South Carolina Football Bolsters Secondary with Jalon Kilgore

South Carolina football safety, Jalon Kilgore. Syndication The Greenville News.
South Carolina football safety, Jalon Kilgore. Syndication The Greenville News. /

The South Carolina football program has put together one of their top recruiting classes in recent years for the 2023 recruiting cycle. While the recruiting rankings are ever-changing, according to industry leaders on3 and 247Sports, Shane Beamer and company have found themselves firmly inside the top-20 since the Early Signing Period ended.

One of the players in this class is DB Jalon Kilgore, who signed with South Carolina during the Early Signing Period.

Position: DB
Recruiting Ranking: 4 Stars (on3, 247); 3 Stars (ESPN, Rivals)
Measurables: 6’2”; 200 pounds; 77-inch wingspan; 4.45 second 40-yard dash; 4.26 second short shuttle; 36-inch vertical; 280 pounds bench press; 445 pounds squat
Former Player Comp: Rashad Faison

South Carolina Football
South Carolina football signee, Jalon Kilgore. Syndication The Greenville News. /

Jalon Kilgore is a defensive back prospect that Head Coach Shane Beamer and Defensive Backs Coach Torrian Gray got in on early. The early recognition of Kilgore’s talents paid off, as the talented Georgian committed to the Gamecocks before his senior season began. That same senior season saw his stock rise tremendously, as the rest of the country began to learn what the Gamecocks knew all along: Jalon Kilgore is a ball player.

Kilgore’s athletic profile is impressive. He is 6’2” and is a quick-twitch athlete, posting a 40 yard dash time under 4.5, a 4.26 short shuttle, and winning the Georgia state championship for the long jump as a sophomore. He also possesses good ball skills, having been a dynamic receiver during his high school career. Likely a future safety, Kilgore’s willingness to play with extreme physicality will help the back end of future Gamecock defenses play with an edge and toughness that was synonymous with the best run of success in school history from 2010 to 2013.

On film, Kilgore is a hard-hitter who excels at separating the ball from intended receivers. However, distinguishing himself from many other high school thumpers, Kilgore has a knack for knowing when to deliver the big hit and when to make a play on the ball. His style of play could remind Lou Holtz-era Gamecock fans of former All-American Rashad Faison. Kilgore is taller than Faison, but Kilgore plays with the same style that saw number eleven in garnet and black dominate opponents to the tune of the school’s all-time record in solo tackles. If Kilgore can translate this similar skillset into Faison-esque production, opposing offenses will want to know where he is on the field at all times.

With two young studs at safety in Columbia products Nick Emmanwori and DQ Smith, Kilgore will have little pressure to contribute right away at Carolina. However, because of the versatility of the incumbents (Emmanwori could play in the box as a linebacker if needed, and Smith has bounced back and forth between safety and nickel), if Jalon shows he is ready to contribute, the Gamecock defensive coaching staff will find a way to get him on the field.

Whether it is immediately or after a couple of developmental offseasons, expect the name Jalon Kilgore to become a recognizable one in Gamecock country.