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Zay Brown, Javon Charleston look to strengthen Gamecocks at safety

The two young defensive backs might see more action with early injuries already shaking up the secondary.

Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images

We’re close to the opener against NC State and to wrap up the Final Cockdown we’re looking down a list of potential impact defensive backs for South Carolina this season:

Chris Lammons + Jamarcus King | MJ Webb | DJ Smith | Steven Montac | Rashad Fenton| Jamyest Williams | Kaleb Chalmers | Tavyn Jackson | Keisean Nixon | Antoine Wilder | Jaylin Dickerson | Griffin Gentry | Hassan Belton

#33 Zay Brown

Freshman / 5’11” / 194 / Athens, Ga. / Clarke Central

Zay Brown joins the Gamecock secondary as another piece in coach Will Muschamp’s rebuilding project there. Brown has been working at safety, where he played in high school, and could be called on earlier than expected with Jaylin Dickerson’s season-ending injury.

2016 Stats: N/A, although he apparently once forced a Deshaun Watson fumble in high school.

Recruitment: Three-star prospect; held offers from Central Michigan, Colorado State, Charlotte and Wake Forest.

#17 Javon Charleston

Redshirt sophomore / 6’0” / 189 / Gurnee, Ill. / Warren

Javon Charleston came to South Carolina first as a walk-on wide receiver, redshirting his freshman year and then seeing most of his action the following season on special teams. He ping-ponged back and forth between receiver and defensive back before finally finding a home in the secondary this spring. Listed as the second-string safety on the depth chart, Charleston could see his role increase quite a bit.

Charleston also went viral in a heart-warming video when Muschamp surprised him with a scholarship after practice:

2016 Stats: 10 tackles, mostly on special teams, and a catch for 12 yards.

Recruitment: N/A

Up Next: Antoine Wilder.