The Early Signing Period for college football began on Wednesday, and National Letters of Intent have been flying in from all over the country. While most of those NLIs are not sent in via fax machine anymore, commitments are not official until paperwork is completed. The South Carolina football program is hoping to have most of their class secured by the end of the Early Signing Period.
One of the players in the class who made things official is 4-star safety Kelvin Hunter.
Recruiting Ranking: 4 stars (On3, 247Sports, ESPN), 3 stars (Rivals); Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas
Measurables: 6'0"; 180 pounds; 4.4-second 40-yard dash; 36" vertical; 275-pound bench press
Former Player Comp: Rashad Faison
Kelvin Hunter is a bad man. The West Florence High School product is a hard-hitting safety that can do a little bit of everything for a defense. His best trait is his ability to come up in run support, but he has good speed that allows him to play well in coverage, and his aggressive play style led his high school coaches to use him in pass rush situations, as well.
Hunter has impressive body control, both when making plays on the ball in the air and in getting around would-be blockers on his way to the man with the football. He is also tougher than most players his size, something he demonstrated as the best running back on his team, as well.
As a player, Hunter plays a similar style to Rashad Faison. Arguably the best safety in South Carolina football history, no one should hold Hunter to the standard of playing as well as Rashad Faison. However, Faison's ability to come down hill and light up a running back is one that is shared by Hunter. Both players also were a bit undersized (Faison's height, Hunter's weight) but played bigger than they actually were.
South Carolina football has three returners at safety that have started at least 10 games for the Gamecocks, so it doesn't seem particularly likely that he will get a lot of playing time early in Columbia. However, with a little time to develop physically and to work on his coverage skills, Hunter could be the next great safety to play in garnet and black. He will contribute on special teams early but could develop into a stud in the secondary before all is said and done.
You can watch some of his film here.