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FOOTBALL SIGNING DAY CENTRAL

 

Feb. 1, 2006

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Press Conference Quotes

NAME POSITION HEIGHT WEIGHT HOMETOWN/HIGH SCHOOL
GARRETT ANDERSON OFFENSIVE LINE 6-5 285 IRMO, S.C./DUTCH FORK
PIERRE ANDREWS OFFENSIVE LINE 6-3 285 CHARLOTTE, N.C./INDEPENDENCE
HEATH BATCHELOR OFFENSIVE LINE 6-7 290 HALEYVILLE, ALA./HALEYVILLE
CASPER BRINKLEY LINEBACKER 6-3 250 THOMSON, GA./GEORGIA MILITARY
RYAN BROADHEAD OFFENSIVE LINE 6-5 265 LEESBURG, GA./LEE COUNTY
MAURICUS "MOE" BROWN WIDE RECEIVER 6-0 170 ANDERSON, S.C./WESTSIDE
SEAVER BROWN OFFENSIVE LINE 6-6 320 CLEARWATER, FLA./COUNTRYSIDE
TERRENCE CAMPBELL DEFENSIVE LINE 6-3 245 AUSTELL, GA./SOUTH COBB
EMANUEL COOK RUNNING BACK 6-0 205 RIVIERA BEACH, FLA./PALM BEACH GARDENS
HUTCH ECKERSON OFFENSIVE LINE 6-6 285 LUMBERTON, N.C./LUMBERTON
KENRICK ELLIS DEFENSIVE LINE 6-5 325 GREENACRES, FLA./JOHN I. LEONARD
CLARK GASTON FULLBACK 6-3 238 CLEVELAND, TENN./OOLTEWAH
CHRIS HAIL DEFENSIVE BACK/WIDE RECEIVER 5-11 185 LOVEJOY, GA./LOVEJOY
JARRIEL KING DEFENSIVE LINE 6-7 275 NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C./NORTH CHARLESTON
CAPTAIN MUNNERLYN DEFENSIVE BACK/WIDE RECEIVER 5-9 175 MOBILE, ALA./MURPHY
ERIC NORWOOD TIGHT END/DEFENSIVE END 6-2 256 ACWORTH, GA./NORTH COBB
RODNEY PAULK LINEBACKER 6-0 200 COLUMBIA, S.C./RICHLAND NORTHEAST
NICK PROCHAK ATHLETE 6-4 210 SPARTANBURG, S.C./SPARTANBURG
VANDARAL SHACKLEFORD LINEBACKER 6-1 220 RIVERDALE, GA./RIVERDALE
CHRIS SMELLEY QUARTERBACK 6-3 210 TUSCALOOSA, ALA./AMERICAN CHRISTIAN
DARIAN STEWART DEFENSIVE BACK/WIDE RECEIVER 6-0 205 HUNTSVILLE, ALA./LEE
KEVIN YOUNG OFFENSIVE LINE 6-5 340 CLEARWATER, FLA./CENTRAL CATHOLIC

GARRETT ANDERSON
OFFENSIVE LINE
6-5 285
IRMO, S.C./DUTCH FORK

High School: Local product attended Dutch Fork HS in Irmo, where he played for coach Bill Kimrey ... Earned a spot on the Orlando Sentinel All-Southern Team ... South Carolina Football Coaches Association Lineman of the Year ... First-team all-state honoree by The State ... No. 2 player in the state at any position, according to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal ... Graded out at 93 percent with 62 knockdown blocks and no sacks allowed his senior year ... Rated as a four-star prospect by Rivals.com ... Rivals.com ranked him has the No. 8 offensive guard in the country and listed him as the No. 3 player in the state of South Carolina, regardless of position ... Earned all-state recognition by the Associated Press after leading the Silver Foxes to an 8-3 record his senior year ... Became the first lineman to be recognized as the Offensive Player of the Week by the Columbia Touchdown Club ... Played alongside fellow Gamecock signees Rodney Paulk and Nick Prochak for the South Carolina team in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.

Personal: James Garrett Anderson was born July 13, 1988 ... Plans on majoring in civil engineering ... Chose South Carolina over offers from Clemson, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.

