July 5, 2007

Sudden Impact - Defensive Ends

Analysis and commentary by Keith Allsep.

A major priority for USC in the class of 2007 was improving the size, speed and athleticism along the defensive front. The Gamecocks have been extremely undersized at defensive end, lacking the long, lean elite edge rushing athletes that dot the rosters of the premiere SEC programs. The Gamecocks hit the jackpot with this recruiting class, bringing in several elite prospects that will make an impact early in their careers. In today's column, we highlight the defensive end position and preview which players will contribute in 2007.

The Candidates

Clifton Geathers The 6-foot-7, 270-pound defensive end comes from a family of NFL players, as his brother Robert Jr. is currently a standout with the Cincinnati Bengals, and uncle Jumpy was a 13-year NFLveteran at defensive tackle. Clifton was selected to the U.S. Army All-American game following his senior season at Carvers Bay High School. The four-star prospect originally committed to Georgia, but following a season at Hargrave Military Academy, decided to come back home and play for the Gamecocks. The big defensive lineman enrolled in January, and had a productive spring under the tutelage defensive line coach Brad Lawing.

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