South Carolina Football: Gamecock target gets bumped up to 5-star rating

South Carolina football target Jared Smith was bumped up to a 5-star rating on Wednesday.
South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer
South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer and his staff have been putting in work on the recruiting trail. The class of 2025 has a chance to be a special one for the Gamecocks if a few things go their way over the next six months (an improved season on the field is probably part of that equation).

Gamecock targets like offensive lineman David Sanders and linebacker/EDGE Zayden Walker have already moved up to the ranks of the 5-star prospects, and on Wednesday, when 247Sports revealed their updated class of 2025 rankings, another major Carolina target was bumped up from 4-star territory to the group of elite 5-star recruits.

Athletic EDGE player Jared Smith (Thompson High School, Alabama) is one of the top players on the Gamecocks' recruiting board, and he received his 5th star with the updated rankings. He slots in as the #19 player in the country in the 247Sports rankings.

As a player, Smith looks like he was built in a lab to play defensive end. With still another year of physical development in high school left for him, his 6'6.5", 235-pound frame could add a little more natural size. He is a smooth athlete for the position and has impressive burst and bend in pass rush situations.

A basketball player, too, Smith plays with his head up, looking for opportunities to knock passes down at the line of scrimmage. He has experience playing with his hand in the dirt at defensive end and as a stand-up edge rusher.

Smith's technique will need some coaching at the college level, but there is plenty of reason to be optimistic about his future as a player.

The Gamecocks also have been involved with other 5-star prospects like Elijah Griffin (DT, Georgia), Caleb Cunningham (WR, Mississippi), Isaiah Gibson (EDGE, Georgia), and Solomon Thomas (OL, Florida), but they are all longshots at this point to end up at Carolina. Gibson (Southern Cal Trojans) and Thomas (Florida State Seminoles) are already committed elsewhere.

Unlike those players, Smith has been thought of as a lean to the South Carolina football program for some time.

You can watch some of his film here.

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