Saturday Down South Top 20 Players Of 2011 – Pre Season Edition – No. 18

Saturday Down South is continually counting down the top 20 players in the SEC for 2011 – pre-season style!

Stephon Gilmore – No. 18

The South Carolina Gamecocks are coming off their first ever SEC East championship, and there is much excitement already brewing for next year. The secondary was a weak point for the program this past season, but there was one player that fans could keep their confidence in when the ball was in the air. That confidence came and will continue to come in the form of the ultra-talented sophomore Stephon Gilmore.

Gilmore plays corner with the size of a safety, at 6-1, 190lbs. Not only can he cover just about anyone, but he can also take a snap at the quarterback position in the Wildcat offense and beat you with his legs. In high school, Gilmore used to play quarterback at South Pointe, the same school Jadeveon Clowney attended. Gilmore was one of the first big-time in-state recruits South Carolina received a commitment from during the Steve Spurrier era.

Last year, Gilmore led the team in interceptions, with three, and punt return yardage, with 47. He started all 14 games for the Gamecocks, and he also led the team in tackles with 79.

Even though Gilmore is one of the best players in the SEC, he was included in the criticism for the defensive secondary being man-handled in a couple of games. However, I look for him to cement himself as a lockdown corner and be one of the best in the SEC for 2011. He can truly be as good as he wants to be. He has all the athleticism and talent that anyone could ever need to really excel as a corner, and I look for him to come into his own entering his junior season.

There sure is a lot to be excited about in Columbia for 2011.

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