South Carolina Football: Gamecocks in top-8 for elite safety

South Carolina football made the top-8 for 4-star safety prospect Kendall Daniels, a former high school teammate of current Gamecock Fred "JayR" Johnson.

South Carolina football flag
South Carolina football flag / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA

One of the deepest safety units in the SEC resides in Columbia, South Carolina. The Gamecocks have had three Freshman All-Americans over the last two seasons at the position as Jalon Kilgore (2023), Nick Emmanwori (2022), and DQ Smith (2022) have held down the back end of the defense for the South Carolina football program.

The Gamecocks brought in a 4-star freshman this offseason in Palmetto State native Kelvin Hunter, but Shane Beamer and his staff know that they need to bring in even more young talent to the position.

In the class of 2025, South Carolina football is in on numerous big names at the safety spot. One of them is 4-star prospect Kendall Daniels. Daniels, a Norfolk, Virginia native, was a high school teammate of current Gamecock Fred "JayR" Johnson at state championship-winning Maury High School last year. Johnson signed with USC as a 4-star linebacker in the recruiting class of 2024.

This week, Daniels released his top-8, and South Carolina made the cut.

Daniels' top-8 includes the South Carolina Gamecocks, Alabama Crimson Tide, Penn State Nittany Lions, Miami Hurricanes, Duke Blue Devils, Texas A&M AGgies, Virginia Tech Hokies, and Virginia Cavaliers,

Daniels is a big-bodied safety (listed at 6'3") who plays with physicality. If given the opportunity, Daniels will lay a big hit on a ball carrier or would be pass catcher. However, he has a knack for finding the ball in the air, too. With that instinct and his length, not many passes get by Daniels if he is in the neighborhood.

Daniels has also played some quarterback in his career, though the defensive backfield is where his collegiate future lies. The Gamecocks have seen a lot of players convert from quarterback to safety in recent years as DQ Smith, Gerald Kilgore, and RJ Roderick are just some of the examples of this type of positional change within the South Carolina football program.

You can watch some of his film here.

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