Name: Zach Bailey
Position: Offensive Guard
Height/Weight: 6'5, 315 pounds
Hometown: Summerville, SC
Rating: 247Sports: Four Star Rivals: Four Star ESPN: Four Star
Before committing to the Gamecocks in August, it was a tight battle for Bailey, with both the Gamecocks and Clemson Tigers appearing to be the top two vying for his services. Ultimately he chose the Gamecocks over offers from Clemson, the Wisconsin Badgers, Georgia Bulldogs and the Florida Gators, among others. Bailey's primary recruiter is listed as coach Everette Sands, with OL coach Shawn Elliot listed as the secondary recruiter.
By getting Bailey, the coaching staff have a guy that is physically ready for SEC football. He does have some room to add a little bulk, maybe 10 to 15 more pounds, and will more than likely need to work in the Gamecocks S&C program this fall to tone his body. However, if he is called on to play early, there aren't any worry of a defensive lineman getting around him because he is too small. He is also a very tough opponent for opposing linemen. While he did not earn invites to any of the national All-American games, he was invited to the annual Shrine Bowl held between North Carolina and South Carolina recruits. All of the reports coming from the game and practices was that Bailey was one of the most dominant players on the line of scrimmage and it shows on film. He is a very tough guard and is able to knock an opposing lineman off his gap initially and displays the ability to continue blocking into the next level.
Most of Bailey's weaknesses lie in his technique. While he is a very tough player, he can get out maneuvered by defenders at times, and will need to improve his quickness to be effective at the collegiate level. Another are for improvement is his posture, which currently is a little too high. All of these are typical problems for an offensive line recruit to demonstrate so it isn't too much of a concern right now.
Bailey was a very solid prospect for the Gamecocks to land, and with senior A.J Cann leaving, if Bailey is able to improve his technique, he may be able to earn a spot on the line. Ideally though, you would like to see him redshirt to learn Elliot's blocking schemes and improve while one of the older guards is able to play in Bailey's stead. Although the offensive line this class has lost and gained a few guys, Bailey has been solid the whole way and will be a good lineman in the future.