TE Jalen Shead (6-4 235) of Olive Branch, MS recently named a top five of USC, Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss and Florida State. Gamecocks tight ends coach Bobby Bentley is keeping up with Shead and the two talked earlier this week. He’s dealing with some tough competition within his own conference, and a marquis name from the ACC. Alabama, LSU and Florida State can all pitch championships and a glorious history to Shead, and Ole Miss is right down the road. But in picking his final five, Shead said other facts influenced him.
Bentley along with Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp have done a nice job of selling the program to Shead, who sees an opportunity at USC that can help him reach his goal of making it to the NFL.
“South Carolina stood out because they use the tight end a lot more than some of the other schools that didn’t make it,” Shead said. “I’ve heard some things about South Carolina that South Carolina might be a pretty good school, pretty good program. Coach Muschamp obviously is a pretty good coach. Those are the little things that got them in the top five.”
Shead added that Bentley and Muschamp are doing all they can to make sure the Gamecocks stay in that top five, and of course, possibly be the last one standing.
“They are probably one of the three that is recruiting me pretty hard,” Shead said. “There’s only a few schools that recruit me hard, like really hard. They are one of the three. They do recruit me pretty intensely. LSU and Alabama, they recruit me pretty hard. Ole Miss is actually up there too.”
Shead said there is no timetable for him to make a decision. He has an official visit set with USC for September 19th, but the Gamecocks won’t start the season until the following week, so that likely will be rescheduled. Otherwise, he’s not rushing things.
“A lot of kids in my grade feel like they are being pressured to commit somewhere because we can’t have any visits or do a lot of things,” Shead said. “A lot of people are committing just to commit so they’ll have a spot. I never thought that I would actually be in this position. I’m just going with the flow. There’s not a certain deadline when you have to be committed somewhere. I’m aiming for late September, mid-October, somewhere around then.”
Shead is rated as a three-star prospect by 247Sports. He was used primarily as a blocker last season in a run heavy offense and caught just three passes for 100 yards.