Deshaun Fenwick is one of 13 freshmen set to officially join the South Carolina football team when classes begin on Jan. 16.
The 6-foot-1, 222-pound 3-star prospect from Braden River High School in Bradenton, Fla. is one of two running backs who signed during the early signing period in December. The other, 3-star Lavonte Valentine (5-foot-11, 190 pounds), helps to form the other half of what many Gamecocks fans hope will become a fierce thunder-and-lightning tandem that causes problems for SEC defenses.
“[Valentine is] the fastest kid in Florida. And me coming in, I feel like I can do it all,” Fenwick said. “I’m a big guy, so I feel like I can do a little bit of everything. I can catch well. I can run between the tackles.
“You give it to Lavonte — they’re going to be pounding me and they’re going to give it to Lavonte, the change-of-pace guy, he’s going to take it to the house, so that’s a deadly conversation. Along with Dakereon, who we haven’t even talked about, it’s going to be pretty dirty.”
Dakereon Joyner, the 4-star quarterback from North Charleston, S.C., is also expected to be among the mid-year enrollees. They’ll report to Columbia this week with impressive resumes and unique backgrounds.
Fenwick, who’s originally from Louisville, Ky., moved to Bradenton before his sophomore year in high school, to live with a former youth league football coach.
During his first two seasons in Florida, Fenwick rushed for 1,385 yards with 15 touchdowns. As a junior and senior, he caught 28 passes for 538 yards and 7 touchdowns.
“Extremely talented, big back,” South Carolina coach Will Muschamp said. “Tough, hard-nosed runner, really good hands out of the backfield, really good blocker, extremely bright, but this is a big, explosive back that we’re excited about.
“Bobby Bentley did a fantastic job through the recruiting process with Deshaun.”
“He coached one of the best running backs I’ve seen in my generation,” Fenwick said of Bentley. “He coached [Marcus] Lattimore and I thought that was pretty special. First and foremost, he’s just a good guy. He’s a good running back coach. He knows what he’s doing.
“That coaching staff has put plenty of guys in the NFL. I just trust him. I trust him a lot. He’s like a dad to me.”
Fenwick committed to South Carolina last May over Georgia, among others, including Iowa State, Missouri, Ole Miss, UCF and USF.
“They’re an up-and-coming team. They have a gorgeous campus, really good coaching staff, recruited a lot of good guys this year and I think they’re a really good team,” Fenwick said of the Gamecocks.