National Signing Day has come and gone and a new batch of high school football players are being assigned rankings by various recruiting networks. We at SportsTalk wanted to find out how the rankings of the starters on both sides of the ball compared for Clemson and South Carolina. We took the starters from this year’s South Carolina-Clemson game to see how they rated coming out of either high school, or prep school, according to Rivals.
Clemson boasted the only 5-star starters in the game, with wide receiver Sammy Watkins and middle linebacker Stephone Anthony. The Gamecocks had eleven starters who were 4-stars, compared to ten 4-star starters for Clemson. 4-stars littered Clemson’s offense and Carolina’s defense, as each unit had seven.
South Carolina’s defense was one of the best in the country this season, and a look at the starting unit shows it was comprised of nothing but 4-star and 3-star players. On offense, Carolina’s starting receivers were all 4-stars. The Gamecock backfield consisted of 3-star players at quarterback and tailback.
Clemson’s offense featured five skill players who were 4-stars or higher. The Tiger defense had four starters who were at least 4-star players. Interestingly enough, two of Clemson’s best defensive performers were 2-star players.
South Carolina Offense:
4-Stars: WR Jason Barnes, WR Damiere Byrd, LG A.J. Cann, WR Alshon Jeffrey
3-Stars: RG Terrence Campbell, C T.J. Johnson, RT Mike Matulis, QB Connor Shaw, TB Brandon Wilds
2-Stars: TE Justice Cunningham, LT Rokevious Watkins
5-Stars: WR Sammy Watkins
4-Stars: TE Dwayne Allen, QB Tajh Boyd, RB Andre Ellington, C Dalton Freeman, WR DeAndre Hopkins, RG Antoine McClain, RT Landon Walker
3-Stars: WR Jaron Brown, LG David Smith
No Rank: LT Phillip Price (walk-on)
South Carolina Defense:
4-Stars: SPUR Antonio Allen, CB Stephon Gilmore, SS DeVonte Holloman, DE Melvin Ingram, DT Kelcy Quarles, DT Travian Robertson, CB C.C. Whitlock
3-Stars: MLB Rodney Paulk, OLB, Quin Smith, FS D.J. Swearinger, DE Devin Taylor
5-Stars: MLB Stephone Anthony
4-Stars: DE Malliciah Goodman, DT Brandon Thompson, OLB Tig Willard
3-Stars: CB Bashaud Breeland, SS Xavier Brewer, FS Rashard Hall, CB Martin Jenkins, DT Rennie Moore
2-Stars: DE Andre Branch, CB Coty Sensabaugh
Story by Rixon Lane