Several of South Carolina’s 2017 commitments kicked off their high school seasons this weekend.
SEC Country was in Concord, N.C. on Thursday night to check out 4-star Hamsah Nasirildeen. The top-ranked prospect in the Gamecocks’ class finished with 16 tackles in Concord’s heartbreaking loss to A.L. Brown. He also caught 5 passes for 55 yards.
On Friday night, LB Davonne Bowen had a 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in Woodmont High School’s (Piedmont, S.C.) 28-21 win over Eastside. Bowen told Scott Keeler of The Greenville News that he’s been politicking to return kicks.
“Ever since I was a freshman, I’ve been wanting to get back here (on kickoffs) and they’ve wanted to keep me on defense,” Bowen said. “I finally got the opportunity to show what I got.”
Here’s a look at other Gamecocks commits from the past few days:
S Zay Brown – Athens, Ga.
Zay Brown with a 40-yard interception return for a touchdown. Gladiators lead 21-0 now with 48 seconds remaining in the half.
— Kevin Mobley (@KTMobley) August 20, 2016
RB Kyshaun Bryan – Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
— Sleeper Athletes (@SleeperAthletes) August 19, 2016
WR Shi Smith – Union, S.C.
8 catches and 2 touchdowns for South Carolina commit Shi Smith (@Check1_) tonight as Union County tops Chapman.
— Matt Connolly (@MattatTheState) August 20, 2016
LB Damani Staley – Columbia, S.C.
— Perry Parks (@CoachParks84) August 20, 2016
A handful of South Carolina’s top targets also played this weekend, including 2018 4-star WR Derion Kendrick, who helped lead South Pointe (Rock Hill, S.C.) High School over crosstown rival Northwestern on Friday night. Kendrick rushed 23 times for 118 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Third-and-10 converted by Derion Kendrick. pic.twitter.com/vLW557cjFP
— Hale McGranahan (@Hale_AJC) August 20, 2016
Fellow 2018 prospect Dakereon Joyner completed 14 of 23 passes for 439 yards and five touchdowns with 70 yards rushing and a score in Fort Dorchester (North Charleston, S.C.) High School’s win over Sandy Creek (Tyrone, Ga.) High School at Georgia Southern University.
HALFTIME: Sandy Creek 21, @FDPatriot 21
— Daren Stoltzfus (@DarenStoltzfus) August 21, 2016
Matthew Butler, a 3-star defensive lineman from Garner, N.C., opened his senior season on Friday night.
— Matthew Butler (@mattbutler_45) August 20, 2016
Hale McGranahan covers South Carolina athletics for SECCountry.com and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Follow him on Twitter: @Hale_AJC