USC’s pursuit of TE Jalen Shead (6-4 235) of Olive Brach, MS is off to a good start. According to Shead, the Gamecocks just recently discovered him, and recruiter Bobby Bentley has worked quickly in relationship building. So quick in fact, Shead has scheduled an official visit with the Gamecocks for the weekend of the Missouri game September 19th.
“I guess I started picking up a few other offers and I guess they just found me on Twitter,” Shead said. “I might have DMed one of their coaches, but they probably didn’t see it because I didn’t get a response or anything. But I was picking up a few offers here and there and I guess they found me on their timeline. We talked for maybe a few days and then they offered me. We haven’t built that much of a relationship yet. We’ve been talking about the official visit and academics. On down the line we’ll connect a little more.”
Shead and Bentley have talked in detail about the Gamecocks’ offense, how they use the tight end and what they like about him for their offense.
“He said I would like the offense that they run,” Shead said. “He showed me a lot of stats from past tight ends they’ve dealt with and the things that they’ve done with them. He told me how I would fit in very good with their scheme and the formations that they run. I’d be on the field a lot and everything like that. He said he likes my quick feet, good hips, good mobility, my versatility I guess you could said.”
While he doesn’t know much about the Gamecock football program, past or present, Shead is interested enough to do his due diligence and learn more about what they have to offer.
“The stats that they showed me were pretty impressive,” Shead said. “There are two or three of my friends that want to go to South Carolina pretty bad, so I did some research. I like the campus and facilities, things like that. Everything seemed to be pretty cool. I can’t wait to go on the official to see for myself.”
Shead said he only caught 3 passes last season for under 100 yards. But that’s not because he can’t catch the football. Rather, he just played his role in an offense that featured the run.
“Our two running backs had pretty good years last year and the year before,” Shead said. “They got a thousand yards each the last two seasons. We’ll throw it in a third and long situation, but it’s usually a post or a slant, something simple. My coach from last year liked running the ball because nobody could really stop it,, and he didn’t want to change anything. And I understood that, so I just did what I had to do. I just made the most out of it.”
Shead, since his USC offer last week, has also picked up offers from Alabama and Arkansas. He alslo has offers from TCU, Florida State, Colorado, Kansas State, Memphis, Ole Miss, UCF, Tulane, Liberty and others. He does not have favorites at this point but he plans to name some soon. He’s also a basketball player, so he will not graduate early. A decision won’t come until after he takes his official visits.