RECRUITING: UT Offers S.C. CB

RECRUITING: UT Offers S.C. CB

He may be the most famous Darius from the Palmetto State since Hootie and the Blowfish lead vocalist Darius Rucker was belting out pop hits in the mid-90s.

No, he's not a singer but Darius Gaither has plenty of pop and more hits than most high school linebackers. In fact, at 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, he could be a seek-and-destroy linebacker; the fact he is a cornerback makes him all the more unique.

Currently rated a three-star prospect by Scout.com, Gaither recorded 87 stops as a junior at Fairfield Central High School. He also broke up 16 passes, picked off another seven and return four punts for touchdowns.

That type of production from a cover corner of such imposing stature has college scouts beating a path to Gaither's hometown of Winnsboro, S.C., seeking his services. Add sensational 4.4 speed to his list of athletic attributes and you have a prospect who can cover the prototypical big wide receiver that gives the standard 5-10, 175-pound corner so many problems.

Gaither is also diverse with the potential to play corner, safety or even linebacker at the collegiate level. Yet his greatest value would be as a physical corner who can take a receiver out of a play at the snap of the ball and be a defensive enforcer. He could also play a slot receiver while posing an obstacle against the run.

As word of Gaither gains momentum his stock continues to rise as do the numbers of scholarship offers he has received. Among the schools to offer him are Auburn, Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wake Forest. Expected to step up with offers soon are Georgia and Clemson.

Defensive coordinator John Chavis has has a lot of success getting top notch defenders out of his home Carolina area. It was in 2002 that UT's D.C. helped land a prospect from Charlotte, N.C. who wasn't highly rated but proved himself worthy. That player was All-SEC performer Omar Gaither.

Maybe Darius Gaither is an Omar of things to come.

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