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Football recruiting: Four-star athlete Jalen Christian commits to South Carolina

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The Gamecocks picked up a commitment from talented four-star Maryland athlete Jalen Christian.

Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

South Carolina has landed one of the top players on their board for the 2015 class with the commitment of four-star athlete Jalen Christian. The versatile athlete from Demascus, Md. picked the Gamecocks over the in-state Terrapins and more than 20 other offers, including Oklahoma, Ohio State, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Christian is the No. 145 overall player in the 2015 class, the No. 3 player in Maryland, and the No. 10 athlete in the nation, according to the 247Sports Composite.

How will he fit in at South Carolina?

The South Carolina coaches have told Christian that they would like to use him as a receiver and potentially even as a return man once he gets to Columbia. Though, at 5'10 and 160 pounds, Christian also has the tools to be a cornerback in college and currently plays both sides in high school. G.A. Mangus and Steve Spurrier, Jr. were able to sell Christian on the success of smaller, quick receivers in the Gamecocks offense. Both Ace Sanders and Bruce Ellington are 5'10 and under, and both were NFL draft picks. Not to mention currently rostered Gamecocks Damiere Byrd and Nick Jones each have had their share of memorable moments as Gamecocks.

How does he look on film?

As a junior, Christian rushed for close to 800 yards and hauled in 500 yards receiving despite missing time with an injury. His film shows that he is a dynamic athlete and with loose hips, which allows him to excel at multiple positions. He also shows elusive ability to make defenders miss with the ball in his hands, and is able to quickly accelerate to his top end speed, which allows him to finish plays. Christian has strong hands and is a pretty polished route runner considering he is only a junior. At 5'10 and 160 pounds, Christian will need to develop his frame and become more physical against defenders at the next level.


What will Steve Spurrier call him?

The name Jalen is difficult to abbreviate, but his surname opens up some interesting possibilities. We're not well-versed in either of the Testaments though, so this is what we came up with instead:

  • Jale-bird
  • J. Crew
  • Jay Cray
  • Lenny

How's the 2015 class looking?

South Carolina's failure to break into the upper tier of the SEC recruiting rankings has been a source of frustration for many Gamecock fans, but it looks like this class might just be there one where the Gamecocks break through. Christian's commitment moves USC into the top ten of the 247Sports Composite ranking, inching just ahead of Florida State. He's the ninth prospect -- and the fifth four-star prospect -- who has pledged to sign with the Gamecocks' 2015 class.

Christian joins three-star prospects Michael Bowman and Dexter Neal as the third member of the Gamecocks' wide receiver class.