PIERRE ANDREWS
OFFENSIVE LINE
6-3 285
CHARLOTTE, N.C./INDEPENDENCE

High School: Attended Independence HS in Charlotte, N.C., where he was coached by Coach Tommy Knotts ... Led the Patriots to four state titles ... Independence HS never lost a game with Andrews on the roster ... All conference selection as a sophomore, junior and senior, earning all-state recognition his junior and senior year ... Recognized as Independence's Most Valuable Lineman ... Played on the interior of the Independence offensive line, seeing action at both guard and center ... Is considered to be very mobile as a pulling guard ... Played alongside fellow Gamecock signee Hutch Eckerson for the North Carolina team in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.

Personal: Pierre Andrews was born Dec. 27, 1987 ... Undecided on what he will major in ... Enjoys music ... Chose South Carolina over an offer from LSU, among others.

Coach Tommy Knotts on Andrews:

"He is very likable and social. He gets along with everyone and does not know a stranger. Pierre is very athletic, has long arms and good feet. He has a great work habit, likes to work out, and comes from a winning program."

HEATH BATCHELOR
OFFENSIVE LINE
6-7 290
HALEYVILLE, ALA./HALEYVILLE

High School: Attended Haleyville HS in Haleyville, Ala., where he was coached by Steve Spiller ... Also competed for the track and field team in high school, winning the state title in the discus ... Rated as a three-star prospect by Scout.com ... Was one of three linemen selected by the Alabama Sports Writers Association as a finalist for the 2005 Mr. Football Award as well as the 2005 Class 4A Lineman of the Year Award ... Helped the team to a 10-2 record and a second-round appearance in the state playoffs ... Two-time all-area selection ... PrepStar all-region honoree ... Chosen for the Max Emfinger All-American Bowl ... All-state and Super all-state selection in 2005 ... Also competed for the Haleyville basketball and track and field team ... State champion in the discus and shot put ... Member of the National Honor Society every year since ninth grade ... Included on the list of Who's Who Among American Students ... Member of the Spanish Club and vice president of Students Against Drunk Driving.

Personal: Heath Batchelor was born July 28, 1987 ... Enjoys fishing and hunting in his spare time ... Plans to major in physical education with aspirations to become a coach ... Chose South Carolina over offers from Georgia Tech and Troy.

CASPER BRINKLEY
LINEBACKER
6-3 250
THOMSON, GA./GEORGIA MILITARY

Junior College: Attended Georgia Military College in Milledgeville, Ga., where he was coached by Bert Williams ... Rated as a three-star prospect at linebacker by Scout.com and Rivals.com ... Comes from the same Georgia Military program that produced fellow Gamecock Brandon Isaac.

High School: Attended Thomson HS in Thomson, Ga., where he was coached by Luther Welch ... Led Thomson to the 2002 state championship ... Earned Best Male Athlete honors in addition to all-area recognition as a junior and as a senior.

Personal: Casper Brinkley was born July 12, 1985 ... Twin brother, Jasper is also a Gamecock signee ... Georgia Military teammate Joel Reaves also signed with Carolina ... Plans to major in African Amercian Studies ... Had scholarship offers from Arizona State, Baylor and Kansas State.

Coach Bert Williams on Brinkley:

"Casper Brinkley, much like his twin brother, has been blessed with great ability coupled with a tremendous work ethic and commitment to success in whatever he commits himself to both on and off the field. He will help make an already good USC defense even better."

RYAN BROADHEAD
OFFENSIVE LINE
6-5 265
LEESBURG, GA./LEE COUNTY

High School: Attended Lee County HS in Leesburg, Ga., where he was coached by David Johnson ... Played center as a junior before moving to right tackle as a senior ... Graded out at 90 percent or better in every game his senior year and had 60 pancake blocks ... Class AAAA first-team all-state honoree by the Georgia Sports Writers Association ... Led Lee County to a 10-2 record and its first Region I-AAAA Championship ... Lee County was undefeated in the region and posted its first 10-win season ... Team finished the season ranked No. 5 at the Class AAAA level in the state for the highest ranking in school history ... Earned first-team all-metro, all-area and all-region recognition by the Albany Herald ... Also competed in track and field and wrestling.

