Name: Chavis Dawkins
Position: Wide Receiver
Height/Weight: 6'2" / 195 lbs.
Hometown: Duncan, SC
Rating: 247Sports: Three star Rivals: Two star ESPN: Three star
Considered a "hard commit" since making his pledge in early January, the wide receiver was one of the first in-state prospects brought on board by new head coach Will Muschamp and his staff. Dawkins joins former Byrnes head coach, and his primary recruited, Bobby Bentley on campus - further strengthening the pipeline between Duncan and Columbia, one that once brought blue chip RB and Gamecocks great Marcus Lattimore to Williams Brice.
Strengths: Height, speed. At 6’2", the first thing that jumps out about Dawkins is his size. When watching his highlights and seeing his stats, it’s clear the receiver could prove to be a major steal for the Gamecocks. Playing against some of major competition at Byrnes, Dawkins was able to haul in 72 balls for 1,319 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2015. Against the best of the best in the Shrine Bowl, the Byrnes standout still produced - notching six catches for 62 yards and two touchdowns. With All-SEC receiver Pharoh Cooper declaring for the NFL Draft, Dawkins’ size and his estimated 4.52 40-time could help him make some serious moves on the Gamecocks’ depth chart.
Weakness: As with most true freshmen wide receivers, Dawkins could stand to add some weight to his larger frame - nothing a few months in an SEC strength and conditioning program. Route-running is often another source of growing pains for receivers at Power 5 schools, but thanks to the Byrnes spread-like offense, Dawkins may actually have a head start on some of the routes similar to what offensive coordinator Kurt Roper utilizes.
Overall: Dawkins was an immediate priority for the new regime and part of a clear initiative to keep in-state talent in Columbia. His solid senior season and strong showing in the Shrine Bowl only solidified his status as a sleeper in the 2016 cycle. Add to the fact that the 6’2" receiver called South Carolina his "dream school" and you’ve got all the makings of a fan-favorite playmaker. You can’t help but see similarities between Dawkins and former Gamecock Sidney Rice galloping down the sideline.