Gabe Stephens (6-2 180) of Mount Holly, NC is a top highly regarded 2021 prospect in the Tarheel state, just like his dad was in the late 1980’s at King’s Mountain High School. Calvin Stephens was a talented offensive lineman who played at USC under Joe Morrison and Sparky Woods and later played in the NFL. Calvin Stephens died of a heart attack in 2010 and Gabe is one of his sons following in his football steps on the gridiron. This week he named his top 12 schools and the Gamecocks were in that group.
“I know the coaches up there, I know what they are about and how they do things pretty well,” Stephens said. “And it’s kind of right around the corner from me so my family can make it up there with no problem. Of course, I’ve got that family tie that was passed on.”
Also passed on were a multiple of football skills. He has been listed as a defensive back but he said the Gamecocks see him as someone no defense who can be moved around to fit multiple spots.
“They are recruiting me as an athlete,” Stephens said. “They started off offering me as a corner. I played corner in the ninth grade. But now I’m probably going to be like an outside linebacker.” According to MaxPreps stats, Stephens has 241 career tackles and 14 sacks.
Stephens has been to two games at USC this season and might return for the Clemson game. He’s obviously aware of the struggles of this season’s team but said that won’t affect his view of the program as he measures the Gamecocks against the others.
“I just look at it like if I were to go there, hopefully things can be back running up on their feet,” Stephens said. “I don’t look at what they’re doing now. They are still a well disciplined team, things just aren’t going their way right now.”
According to a February 10, 2018 story in the Shelby (NC) Star, Stephens committed to the Gamecocks following his freshman season. after they were the first school to offer him. He has since opened things back up and the rest of his top 12 at this point are Penn State, North Carolina, Florida, Nebraska, Stanford, Wake Forest, Charlotte, Virginia Tech, Louisville, Ohio State and Vanderbilt.
“The list could change at anytime, you never know,” he said. “Florida, North Carolina, Nebraska and Penn State (stand out the most at this point).”
Stephens also has visited Clemson, North Carolina and Virginia Tech this season and he will visit Georgia this Saturday. He said he does not have a timeline on a decision and is not in a rush to make one.