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June 13, 2005
SC heavy at the top
It is a top-heavy year with regards to college football prospects in the state of South Carolina.
Traditionally talent-laden for a state of only four million people, 2006 is no different with a glance at the top of the Rivals.com preseason South Carolina top 30.
Offensive lineman Clifton Geathers, defensive end Ricky Sapp and defensive lineman Adam Patterson all claim offers from virtually every school in the Southeast and multiple traditional powers across the nation. The trio also is being heavily pursued by Clemson and South Carolina in-state.
Geathers, Sapp and Patterson all are Rivals100 selections and top 50 national prospects. Geathers rates No. 33, Sapp No. 42 and Patterson No. 48 on the list.
Click HERE to go to the 2006 South Carolina preseason Top 25.
There also is a solid second wave of top prospects. Clemson defensive back commit Byron Maxwell, Georgia athlete commit Ronnie Tyler and Texas defensive line commit Ben Alexander precede athlete Prince Miller and defensive back Darius Gaither who both hold offers from most of the schools in the Southeast. Kicker Richard Jackson has offers from Texas A&M, LSU and Maryland while linebacker Rodney Paulk has offers from North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia Tech.
Paulk and Jackson are the two fastest-rising prospects in the top 10.
Beyond the first 10, however, this class isn't as deep as in recent years in the Palmetto State. There are some players, however, who are potential sleepers.
Linebacker Dekoda Watson had a nice performance at the Athens NIKE camp and could emerge as a big-time prospect as could Julius Wilkerson who plays the same position and already holds an offer from Clemson.
Offensive lineman Josh Harrison is a prospect that the in-state schools are in on, but he has yet to receive an official offer. Quarterback B.J. Phillips has very good upside at 6-foot-5 and holds offers from Kentucky and Maryland, among others. Defensive end Jayson Ayers claims an offer from Tennessee, where brother Robert signed.
Some in South Carolina also feel that defensive back Avery Drakeford is the state's most underrated prospect. Defensive lineman Ben Anderson is a bit undersized, but Georgia Tech saw enough in him to offer him a scholarship, which he accepted.
Kentucky commit Calvin Harrison, a defensive back who plays at the same school as Patterson and Paulk (Columbia Richland Northeast), also made the list at No. 29.