Personal: William Ryan Broadhead was born April 27, 1988 ... Plans to major in business ... Enjoys hunting, fishing, boating and camping ... An Eagle Scout ... Chose South Carolina over scholarship offers from East Carolina, Memphis and UAB.

MAURICUS "MOE" BROWN
WIDE RECEIVER
6-0 170
ANDERSON, S.C./WESTSIDE

High School: Attended Westside HS in Anderson, S.C., where he was coached by Ted Luckadoo ... Two-time all-region selection at wide receiver and one-time honoree at cornerback ... Competed for the South Carolina team in the 2005 Shrine Bowl, alongside fellow Carolina commits Garrett Anderson and Rodney Paulk ... Three-star prospect according to Rivals.com ... The web site also listed him as the No. 56 wide receiver in the nation and the No. 13 player at any position in the state of South Carolina ... Led Westside to an 11-2 record and a regional championship ... Also competed for the Westside track and field team, earning all-region and all-state honors in the triple jump ... Was part of the Westside shuttle hurdle relay squad that set new indoor and outdoor national records ... Interested in getting involved with the Carolina track and field program as a hurdler ... Brother, Martez, is a hurdler and high jumper at the University of North Carolina.

Personal: Moe Brown was born Feb. 27, 1988 ... Excellent student was a three-time member of the Westside Honor Roll ... Active in his church ... Chose South Carolina over scholarship offers from Tennessee and Maryland.

SEAVER BROWN
OFFENSIVE LINE
6-6 320
CLEARWATER, FLA./COUNTRYSIDE

High School: Attended Countryside HS in Clearwater, Fla., where he was coached by John Davis ... Rated among the top 40 offensive guards in the country by Rivals.com and was tabbed as the No. 71 player in the state of Florida by the web site ... Represented the state of Florida in the 2005 CaliFlorida Bowl along with fellow Gamecock signee Kevin Young ... First-team all-county and all-Sun Coast selection ... Member of the Class 5A second-team all-state team as selected by the Florida Sports Writers Association ... Helped Countryside to a 9-2 record his senior year.

Personal: Seaver Brown was born March 17, 1988 ... Plans to major in business ... Chose South Carolina over scholarship offers from Maryland and NC State, among several others.

Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Line Coach Todd Belisle on Brown:

"He is a great kid. Everyone likes him. He stays in line and is our leader in the weight room. He is a dominant player on the field. He started every game since his sophomore year and during his sophomore and junior years (a span of 27 games), he did not miss an offensive snap on the field. He is a good, dependable player and will do great things at USC."

TERRENCE CAMPBELL
DEFENSIVE LINE
6-3 245
AUSTELL, GA./SOUTH COBB

High School: Attended South Cobb HS in Austell, Ga., where he was coached by Shane Queen ... Rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, which also tabbed him as the No. 50 strongside defensive end in the country and the No. 42 player in the state of Georgia, regardless of position ... First-team all-county honoree was selected to the North-South All-Star Team ... Cobb County Player of the Week honoree ... Helped South Cobb to a 9-2 record and a regional title ... Also competed for the South Cobb basketball team ... Member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes ... High school teammate of Carolina wide receiver Kenny McKinley.

Personal: Terrence Campbell was born Dec. 18, 1987 ... Enjoys playing basketball and listening to music ... Plans to major in communications ... Chose South Carolina over scholarship offers from Arkansas and Louisville, among others.

EMANUEL COOK
RUNNING BACK
6-0 205
RIVIERA BEACH, FLA./PALM BEACH GARDENS

High School: Attended Palm Beach Gardens HS in West Palm Beach, Fla., where he was coached by Kevin Fleury ... Rushed for 2,027 yards and 27 touchdowns his senior year ... Recognized as the South Florida Sun-Sentinel Player of the Year for large schools ... Led Palm Beach Gardens to the Class 6A state title as a senior, marking the first-ever state championship in school history ... Ran for 373 yards and five touchdowns in a game against Atlantic HS and busted a 99-yard run against Lake Worth HS in the playoffs ... Rushed for 243 yards and four touchdowns in the state title game ... Also played on the defensive side of the ball in high school and was ranked as the No. 21 safety in the country by Rivals.com, who also tabbed him as the No. 51 player in the state of Florida, regardless of position ... A three-star prospect by Rivals.com ... Winner of the Palm Beach Post Character Counts Award ... Recognized as the Lou Groza Award Palm Beach County Player of the Year.

