Future Gamecocks get chance to shine in national games

dmclemore@thestate.comDecember 26, 2013 

Donell Stanley of Latta High in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, held Saturday at Gibbs Stadium in Spartanburg.

DWAYNE MCLEMORE — dmclemore@thestate.com

The high school football season for a select few is not quite over.

Eight South Carolina class of 2014 commitments are among the 300 or so players who get to put on the pads one more time in one of three national all-star games.

“It’s going to set the tone for college,” Latta High offensive lineman Donell Stanley said. “These all-star games, they’re big games to play in. You have a lot of support and a lot of people watching you. Just to let my name be known is a blessing.”

Stanley and three other future Gamecocks are headed to San Antonio, Texas, and the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He will be joined by linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams (Ellenwood, Ga.), wide receiver Shaq Davidson (Gaffney, SC) and defensive end Dante Sawyer (Suwanee, Ga.).

Stanley and Davidson are fresh off a week in Spartanburg and the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas. That experience helped prepare them for what they’ll face in Texas, they said.

“You’re competing against the best of the best,” Stanley said. “Coming out here and playing hard is very important. You’ve got to bring your A game. I came here and got better. Hopefully I can do the same in San Antonio.”

There is a lot of competition in an all-star setting, Davidson said.

“Everybody is good,” he said. “It’s a big honor. I look forward to representing my city.”

Chapman High receiver and USC pledge Tyshun Samuel learned of his invite to the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl in the moments after Saturday’s Shrine Bowl.

The practices leading up to an all-star game give receivers extra time to be coached on footwork, catching the ball and blocking, he said.

“It’s an honor to play in any all-star game,” Samuel said. “It’s a chance to get better.”

Also playing in the Offense-Defense game in Orlando, Fla., are offensive lineman Malik Young (Piedmont, SC) and tight end Kalan Ritchie (Goose Creek, SC).

Bamberg-Ehrhardt tight end Kevin “K.C.” Crosby is the lone South Carolina commitment in the Under Armour All-America Game in Tampa, Fla. USC recruiting targets Dexter Wideman (defensive tackle, Saluda, SC) and Damian Prince (offensive lineman, Forestville, Md.) also will participate.

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