Clemson, led by Da'Quan Bowers, and USF each have something to play for in Friday's Meineke Car Care Bowl. The Tigers (6-6) want to avoid having their first losing season since 1998, while the Bulls (7-5) look to reach eight victories for the fifth straight season. [details]
Personal: Rated as the #8 cornerback in the nation according to CollegeFootballNews.com...four-star prospect and #6 cornerback in the nation by Rivals.com...#42 prospect in the nation by Rivals.com...#7 cornerback in the nation by Scout.com...#47 player in the nation by Tom Lemming...#11 defensive back in the nation according to PrepStar...member of the PrepStar 100...member of the ESPN 150 according to ESPN.com...second-team All-American by USA Today...SuperPrep All-American as a defensive back at T. Wingate Andrews High...received All-America honors by PrepStar...U.S. Army All-American Bowl participant...U.S. Army All-American scholar...#5 player in North Carolina by SuperPrep...#3 prospect in North Carolina according to Rivals.com...Carolina Panthers Community Captain Nominee...Watkins Award Semifinalist...selected for the Shrine Bowl...all-state as a junior and a two-time all-conference pick...Piedmont-Triad AAA Defensive Player-of-the-Year as a junior...NCHSAA Scholar-Athlete...participant in the North Carolina Athletic Association First-Team Program...missed four games his senior season due to an elbow injury...recorded 46 tackles, one tackle for loss, two interceptions, four pass breakups, one rushing touchdown, and one touchdown on a punt return as a senior...had 235 yards rushing, 110 yards receiving, nine punt returns for 185 yards, and nine kickoff returns for 215 yards as a senior...as a junior, he accumulated 52 tackles, one tackle for loss, 10 interceptions, seven pass breakups, and one recovered fumble; he also had four kickoff returns, two punt returns, and two interception returns for touchdowns as a junior...scored a total of 11 touchdowns as a junior...recorded 1,460 all-purpose yards as a junior, including 220 rushing, 181 receiving, and 1,059 in returns...averaged 17 yards per attempt in all-purpose yards as a junior...four-year letterman in basketball; he was conference player-of-the-year as a senior...all-conference in basketball as a junior...three-year letterman in track & field; he was a member of the state championship 4x200m team...participated as a Peer to Peer mentor...volunteered at the High Point Salvation Army in the Angel Tree Program...recruited by Tight Ends Coach Billy Napier...chose Clemson over Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Southern California, Tennessee, and Virginia Tech...born Dec. 8, 1988.
Notes: Also excelled in basketball and track as a North Carolina prep, in addition to playing cornerback, receiver and kick returner. Missed four games as a senior because of an elbow injury. As a true freshman in 2007, played in all 13 games and recorded 17 tackles, one pass breakup and zero interceptions. Also returned four kickoffs for 119 yards (29.8-yard average). At free safety in '08, played in all 13 games (started as a third safety against Georgia Tech) and tallied 21-2-0 with 2-17 (8.5) on punt returns and a 46-yard kickoff return. Started all 14 games at free safety (also saw time as a nickel defender) in '09, logging 107-6-0 with two tackles for loss, a sack and three forced fumbles. Moved back to cornerback, where he started all 13 games in '10, posting 60-10-1 with three tackles for loss. Also made a mark on special teams, returning kicks 27-639 (23.7) and punts 23-233 (10.1). Missed the second half of the Maryland game with a leg injury. Team captain.
Positives: Looks the part. Good movement skills with nice feet and a fluid stride. Active - plays with urgency, pursues hard and recorded excellent tackle production. Good closing quickness and recovery burst. Efficient covering the slot. Bench-pressed 225 pounds 26 times and posted a 38Ĺ-inch vertical leap at the Combine. Versatile - has played corner and safety and returned kicks. Intelligent, vocal leader who is well-respected by teammates and coaches. Knows everyone's assignments and can line up a defense - impressive on the chalkboard in team interviews.
Negatives: Lacks ideal height. Can play with more pop in his hands to redirect receivers and play off blocks. Average speed and acceleration. Not an explosive hitter. Lacks twitch to mirror slot receivers. Loses a step in transition. Has small hands and questionable ball production (one career interception). Is not natural or explosive in the return game, and ball security was an issue.
Summary: Tough, durable, energetic, scheme-diverse jack-of-all-trades but master of none. Possesses the strength, smarts and football temperament desired at safety but has yet to show downfield playmaking ability and lacks ideal twitch to handle NFL slot receivers. Greatest value figures to come as a safety in a weak crop. A coach's favorite and the type of player you win with.