South Carolina Football: Gamecocks make top list for Tennessee linebacker

South Carolina football made the top-8 for Tennessee linebacker prospect Sam Haley.

South Carolina football target Sam Haley celebrating with a teammate
South Carolina football target Sam Haley celebrating with a teammate / George Walker IV / The Tennessean / USA
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The South Carolina football roster has some really intriguing linebackers on it.

Senior Debo Williams made the All-SEC squad last season as a run-stopping thumper, and fellow senior Bam Martin-Scott came on late in the year as a sideline-to-sideline tackler who also can get after the quarterback as a pass rusher. Transfers Demetrius Knight and Bangally Kamara could be big contributors this fall, and sophomore Jaron Willis and freshmen Wendell Gregory and Fred "JayR" Johnson are elite athletes who could become special players in the future.

The Gamecocks are recruiting several linebackers in the class of 2025, and one of them is Nashville native Sam Haley.

Haley, a 3-star prospect from Ensworth High School in the Music City, released his top-8 schools list on Tuesday, and South Carolina football made the cut.

Joining the South Carolina Gamecocks in Haley's top-8 are the TCU Horned Frogs, Tennessee Volunteers, North Carolina Tar Heels, Virginia Tech Hokies, West Virginia Mountaineers, Michigan State Spartans, and Missouri Tigers. He had previously said he wanted to hear from schools in the SEC and ACC, and 5 of his top-8 are SEC or ACC programs.

Haley is a traditional middle linebacker prospect who is a strong player against the run. He is not a major athlete, but he moves efficiently by taking good angels to ball carriers and by navigating his way through blocker traffic well.

The linebacker is a smart player who seems to diagnose offenses well: on run plays, he is a step closer to the line of scrimmage at first movement than other players because he sees it developing quickly and doesn't take many false steps, and on pass plays, he gets to his spots in zone coverage efficiently and drives down toward the quarterback when appropriate.

You can watch some of his film here.

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