Name: Shameik Blackshear
Position: Defensive End
Height/Weight: 6'5, 240 pounds
Hometown: Blufton, SC
Rating: 247Sports: Four Star Rivals: Four Star ESPN: Four Star
At one point, 247Sports considered Blackshear to be one of the top prospects in the nation, but following an injury early in his senior year, he has slid from a five star to a fur star. That shouldn't worry Gamecock fans though, snagging Blackshear was huge. He selected South Carolina over offers from top schools like the Florida Gators, Georgia Bulldogs, Clemson Tigers and others. He is definitely one of the keys to this class, and the fact that he has been solid to USC since May of 2013 says a lot about him.
Unfortunately due to his early injury, there isn't a lot of film to work with, but what I have seen of his senior season fills me with hope that the Gamecock's pass rush will get better. He is listed as running a 4.54 40 yard dash is impressive, and quickness is definitely something that was missed during this past season on the defensive line. He is also very tenacious and along with that quickness off the snap, I felt sorry for the linemen having to block him most of the time. There were a few instances where he flat out knocked the lineman out of the way and still was able to make a nice play on the ball. These skills translate well to both his pass rush and his run blocking ability. Not only is he a great player as it stands right now, but with his measurables, if he is able to get stronger and quicker during this fall, then he will be in line to be one of the next great South Carolina defensive linemen,
Like I said, he doesn't have much recent film to go on, so I would say that his biggest weakness is that he suffered a pretty bad injury early in the 2014 season. Based on different reports, he has been doing well, but we won't know for sure what he will be capable of until he arrives on campus. Other than the injury, the only real flaw I could find is that he does need to work on his posture after the snap. He tends to stand straight up, when he would better off taking a lower angle and getting off his blocks quicker.
Overall, Blackshear is definitely going to be a great player one day, but with the Gamecocks bringing in a lot of defensive ends, especially Dante Sawyer and Marquavious Lewis, it is extremely likely that Blackshear will be redshirted this fall to allow him to fully recover from his injury and give him some space from others in this class.