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April 30, 2007

SC Class of 2008 Top Prospects: Midlands Area

There is little doubt that South Carolina has become a hotbed for football recruiting, having two five-star players in last years's Rivals100, and sure to have at least three players inside the Top 100 again this year. SCVarsity.com will take a look around the state and glance at the balance of talent in each region. Today, we take a look at the top talent in the Midlands of South Carolina.

It's not hard to figure out who the top players in the Midlands are if you pay attention to the analysts and recruiters. Bamberg-Erhardt's DaQuan Bowers (6-4, 267) is clearly one of the top two players in the state. His early committment to Clemson caused his recruiting stock to die in activity, but Bowers is definitely elite in South Carolina, as well as the nation. I feel like he may be the best player in the state from this Class of 2008 class, and one of the best to come out of the state in a long time.

On the same level as Bowers is A.C. Flora offensive lineman Kenneth Page. At 6-4, 290, Page has been the hottest commodity on the South Carolina recruiting market as of late. With offers coming in from schools like Notre Dame, Florida, and Florida State, the in-state schools will have to put in overtime to get this player, who should be a Rivals100, to stay home.

Another player who got pre-evaluation Rivals100 status is Chester athlete Charles Whitlock. A 5-11, 175lbs Rivals100 cornerback, Whitlock racked up 1,600 yards passing, 800 yards rushing and 26 total touchdowns as a junior. He has offers from almost every major program in the Southeast. Like Page, with all of the attention from outside the Palmetto State, he will be one the in-state schools will have to work hard for.

Below is a look at some of the top prospects from the Midlands area for the Class of 2008.

Midlands Top Ten
DaQuan Bowers
6-4, 267lbs, DE, Bamberg-Erhardt High School
An early committment to Clemson, Bowers is one of the top defensive linemen in the country, the best defensive player in the state of South Carolina, and may be the best overall player in South Carolina from the Class of 2008. His head coach, Ron Duncan, says Bowers is "the best I've ever seen."

Recruiting update: Bowers is committed to Clemson.

Kenneth Page
6-4, 290lbs, OL, AC Flora High School
Began pouring it on when he attended the US Army All-American Combine. All he needed was exposure, as he has the most active stock in the state, with offers coming in almost daily for this big offensive tackle. Had a great Nike camp and will be attending the SCVarsity.com All-State Football Combine on May 12th.

Recruiting update: Page has multiple big time offers and says he does not see himself committing early, and lists no favorites.

Charles Whitlock
5-11, 175, Corner, Chester High School
A two way starter for the Cyclones, Whitlock racked up 1,600 yards passing, 800 yards rushing and 26 total touchdowns as a junior. He had an outstanding Nike Camp and was selected as a pre-evaluation Rivals100 player.

Recruiting update: Multiple offers from almost every major program in the Southeast.

Dalton Freeman
6-6, 270, OL, Pelion High School
Freeman earned all-region, all-area and all-state 2A as a sophomore and junior. He was also named All-State and was named the lineman of the year for his region last season

Recruiting update: Virginia Tech and Ky are the latest; Clemson had early lead, but multiple offers as of late have the big man re-thinking.

Marquan Jones
6-0, 170, WR, Blythewood
Jones is the No. 2 wide receiver prospect in the state of South Carolina behind Summerville's A.J. Green. The smooth, fluid athlete led the young Blythewood program to a state title during his junior year.

Recruiting update: Committed to Clemson.

Aramis Hillary
6-3, 212, QB, Strom Thurmond High School
Hillary threw for more than 1,762 yards and 11 touchdowns and added another 752 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior. He will see his stock go up as recruiters visit during the Spring. Hillary will participate in the SCVarsity.com All-State Football Combine on May 12th.

Recruiting update: Offers from Mississippi State, App State, and East Carolina.

Kenny Davis
6-4, 295, DL, Newberry High School
Davis is an extremely athletic prospect at the defensive tackle position, with bests of 4.9 in the 40 and a 30-inch vertical jump. The big fellow has offers from South Carolina and Clemson on the table.

Recruiting update: Lists South Carolina No. 1 and Clemson No. 2 - each have offered - followed by UGA, Fla, Virginia

Yari King
5-9, 169, CB, Irmo High School
King up 60 tackles and four interceptions as a junior. He's been a starter for the Jackets since his sophomore season. He's turned in solid showings at Nike Camps in each of the last two years. Also punts for the Jackets.

Recruiting update: One offer on the table - from Presbyterian College.

Taylor Wyndham
6-4, 210, LB, Swansea High School
Finished 2006 season with 130 tackles, 1 interception, 3 sacks, and 3 force fumbles. Had to play both ways for Swansea (TE). In my opinion, Taylor is one of the most underrated players in the state, and when he gets exposure, he will be considered one of the top LB's in the state. Runs a 4.6 40, bench presses 250, and squats 485.

Recruiting update: : Has no offers; has had very little exposure; South Carolina and Clemson have sent mail.

Marcus Thurmond
6-2, 175, WR, North Augusta High School
This past season, Thurmond caught 46 passes for 546 yards and 6 TD. He has been timed at 10.86 in the 100 meters and is a favorite for the 800 meters at the AAAA State Track Meet this year.

Recruiting update: Has no offers but a lot of activity and campus visits from several schools. Says his favorite is South Carolina.

Best of the rest (In No particular Order)
AAAA: Cheston Hickman, QB, Ridge View; Michael Rodriguez, QB, Spring Valley; Chaz Washington, LB, RNE; Leander Barney, WR, Irmo; Neil Strange, TE, Irmo; Grant McLinton, LB, Spring Valley; Zack Mendenhal, LB, Lexington; John Monte, DB, Dutch Fork; Max Travis, OL, Dutch Fork; Calvin Fuller, RB/S, South Aiken; Kyle Lawson, QB, White Knoll
AAA: Larry Patterson, OL, AC Flora; Gene McCaskill, WR, Chester; Christopher Munger, FB, Lugoff Elgin; Richard Mounce, QB, Blythewood; Allen Smith, LB, Keenan; Brandon Larry, RB, Airport; Chris Stuart, LB, Airport; Jordan Bookhard, DL, Dreher; Matt Hook, OL, Brookland-Cayce; Chad Porter, DE, Brookland-Cayce
AA: Cliff Stevenson, DL, Columbia; Justin Payne, QB, Columbia; Isaac Harris, DE, Gilbert; Josh Harris, RB, Batesburg-Leesville; Jesse Hill, OL, Mid-Carolina
A: Chris Pressley, QB, Bamberg-Erhardt

Five sleepers
Neil Strange, TE, Irmo: 6-5, 250lbs...very athletic with a 27 inch vertical. Has offer from PC, but other coaches are calling with interest.
Adger Rice, TE, AC Flora: 6-3, 210lbs and very athletic. getting interest from Citadel. Not DIA, but definite I-AA player.
Leander Barney, WR, Irmo: As starting QB last year, led the Jackets to AAAA title game; move to WR will help recruiting; has had no exposure as WR.
Charles Lang, WR, Spring Valley: Good skills; has good hands and runs good routes. Will generate interest as recruiters begin to see him.
Max Travis, OL, Dutch Fork: A bit undersized at 6-2 1/2, he does weight 269lbs and is in great shape. He's benching 305lbs right now. Grade out information not released by coaching staff.

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