Another week, another couple of epic SEC matchups. This week’s headliner has to be Florida hosting South Carolina, even though the Gamecocks are coming off of a tough loss to LSU and missing some key pieces of their team, including Marcus Lattimore. We have profiled the top prospects for both South Carolina as well as Florida, and you can check out all of those comprehensive reports here at NFL Mocks.
South Carolina seems over-matched on the road against a surprising and very good Gators team. That doesn’t mean they don’t have a shot, but quarterback Connor Shaw is going to have to be on his A-game as SC tries to get back on the right track this week. Here is a taste of some prospect profiles from the top player pages for each team.
South Carolina Gamecocks
21 DeVonte Holloman, Safety, Senior 6’2″ 232 pounds
The big linebacker/safety hybrid player followed up a very good sophomore season with a solid junior campaign, but he has really high expectations going into his senior season. As a junior, Holloman finished with 51 tackles, four tackles for loss, an interception, and four passes broken up. Missed two games last season, but he is expected to once again be a big contributor on a defense filled with talent despite losing some key pieces to the NFL. Holloman is the kind of guy who is versatile enough to play safety or linebacker at the NFL level, but with his size and athletic ability, he seems like an ideal outside linebacker. This is a very talented kid with good speed, athletic ability, and overall versatility. I could see him going in the first round if he has a big season in 2012, but more than likely, he will find himself drafted in the first three rounds without a major injury in 2012.
Former highly touted five star recruit who has been a solid contributor for the South Carolina defense since he stepped on campus, but he is ready for a breakout season. Last season, he had 62 tackles, a forced fumble, and two interceptions. South Carolina is planning to move Holloman to linebacker in 2011 as he will battle with Antonio Allen for the SPUR linebacker position. He is a great athlete with obvious tackling ability, but if nobody emerges at the strong safety position over the Spring, look for him to move back to safety. My best guess is that he will come back to the Gamecocks for a senior season, but if he has as big a season as he is capable of, he could be an early entrant.
23 Mike Gillislee, Running Back, Senior 5’11″ 209 pounds
Gillislee is a markedly improved player as a Senior, but where I see the most improvement is in pass protection. Against Texas A&M, he had some pancake blocks and showed he can be a three down back. After having just 10 touchdown runs in his first three seasons as a Gator, Gillislee has come out in 2012 and put up some big numbers, including an average of just under six yards per carry and five touchdowns through the first four games of the season. Gillislee does a good job of reading the play and using his vision, cutting upfield quickly. Not a burner, but definitely has some speed to the outside and runs tough on the inside. Not going to be a flashy pick, but has a chance to stick as a later round pick in the NFL.