Name: Griffin Gentry
Position: Defensive End
Height/Weight: 6'2" / 255 lbs.
Hometown: Birmingham, AL
After originally committing to Troy in July, Griffin Gentry saw his stock climb with a strong senior season. His solid play helped earn him an offer from South Carolina in October - pledging to the Gamecocks in November. Despite the coaching change, the Birmingham native never wavered on his commitment, even telling 247 Sports that the new regime showed him more attention than their predecessors.
Strengths: Size and versatility. At 6’2", 255 lbs., Gentry fits the hybrid linebacker/defensive end position, or "buck", perfectly in the Gamecocks’ new defensive scheme. Though he spent most of his high school career in the trenches, Gentry’s willingness and openness to playing the buck position can only be a positive for South Carolina as they prepare to switch to new head coach Will Muschamp’s scheme.
Weakness: It will almost certainly take some time for Gentry to get the hang of a new position - especially at the SEC level. If moving from defensive line to a hybrid position that may require dropping back into pass coverage isn’t a recipe for a redshirt season, I’m not sure what is.
Overall: The Gamecocks have recently plucked several defensive linemen from The Yellowhammer State - including Boosie Whitlow, Taylor Stallworth and fellow 2016 signee Darius Whitfield. If he ultimately ends up at the buck position, Gentry may be raw, but he seems to have the willingness and drive to end up a solid contributor like his Alabama brethren.