Personal: Emanuel Cook was born Jan. 20, 1988 ... Plans on majoring in sport and entertainment management ... Chose South Carolina over scholarship offers from NC State, Minnesota, Arizona State and Ole Miss, among others.

HUTCH ECKERSON
OFFENSIVE LINE
6-6 285
LUMBERTON, N.C./LUMBERTON

High School: Attended Lumberton HS in Lumberton, N.C., where he played for coach Bill Dockery ... Was a four-year starter ... First-team all conference, all-county and all-state selection ... Rated as a four-star prospect by Rivals.com and is considered as one of the top 10 players coming out of the state of North Carolina, regardless of position ... Listed as the No. 21 offensive tackle in the nation by Rivals.com ... Named to the Associated Press all-state team, along with fellow Carolina signee Pierre Andrews ... Represented North Carolina in the 2005 Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.

Personal: Hutch Eckerson was born Feb. 19, 1988 ... Enjoys hunting and playing golf in his spare time ... Father played at North Carolina State ... Chose South Carolina over scholarship offers from Virginia Tech, NC State, North Carolina and Virginia.

KENRICK ELLIS
DEFENSIVE LINE
6-5 325
GREENACRES, FLA./JOHN I. LEONARD

High School: Attended John I. Leonard HS in Greenacres, Fla., where he was coached by Brian Coe ... Four-star prospect, according to Rivals.com ... Tabbed as the No. 12 defensive tackle in the country by Rivals.com and was recognized as the No. 23 player in the state of Florida by the web site ... Made 67 tackles, 10 sacks and blocked two kicks his senior year despite having the season cut to only eight games as a result of hurricanes ... Played in the Outback Steakhouse All-Star Game ... Class 6A third-team all-state honoree at defensive tackle, according to the Florida Sports Writers Association his junior year.

Personal: Kenrick Ellis was born Dec. 10, 1987 ... Plans on majoring in business management ... Chose South Carolina over scholarship offers from Tennessee, Michigan, Michigan State, NC State and Rutgers.

CLARK GASTON
FULLBACK
6-3 238
CLEVELAND, TENN./OOLTEWAH

High School: Attended Ooltewah HS in Ooltewah, Tenn., where he was coached by Benny Monroe ... Considered as one of the top fullbacks in the nation, as he was ranked as the No. 12 fullback in the country by Rivals.com ... The web site also tabbed him as the No. 13 player at any position in the state of Tennessee ... Earned all-region and all-area honors his junior and senior year ... Started his high school career at Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville, Ga., but transferred to Ooltewah HS in order to graduate early and enroll at South Carolina for the spring, 2006 semester ... Helped Ooltewah to a 9-3 record his senior year ... Carried the ball 54 times for 233 yards and scored seven touchdowns his senior year. Also played on the defensive line, making 3.5 sacks, 5.0 tackles for loss and 28 tackles ... Lettered in baseball.

Personal: Clark Gaston was born Dec. 2, 1987 ... Enjoys hunting and fishing ... Plans to major in biology ... Two-time Biology Award winner and Physical Science Award winner ... Father, Terry, played football at Tennessee and his brother, Jared plays baseball in the Florida Marlins' minor league system ... Chose South Carolina over scholarship offers from Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Navy and North Carolina, among others.

CHRIS HAIL
DEFENSIVE BACK/WIDE RECEIVER
5-11 185
LOVEJOY, GA./LOVEJOY

High School: Attended Lovejoy HS in Lovejoy, Ga., where he played for coach Al Hughes ... Made 35 catches for 600 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior ... All-region selection helped Lovejoy to a pair of regional championships ... Also competed on the Lovejoy HS track and field and basketball teams ... Two-time state champion in the triple jump ... Placed fifth in the 200m ... Honor roll student.

Personal: Dorian Christopher Hail was born July 21, 1988 ... Plans on majoring in mass communications ... Chose South Carolina over scholarship offers from Georgia Tech and Bowling Green.

