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February 4, 2012

Class of 2013 First Look

  Jim Baxter is the publisher/owner of SCVarsity.com. Email him your question, comment or story ideas to scvarsity@sc.rr.com and follow him on Twitter

The Class of 2013 Rankings are underway and it is evident that, once again, the Palmetto State is loaded with players who will grace the gridiron of college football after their high school careers are done. Here is a first look at the top players from next year's crop of athletes.

It is evident that, like the Class of 2012, this next class will be loaded at the wide receiver position. As many as six wide receivers could be inside the SOUTH CAROLINA TOP TWENTY by SCVarsity.com and the top spot will more than likely be one of these guys. Leading the way are two players who have drawn a plethora of recruiting attention, Tramel Terry (6-0, 190) of Goose Creek and Mike Williams (6-4, 195) of Lake Marion High School. Both of these guys have more than a dozen offers and possess the skills to step onto a college campus and challenge for playing time. Byrnes' Akia Booker (6-0, 180) is a player who is built like a slot for the next level, but has the strength to get off of the line as a wide out and could very well challenge for a top spot in the rankings. Two "virtually unknowns" in the mix at this position are Dominic Taylor (6-2, 190) of Spring Valley and BJ DeWalt (5-11, 170) of Brookland-Cayce High School. Taylor is a big bodied receiver who can make the tough catches in traffic and battles well in the air, attacking the ball at its highest point. DeWalt is an acrobatic "hands" guy who can catch anything thrown near him and has absolutely lethal speed after the catch; he will, however, have to develop strength to get more physical in order to get off the line at the next level, unless he is used exclusively in the slot.

While the offensive line position is not always the deepest in the state, the 2013 Class has three very good ones. Two hale from Dillon High School and they are D.J. Park (6-6,305), who has already committed to the University of South Carolina, and Bryce King (6-4, 290), who will, no doubt, be one of the higher ranked centers in the Southeast. Wilson's Justin Evans (6-5, 280) rounds out this trio of offensive trenchmen who will challenge for a spot in the SOUTH CAROLINA TOP TWENTY.

Only one quarterback is on the list of those competing for a Top Twenty spot and that is Conway's Mykal Moody (5-11, 190). Moody will more than likely be recruited as an athlete at the I-A level but certainly be courted by the I-AA and DII's as a mobile, athletic, dual-threat quarterback.

Completing the offensive players who will be looking for a spot in the rankings are three running backs. Harold Atkinson (6-1, 205) of Carolina Forest has an offer on the table from the Big Ten and has both in state schools looking at him, as well. He is a big bodied, physical runner with good speed and explodes through traffic. He would be a great mesh runner in an offense like Georgia Tech. White Knoll's Lamar Ray (6-0, 190) is an elusive, physical runner with the wheels to get to the outside. He is one of the guys in this class that could be a sleeper pick up. Dillon's Jabo Lee (5-10, 185) is a strong, down hill runner with great vision and breakaway speed. He will be a four year starter Dillon as a senior and has been a major force in their championship quests.

On the defensive side of the football, one defensive back standous out among all others at this point in the rankings process and that is Spartanburg's Justin Bridges-Thompson (6-0, 185). He is impressive as a coverage guy and is not afraid to mix it up in run support.

Three defensive linemen standout as challengers for a TOP TWENTY spot. Defensive end Davaris McGowens (6-5, 230) of Eastside and defensive tackles Jaylen Miller(6-3, 265) of Gaffney and Michael Hill (6-3,315) of Pendleton lead the way for the defensive trenchmen.

There are four linebackers who will be looking at getting spots in the SOUTH CAROLINA TOP TWENTY. Goose Creek High School's Jalen Stevens (6-4, 218) and Gerald Turner (6-1, 235) are two physical players who anchored the Gators' championship team. Stevens could find himself being recruited as an end coming off the edge at the next level. Joining these two are Ben Boulware (6-1, 225) from T.L. Hanna and Lake City's Devaris Brunson (6-1, 205), who could be the best of the this lot.

**Keep in mind, this is a first look at the rankings and evaluations are still underway. For a complete look at all of the players we are evaluating check out THE VARSITY UNDERGROUND private message board, as we update our Top Players List through the Spring. The below list is in alphabetical order.

SCVARSITY.COM FIRST LOOK AT 2013 CLASS TOP PLAYERS

PLAYER

POS

HGT

WGT

SCHOOL

Atkinson, Harold

RB

6'1

205

Carolina Forest

Booker, Akia

WR

6'0

189

Byrnes

Boulware, Ben

LB

6'1

220

T.L. Hanna

Boyd, BJ

WR

6'0

177

Northwestern

Bridges-Thompson, Justin

DB

6'2

190

Spartanburg

Brunson, Devaris

LB

6'1

205

Lake City

DeWalt, B.J.

WR

5'11

170

Brookland-Cayce

Evans, Justin

OL-T

6'5

280

Wilson

Hill, Michael

DT

6'3

315

Pendleton

King, Byrce

OL-C

6'4

288

Dillon

Lee, Jabo

RB

5'10

189

Dillon

McGowens, Davaris

DE

6'5

230

Eastside

Miller, Jaylen

DE

6'2

234

Gaffney

Moody, Mykal

QB

5'11

189

Conway

Park, D.J.

OL-T

6'6

305

Dillon

Ray, Lamar

RB

6'0

190

White Knoll

Stevens, Jalen

LB

6'4

218

Goose Creek

Taylor, Dominic

WR

6'2

185

Spring Valley

Terry, Tramel

WR

5'11

170

Goose Creek

Turner, Gerald

LB

6'2

235

Goose Creek

Williams, Mike

WR

6'4

184

Lake Marion

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