Name: Jalen Christian
Height/Weight: 5'10, 165 pounds
Hometown: Damascus, MD
Rating: 247Sports: Four Star Rivals: Four Star ESPN: Four Star
According to 247Sports, Christian is one of the Gamecocks top recruits in this class and has maintained a four star rating all season. He chose the Gamecocks in May of 2014 and never looked back, shunning offers from the Ohio State Buckeyes, Maryland Terrapins, Clemson Tigers and the Tennessee Volunteers. He is currently being recruited as a wide receiver and is set to join the Gamecocks this fall. His primary recruiter is listed as G.A Mangus.
If I had to pick someone that Christian reminds me of, it would have to be Pharoh Cooper. Christian is a weapon no matter where he lines up. At receiver he is capable of playing outside or in, but regardless of where he lines up, he is a threat to take a doomed play into a TD. He has enough speed at the outside to burn cornerbacks and make the deep catch. If he lines up inside, he can pull an Artavis Scott and run through a defense on a jet sweep. At cornerback he displays solid technique when tackling, though as stated, he will start out at wide receiver for the Gamecocks. Another area that Christian makes his presence known is on special teams as a return man. He is able to use his speed and vision to simply outrun and out-cut defenders and make a play.
The biggest weakness for Christian right now is his weight. Since he will be playing in the SEC, he will needto add some muscle so that he can fight against SEC-caliber defensive backs better, and to help prevent injuries from bigger hits. Another aspect that will need to be improved is his hands. While he does not make many mistakes, he is prone to looking for the play before he has the ball, especially on special teams.
Christian is definitely a solid player and will have the chance to compete for early playing time. His best bet to see the field is at receiver. With the Gamecocks losing multiple players at the position, it could definitely help Christian see the field. However, if he does not see any playing time within the first few games, it will be obvious that the staff want to give him separation from the other receivers. With Pharoh facing a decision next year whether to leave for the NFL or stay for his senior year, it will help knowing that Christian has the potential to fulfill a similar role.