Though Auburn made a strong last minute push, four-star wide receiver Shaq Davidson stuck with his long-time commitment to South Carolina, signing his National Letter of Intent to play for the Gamecocks on Wednesday. Over the years, Gaffney High School has produced a wealth of Division I prospects that have gone on to excel at the next level. South Carolina hopes Shaq Davidson will continue that trend.
Much like former Gamecock and fellow Gaffney Indian Sidney Rice, the four-star prospect is a dynamic playmaker that can wreak havoc in an opponent's secondary. The 6'0 170-pound receiver was the 5th-ranked player in the state of South Carolina and the 30th best receiver in the 2014 class. Though he fell a bit in recruiting industry's latest round of evaluations, his tape shows that there aren't many prospects in the Southeast with Davidson's home run speed and fluid athleticism.
Davidson primarily played quarterback in 2013, as Gaffney needed his playmaking abilities on every offensive play. The last time Shaq played wide receiver full-time in high school was his sophomore year, when he caught 29 passes for 683 yards and 8 touchdowns.
The Army All-American has been clocked as fast as a 4.4 in the 40 yard dash. He also possesses great vision and lateral agility which could factor in to eventually playing a role on South Carolina's special teams has shown soft hands, good body control, and the ability to catch the ball at its highest point. The Gaffney product has also proven he can make big catches in big moments, having caught the game-winning touchdown for the Sandlappers in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.
South Carolina returns 9 of its top 10 receivers from 2013, so it may be hard for Davidson to break into the receiving rotation as a true freshman. Unless he completely surprises the coaching staff in fall camp, look for Davidson to redshirt in 2014 while he learns the playbook and continues to develop physically. At just 170 pounds, Shaq will need to add more than a few pounds of muscle mass to be able to hold his own in the SEC.
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