JARRIEL KING
DEFENSIVE LINE
6-7 275
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C./NORTH CHARLESTON

High School: Attended North Charleston HS in North Charleston, S.C., where he played for coach Nelson Huggins ... Competed in the 2004 North-South All-Star game as a senior ... Named to the Class AAA All-Defensive Team as a defensive lineman by High School Sports Report ... Rated the 11th best player in the state of South Carolina by High School Sports Report ... Rated the 22nd best player in the state of South Carolina by PrepStar ... First-team all-Lowcountry and first-team all-state honoree ... One of 50 players nationwide selected to the Old Spice Red Zone Team as listed in USA Today ... Team captain ... Didn't play organized football until his freshman season at North Charleston High ... Recorded 86 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, and three blocked kicks in 2004 ... As an offensive lineman in 2004, he was credited with 29 pancake blocks ... Also competed in track and field and was the region champion in the shot put.

CAPTAIN MUNNERLYN
DEFENSIVE BACK/WIDE RECEIVER
5-9 175
MOBILE, ALA./MURPHY

High School: Attended Murphy HS in Mobile, Ala., where he played for coach Ron Lee ... Earned a spot on the Alabama Sports Writers Association all-state team ... Three-time all-region selection ... Participated in the Junior All-Star Game and Pigskin Classic in Hawaii ... Helped Murphy HS to a 10-2 record and a 6A Regional runner-up finish his senior year ... Also competed for the Murphy HS track and field team, running the 100m and the 200m ... Has been reported to have run the 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds ... Was clocked at 10.80 in the 100m and 22.43 in the 200m dash and participated in the Junior Olympics.

Personal: Captain Munnerlyn was born April 10, 1988 ... Plans to major in computer science ... Chose South Carolina over scholarship offers from Kansas State and West Virginia.

ERIC NORWOOD
TIGHT END/DEFENSIVE END
6-2 256
ACWORTH, GA./NORTH COBB

High School: Attended North Cobb HS in Acworth, Ga., where he was coached by Bob Clark ... Three-star prospect according to Rivals.com ... The web site also tabbed him as the No. 26 player in the state of Georgia at any position and the No. 34 strongside defensive end in the country ... Made 50 tackles and had 11 sacks as a senior, despite the fact that most teams structured their game plans around avoiding Norwood ... Also played tight end, making 15 catches for 315 yards and three touchdowns ... All-county selection as a linebacker, defensive end and tight end during his career ... Six-time selection as the Cobb County Defensive Player of the Week ... Cobb County Touchdown Club 48 Minute Man of the Year ... Prep Sports all-region team ... Also competed for the North Cobb basketball and track and field teams.

Personal: Eric Norwood was born May 24, 1988 ... Plans to major in pre-law ... Chose South Carolina over scholarship offers from Auburn, Boston College and Oklahoma State, among others.

Coach Clark on Norwood:

"Eric is an exceptional person and athlete. He was a three-year starter for us after moving here from Texas in the 9th grade. He is extremely fun to coach because of the way that he plays. He plays hard, has a good motor and plays the entire game. He played on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball for us as well as on the kick teams."

RODNEY PAULK
LINEBACKER
6-0 200
COLUMBIA, S.C./RICHLAND NORTHEAST

High School: Local product attended Richland Northeast HS in Columbia, S.C., where he was coached by Jay Frye ... Led RNE to the Class 4A Division II title game ... Widely considered as one of the top prospects in the state of South Carolina was rated as the No. 9 player in the state by Rivals.com and was also tabbed as the No. 19 inside linebacker in the nation by Rivals.com ... Led Richland Northeast to a 13-2 record and a state runner-up finish his senior year ... Competed for the South Carolina squad at the 2005 Shrine Bowl ... Selected to the Orlando Sentinel All-Southern team ... All-area selection by The State and was an all-state honoree by the High School Sports Report ... Made an eye-popping 174 tackles, 22 tackles for loss and 12 sacks ... Was a finalist for the state's Mr. Football Award, presented by the South Carolina Auto Dealers Association ... Also competed on the Richland Northeast basketball, soccer and wrestling teams ... Honor roll student.

Personal: Rodney Wellington Paulk was born Sept. 11, 1988 ... Enjoys working out, playing basketball and soccer and wrestling ... Works at the youth center at Fort Jackson ... Plans to major in sport management ... His cousin, Tim Paulk, was an all-SEC linebacker at Florida in 1990 and 1991 ... Chose South Carolina over offers from Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Kentucky, among others.

