- Jamie Newberg, RecruitingNation
Gaffney prospects to watch
Gaffney (S.C.) High School is 7-0 and ranked No. 1 in the state of South Carolina for a reason -- they have a ton of talent.
Senior wide receiver Quinshad Davis gets all the publicity, but he has help on both sides of the ball.
Junior defensive lineman Jaylen Miller has a bright future ahead of him. At 6-foot-2 and 250 pounds, he plays defensive end but will likely slide inside and be a defensive tackle once he gets to the next level.
“He started for us as a ninth grader,” said Dan Jones, Gaffney’s coach. “And this season he has played as well as I expected. He just needs to continue to keep on doing what he’s doing. Teams like Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Clemson and South Carolina are all showing strong interest. Everyone that comes through here loves him.”
Another special talent is sophomore receiver Shaquille Davidson. He’s 6-0 and 170 pounds and, according to coach Jones, he already has his first offer and there’s no telling just how good he can become with two more high school seasons in front of him.
“South Carolina has already offered him,” Jones said. “He’s just a terrific athlete that can absolutely fly. Shaq has great hands and is quick as a cat. He can return kicks and can score from anywhere. That’s exactly what he has done for us this season. You can’t tackle him unless you run into him.”
Junior defensive back Rico Smith is another to keep a close eye on. At 6-1 and 190 pounds, he plays everywhere in the secondary for Gaffney and even a little linebacker.
Senior quarterback Joey Copeland has a scholarship offer from South Carolina State. He and Davis have both been named to the Shrine Bowl.
T.L. Hanna junior with first offer
Anderson (S.C.) T.L. Hanna High School is home to Under Armour All-American in tight end Justin Meredith, a North Carolina commitment. They also have a junior linebacker that is getting plenty of attention.
That junior is Ben Boulware, who is 6-1 and 225 pounds, and he recently received his first scholarship offer from USF.
“He just goes out there and gets the ball carrier,” said Kenya Fouch, T.L. Hann’s coach. “He plays middle linebacker for us but can also play on the outside. He could play anywhere. Ben is a true sideline-to-sideline guy. He’s everywhere for us.”
Auburn, South Carolina and Tennessee are three teams showing early interest as well. So far in six games, he has an incredible 104 tackles.
“To tell you how dominating Ben has been for us, our second leading tackler has 39 tackles,” Fouch said.
Spartanburg with talent
Spartanburg (S.C.) High School has some talented players with many flying under the radar. One that already has a couple of BCS offers, according to its coach Freddie Brown, is linebacker/safety Justin Bridges-Thompson.
“He came here last semester from Gaffney,” Brown said. “He has size at 6-2 and 200 pounds, and boy is he fast. Justin is an excellent athlete and a good student. Pitt has offered and so has Wake Forest.”
Bridges-Thompson, who will visit Wake Forest this weekend for their home game versus Virginia Tech, was excited about his first two offers.
“That first one from Pitt felt great,” Bridges-Thompson said. “Pitt came in the spring and Wake was over the summer. South Carolina and Clemson are showing interest so far.
Quarterback Adrian Kollock is having himself quite the senior season. So far he has rushed for more than 600 yards and thrown for close to a 1,000. His coach says he's a dual-threat guy with very good presence in the pocket.
“He’s an unbelievable athlete that also plays baseball and basketball,” Brown said. “He’s the best athlete at the school. He has a very good arm and is a runner.”
South Carolina State and Western Carolina have both offered Kollock while teams like East Carolina and Georgia Southern are both showing strong interest.
Three other prospects to keep an eye on are seniors, defensive lineman Jaquille Oden and athlete Diajha Littlejohn and junior linebacker/safety Simeon Byrd.