GamecockAnthem's Juan Blas captured the moment in the melting heat outside Columbia High School when…
Scout's Take: Damario Jeffery
Scout's Take—Damario Jeffery Commit Date—8/1/08 Due to the sheer number of verbal commitments that have been pledged recently, all of the formalities in the introductory paragraph are going to be skipped. So, without further ado, let's take a look at the South Carolina Gamecock's latest commitment. Pros Size—Jefferey has excellent size for a LB and he will be an absolute force at the position. Uses size well in terms of taking on and shedding blocks and has very good length, which gives him the ability to get in on plays most cannot. Will have a physical edge on any potential match-up and understands leverage, based on time in the secondary. Could also be a mainstay on most special-teams units for his entire tenure, as he provides the coaching staff with a hybrid who can run and tackle. Range—covers a lot of ground and closes well. Is very good in pursuit and arrives under control. Makes tackles across the field and understands angles and leverage on blocks. Will have to work on being disciplined when flow is away, but gives the Gamecock's defense a player who can truly work sideline to sideline. His time in the secondary will, once again, pay off and allow him to be serviceable in space, thus allowing the coaches to use him in more situations. Closing Speed—being close to the LOS is going to do Jeffery wonders. He won't have to hesitate with secondary read steps (which, by the way, move backward), and will be able to get downhill immediately. This will allow him to take advantage of one of his best traits: aggressiveness. As he understands fits, he will thrive in an attacking system and will be able to maximize on his natural abilities. Cons Footwork—looks awkward at times in his backpedal, and is somewhat inconsistent. He usually over-strides and sometimes appears to be fighting to gain depth. This is due to a slight hitch in the transfer from backpedal to drive. In the box, however, flawed footwork won't be as obvious (or potentially devastating), and he has the athletic ability to overcome minor mistakes. Reps at the same position will remediate any shortcoming and good footwork will become second-nature. Experience—Jeffery is a football player, so he should be able to settle in nicely and be productive. In the meantime, though, he will have to learn the nuances of the position and this will help him transition more smoothly, both to a new position and a new level.. Final Analysis—This could be the best pick-up to date for the Gamecocks. Jeffery has big-time potential and could lure other top-tier athletes to Columbia. The X-factor with Jeffery's commitment, though, is how he transitions into his new position of LB. If everything goes as planned, he could blossom into an All-SEC caliber performer. Burke Hayes is the Southeastern Regional Manager for Football Recruiting at Scout.
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