NICK PROCHAK
ATHLETE
6-4 210
SPARTANBURG, S.C./SPARTANBURG

High School: Attended Spartanburg HS in Spartanburg, S.C., where he was coached by Doc Davis ... Played alongside fellow Gamecock signees Garrett Anderson and Rodney Paulk at the 2005 Shrine Bowl ... Earned a spot on the High School Sports Report all-state team ... Ranked among the top 25 players in the state of South Carolina by Rivals.com ... Played quarterback at Spartanburg HS, and was a finalist for the state's Mr. Football Award, presented by the South Carolina Auto Dealers Association ... 2005 honoree as the WSPG Player of the Year ... Four-time Player of the Week ... Completed 139 of his 226 pass attempts for 1,791 yards and 17 touchdowns in addition to rushing the ball 133 times for 399 yards his senior year ... Won the 2005 Maxwell Award for owning the highest grade point average on the football team ... Also earned the South Carolina Shrine Team Academic Award winner for having the highest GPA of any player on the South Carolina Shrine Bowl roster ... Member of the Spartanburg HS Symphony Orchestra ... Student Body President in 2005-06 ... Member of the Beta Club from 2002-06.

Personal: Nick Prochak was born Sept. 8, 1987 ... Chose South Carolina over offers from Clemson, Vanderbilt and Duke ... Has a sister enrolled in the Honors College at USC.

Coach Davis on Prochak:

"Nick is a high character kid. He has a tremendous work ethic and is a versatile athlete. He played quarterback for us and hopefully he can for USC, but if not, he is versatile enough to move to a different position. He is a kid who may not make an impact his first year but will definitely make an impact before his career is over."

VANDARAL SHACKLEFORD
LINEBACKER
6-1 220
RIVERDALE, GA./RIVERDALE

High School: Attended Riverdale HS in Riverdale, Ga., where he was coached by Nic Davis ... Ranked as the No. 37 outside linebacker in the nation by Rivals.com ... Tabbed as the No. 36 player in the state of Georgia regardless of position by Rivals.com ... Helped Riverdale to an 8-3 record as a senior, making 120 tackles and 20 tackles for loss ... Forced two fumbles and blocked a kick his senior year ... Earned a spot on the Class AAAAA first-team all-state squad, according to NFLHS.com ... Metro Atlanta Defensive Player of the Year ... An honorable mention all-state honoree by the GHSA and by the Georgia Sports Writers Association ... Honor roll student was a member of the math club and was the winner of the Math Excellence award.

Personal: Vandaral Ricardo Shackleford, Jr., was born July 25, 1988 ... Enjoys listening to music and reading ... Plans to major in engineering ... His uncle, Reggie Austin, played for the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings ... Chose South Carolina over offers from Georgia, North Carolina, Duke and Vanderbilt, among others.

Coach Nic Davis on Shackleford:

"He is a great leader on the field. He has great speed, instinct and tremendous athleticism. He is a leader in the classroom with a 3.3 GPA and scored an 1100 on the SAT. The most noticeable characteristic about Vandaral is his character. He is a strong person and really carries himself well."

