an instant impact in the 2011 recruiting cycle that are already committed.
1. Kelcy Quarles is an immediate impact guy at defensive tackle for the Gamecocks. He will be coming in from Fork Union Prep School and should be ready to play from day one. Quarles will add depth and talent to the tackle position, especially since Ladi Ajiboye is moving on.
2. Damiere Byrd is another immediate impact guy for South Carolina. He is listed as an athlete in most respects, but he will end up at wide receiver. Even though the receiver position is stacked and one of the deepest on the roster, expect Byrd to have some sort of say with regards to playing time. Byrd is lightning fast and can take it to the house at any time.
3. Kadetrix Marcus is a safety out of Stone Mountain, Georgia, who should have an impact on the defensive backfield for the Gamecocks. South Carolina really struggled in pass defense this year, and Marcus should have a chance to immediately step in and have a chance to either win a position or add depth to a group who is growing up quickly.
4. Brandon Shell is another player that should have an opportunity to make an immediate impact and push for playing time as a freshman. Shell is a mammoth of an offensive tackle at 6’7”, 290lbs. The Gamecocks are losing three offensive tackles to graduation this season in Garrett Chisolm, Hutch Eckerson and Jarriel King. Offensive tackle is a position of need, and Shell will have an opportunity to step in and fill that need day one.
5. Kaleb Broome is a 6’6”, 315lb offensive tackle that should come in and push for playing time. Like Shell, Broome has a shot to come in and fill the void at tackle for the Gamecocks.
Everyone wants to know where Jadeveon Clowney will end up because he is the number one prospect in the country, and he is unbelievable on the gridiron. Most think South Carolina, and I think they are right. He is the biggest in-state recruit on the defensive line since Carlos Dunlap. Dunlap chose the Gators over the in-state Gamecocks, but Clowney should pick the Gamecocks over the Crimson Tide and solidify the void left by Cliff Matthews. Clowney is a franchise player.