Four-star offensive guard Donell Stanley signed with South Carolina on Wednesday, making good on the verbal commitment that he gave the Gamecocks on Oct. 11. The Latta, S.C. product is rated a four-star by the 247Sports Composite Index and is the 10th-ranked offensive guard in the 2014 class. Although he drew interest from other big-time programs such as Alabama, Stanley was considered a heavy Carolina lean throughout the recruiting process.
Stanley is prepared to play either guard or tackle for the Gamecocks. At well over 300 pounds, he has prototypical size for a guard, but is athletic enough and has good enough footwork to block athletic pass-rushers on the end. Stance and explosiveness are reported areas where he needs more work. While depth-chart needs may dictate that he'll play tackle at times during his career, expect Stanley to play guard and to delight fans of smash-mouth football when he blindsides defenders while pulling across the line.
Given his physical maturity, Stanley might have been the rare offensive lineman who could do a serviceable job as a true freshman. However, although the Gamecocks do lose Ronald Patrick from last year's roster, everyone else on the depth chart at guard returns, meaning that barring a rash of injuries, Stanley's services won't be needed immediately. That should give him time to work on strength-and-conditioning next year while also learning the playbook.
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