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Another Lake Marion product
Over the last few years, Lake Marion High School has produced a handful of major college athletes. The headliner, of course, is wide receiver Mike Williams, who just wrapped up an outstanding career at Clemson.
Also counted among the school’s former players is De’Riante Jenkins, a freshman basketball player at VCU.
Another former Lake Marion standout, defensive lineman Jabari Ellis, just wrapped up his freshman season at Georgia Military College. On Tuesday, he was offered a scholarship by South Carolina.
“It meant a lot, really, because that was my first offer out of JUCO, knowing that I have a place to go after JUCO,” he said. “And, then, it’s South Carolina, and it’s close to home. It really meant a lot.”
Ellis, a 2016 graduate of the Santee, S.C., high school, fielded offers from Appalachian State, Georgia Southern, Miami, South Carolina State and Western Carolina before enrolling at the junior college in Milledgeville, Ga.
Listed at 6-foot-4, 290 pounds on the GMC website, Ellis recorded 14 tackles and a sack over 11 games as a freshman. He visited South Carolina last season for the UMass game.
“That game, it was real packed. The fans, I was actually talking to a couple of the fans. The fans out there, they were showing their support,” he said. “I enjoyed it.”
Former South Carolina offensive line coach Shawn Elliott previously served as the Gamecocks’ lead recruiter. His replacement, Eric Wolford, has since taken over.
“(Wolford) first got in touch with me about a month ago,” Ellis said. “Ever since then, I was in contact with them.”
At the next level, Ellis profiles as a 3-technique defensive tackle, even though he lines up primarily as a strong-side end on GMC’s 3-man line.
Miami and Washington State are expressing interest as well.
Ellis will return home this weekend to visit family, but he hasn’t scheduled a trip to the South Carolina campus.
“I know they wanted me to come around springtime,” Ellis said. “I was thinking about committing in the summer, to where I’m going to decide, so I will take a visit to South Carolina sometime before the summer.”
South Carolina set to host 2017 punter
For 2017 punter Joe Doyle, nothing changed on National Signing Day, but that’s not to suggest that he doesn’t have options.
Doyle landed preferred walk-on opportunities at South Carolina and Arkansas before Feb. 1. Seven days after National Signing Day, the hometown team stepped up with a preferred walk-on offer.
— Joe Doyle (@JoeDoyle1224) February 8, 2017
The Under Armour All-American is a senior at Farragut Academy in Knoxville, Tenn. On Feb. 18, he’ll visit South Carolina. Arkansas is set to host him before the end of the month.
Now, with Tennessee in the mix, he’s had conversations with the Vols coaches about a potential visit.
Doyle plans to make a decision before March.
South Carolina dispensed some offers on Wednesday to a handful of 4-star prospects from the 2018 haul.
Defensive end Tyreke Smith (Cleveland Heights, Ohio), safety Gurvan Hall (Palm Beach Lakes, Fla.) and offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere (Tampa, Fla.) reported their respective tenders from the Gamecocks on Wednesday. Three-star offensive tackle Jerome Carvin (Cordova, Tenn.) was also offered.
Two of the top priorities for South Carolina in 2018 picked up notable offers earlier in the afternoon.
Four-star linebacker Dax Hollifield (Shelby, N.C.) picked one up from Notre Dame, joining Alabama, Florida State and Stanford on his February offer list. Four-star defensive tackle Rick Sandidge (Concord, N.C.) received an offer from LSU.