CHRIS SMELLEY
QUARTERBACK
6-3 210
TUSCALOOSA, ALA./AMERICAN CHRISTIAN

High School: Attended American Christian HS in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where he was coached by Stephen Hooks ... A four-star prospect, according to Rivals.com ... Ranked as the No. 8 pro-style quarterback in the nation by Rivals.com ... Selected as the Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Alabama this season after throwing for a state record 4,120 yards and 59 touchdowns with only nine interceptions ... Smelley's 134 career touchdown passes smashed the existing record of 105 set by former Alabama star Brodie Croyle ... Set a state record by passing for 565 yards in a game against Brantley HS his senior year ... Passed for 10,385 yards during his career, a mark that ranks second all-time in the state of Alabama ... Orlando Sentinel All-Southern team honoree ... Selected to the Alabama Sports Writers Association's 2005 All-State Football Team's Super 12 ... Runner-up for the Mr. Football award in the state of Alabama ... Member of the National Honor Society ... Selected as the Eugene Brittian Award winner for excellence in personal, athletic and academic life every year from his ninth grade year though his senior year, becoming the first person to earn the award multiple times ... Started four games as a seventh grader and every game from his eighth grade year through graduation, compiling a 59-12 record as a starter, including a 39-3 record from his 10th grade through 12th grade years ... Led American Christian to 32 consecutive wins from the end of his ninth grade year through his senior year ... His team was recognized as the WTXT High School Football Team of the Year for West Alabama in 2003, 2004 and 2005 ... Also competed for the American Christian baseball team, earning all-state honors his freshman, sophomore and junior years ... Led his team to state titles in 2004 and 2005 ... Earned MVP honors at the 2005 Alabama State Finals ... Recognized as a Super 9 baseball player by the Tuscaloosa News and was a Super 12 baseball player according to the Birmingham News ... Honored as the Top Sports Baseball Player of the Week four times.

Personal: Christopher Smelley was born Sept. 29, 1986 ... Plans on majoring in business ... Enjoys hunting, fishing and reading in his spare time ... Sister, Jana, competes for the Birmingham Southern College volleyball team ... Chose South Carolina over scholarship offers from Tennessee, Ole Miss, Louisville and NC State, among others.

Coach Hooks on Smelley:

"Chris is the total package. He excels both academically and on the football field. He is very coachable, makes good decisions, and is a winner. In our offense, he ran the offense the last two years and called the plays on the field. He exudes confidence and we will miss his leadership. When he is on the field, he elevates the level of play of everyone on the field. If I had to sum him up in one word, it would be "integrity". If he says he is going to accomplish something, his word is gold and it will happen. South Carolina is going to be thrilled with Chris both on and off the field."

DARIAN STEWART
DEFENSIVE BACK/WIDE RECEIVER
6-0 205
HUNTSVILLE, ALA./LEE

High School: Attended Lee HS in Huntsville, Ala., where he was coached by David O'Conner ... A three-star prospect according to Rivals.com ... Rated as the No. 35 safety in America by Rivals.com ... Made 25 pass receptions for 581 yards (23.2 yards per catch) with six touchdowns ... Also rushed for five touchdowns ... As a free safety he had four interceptions and 54 tackles ... Led Lee HS to an 11-3 record his senior year ... Selected as the Huntsville Times' Super All-Metro Most Valuable Player as a senior ... Finalist for the 5A Back of the Year Award ... All-city and all-metro honoree in 2004 and 2005 ... Four-year letterwinner for the Lee HS basketball team as a guard was an all-metro selection in 2004 and 2005, earning city MVP honors in 2004 ... Averaged 21 points per game as a junior and 28 points per game as a senior ... Competed two years on the track and field team, finishing third in the state in the triple jump.

Personal: Darian Stewart was born Aug. 4, 1988 ... Chose South Carolina over scholarship offers from Georgia Tech, Louisville, Kentucky and Southern Miss, among others ... Younger brother, Jared, is a talented quarterback/defensive back at Lee HS.

Coach O'Conner on Stewart:

"Darian is an explosive, hard hitter. He is a joy to be around and coach. He plays hard on the field and excels at three sports: football, basketball, and track. He is personable kid and has a super personality."

KEVIN YOUNG
OFFENSIVE LINE
6-5 341
CLEARWATER, FLA./CENTRAL CATHOLIC

High School: Attended Catholic HS in Clearwater, Fla., where he was coached by Michael Jalazo ... A four-star prospect according to Rivals.com ... Tabbed as the No. 20 offensive tackle in the nation by Rivals.com ... Rated as the No. 45 player in the state of Florida by Rivals.com ... Represented the state of Florida in the 2005 CaliFlorida Bowl along with fellow Gamecock signee Seaver Brown ... Class 2B first-team all-state football honoree as selected by the Florida Sports Writers Association ... Was also a first-team all-Sun Coast honoree ... Led his team to the 2005 District and Region titles ... Academic honor roll selection ... Also lettered in baseball.

Personal: Kevin Young was born Nov. 12, 1987 ... Plans to major in business ... Enjoys lifting weights ... Chose South Carolina over scholarship offers from Florida State, Miami (Fla.) and West Virginia, among others.


 

 

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