Whenever Will Muschamp lands a commitment, the South Carolina coach drops a #SpursUp on Twitter. Come to SEC Country for the latest news, notes and observations in South Carolina recruiting. For previous editions of SpursUp Surveillance, check out the link.
To the stargazers
The latest addition to the 2019 South Carolina recruiting class should serve as a reminder for folks who use offers and stars to evaluate prospects.
No offense to Charlotte, Georgia State and South Carolina State, but it was a matter of time before KeShawn Toney added better offers. Around here, that was the assumption, just as long as he got bigger.
Well, we can go ahead and check that box.
A year ago, Toney, who plays for Williston-Elko (S.C.) High School, was stuck somewhere between being a big wide receiver and an undersized tight end. At The Opening stop in Atlanta, he was measured at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds.
During his trip to South Carolina on Saturday, he tipped the scales at 237 pounds. Though the height wasn’t confirmed by the Gamecocks staff, Toney told SEC Country he is somewhere between 6-foot-3½ and 6-4.
Toney also said his hands were measured at 10 inches, and his arm length was 33 inches. In comparison, Hayden Hurst’s hands were measured at 9¾ and his arm length was 32 1/8 when he made his way through the NFL combine.
When Toney participates in the testing portion of The Opening later this spring, he probably will post better numbers than what he did in 2017: 4.98 40-yard dash, 4.93 20-yard shuttle, 30-inch vertical and 34 feet in the power throw.
The eye test
Among the challenges in the modern age of recruiting is the pace at which things have sped up, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to slow down anytime soon.
There was a time when a prospect’s profile as a recruit wasn’t signed, sealed and delivered before the spring evaluation period of his junior year, which Toney still hasn’t reached.
From this perspective, it seemed like only a matter of time before his offer list picked up Power 5 suitors, so credit Muschamp and his staff for trusting what they have evaluated because Toney has been a personal favorite for the last year or so.
Coincidentally, tight ends coach Pat Washington met with reporters on Saturday morning and was asked what South Carolina’s philosophy is in recruiting the position.
“We’re looking for athletes. Although I like to see him block, just to make sure he’ll stick his face in there and be aggressive, but most important thing I want to see is him run around. I like to see him catch [passes],” Washington said. “I like to, if he plays basketball, I like to go watch him play basketball, things like that. We’re looking for guys who can be big enough, physically, the body can be big enough to be a 240-plus guy, but at the same time, I want to see a guy who can run around and be an athlete, not necessarily just a blocking tight end.
“Those guys are useful – I’m not saying they’re not. For our scheme, it’s not the most important thing. For our scheme, the most important thing is being an athlete.”
On the prospect
There is a lot to like about Toney’s abilities as a receiver, which is basically what he has been during his high school career, a wide receiver.
Several of the clips from his junior highlights show him out in space, catching screen passes and making defenders miss. Though it is hard to imagine him doing those same type of things in college, it is clear that Toney is a natural pass catcher and has some fluid movement skills.
This isn’t necessarily a hard-and-fast comparison, but Toney is somewhat reminiscent of former Clemson tight end Dwayne Allen, who is now with the New England Patriots.
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