South Carolina Football: Gamecocks make top list for elite Georgia athlete

South Carolina Football helmet. Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports
South Carolina Football helmet. Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports /

The South Carolina football program is still trying to finish up its 2024 recruiting class, but that doesn’t mean that the Gamecocks aren’t recruiting younger players. Shane Beamer and his staff have been recruiting the class of 2025 and 2026 with just as much attention.

On Wednesday, one of the Gamecocks’ most talented targets in the ’25 cycle released his list of top schools, and South Carolina football made the cut.

Darrell “Duke” Johnson of Eastman, Georgia (Dodge County High School) put the South Carolina Gamecocks in his top-11 along with the Tennessee Volunteers, Florida Gators, Michigan Wolverines, UCF Knights, Florida State Seminoles, Auburn Tigers, North Carolina Tar Heels, Alabama Crimson Tide, Virginia Tech Hokies, and Southern Cal Trojans.

Johnson is a consensus 4-star player and is in the top-100 nationally according to both On3 and 247Sports. Rated as an athlete, Johnson plays all over the field for Dodge County.

On offense, he is a big, explosive athlete who excels with the ball in his hands. Carrying the ball from the running back spot and quarterback position, he has enough speed to be a home run threat, but at 6’3″ and 205 pounds, he is big enough that he is tough to bring down even when opposing players can catch up to him.

He’s also gotten some high school snaps at wide receiver where his size and speed combination have made him a matchup nightmare.

On defense, Johnson displays his athleticism by playing at all three levels of the defense. Listed as a safety on his Hudl account, Johnson will line up as a true safety but will also split out wide to cover opposing receivers.

He also gets a lot of snaps in the box, running sideline to sideline to make plays as a linebacker and wreaking havoc in the backfield as an EDGE rusher. He has a good first step, as well, as he routinely fires off the EDGE to make plays on sweeps that are headed in the other direction.

You can watch some of his film here.