February 2, 2007

Defensive newcomers will make big impact

Analysis and commentary by Keith Allsep.

With its best recruiting class in school history only days away from becoming official, it's time to take a look at who will contribute immediately. While it appears Carolina will have the No. 1 rated receiver class in the nation, and four-star quarterback Stephen Garcia is already enrolled, it is likely to be players recruited for the defensive side of the ball that will make the biggest impact. In today's column, we will take a look at some of the defensive prospects that could make an early impact in 2007.

Earlier this month, the Gamecocks welcomed the arrival of seven prospects that have already enrolled for spring classes and will go through winter workouts and spring practice. Included among those seven are four defensive linemen that will challenge for playing time.

One player who has stood out in the early winter workouts has been four-star defensive end Travian Robertson. The 6-foot-4, 240-pound Laurinburg, N.C., native appears to be fully recovered from the ACL injury he suffered as a junior. The Rivals100 selection is coming off an impressive performance in the Offense-Defense All American Bowl in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., as well as making a strong showing in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas in December.

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