Blackville-HIlda recruit responds to Gamecock offer after Shane Beamer camp

Jaquel Holman of Blackville-Hilda

Blackville-Hilda’s Jaquel Holman is expected to be one of the top players in the T&D region next football season.


During one of his first live replays at a position he doesn’t play, Jaquel Holman dropped back into coverage, tracked the football and jumped to knock it out of the air before the receiver could get a square inch of skin on the leather.

Shane Beamer stood about 25 feet away in the end zone, put his hands on his knees and turned his head toward Kevin Jones, Holman’s coach at Blackville-Hilda High School. Beamer pursed his lips and raised his eyebrows. The non-verbal way to say ‘Wow’.

“I can’t teach size and speed,” Jones said.

“No, that’s not possible,” Beamer agreed.

A few hours later, in the recruiting lounge in South Carolina, Beamer formally offered the 6-foot-1, 200-pound three-star athlete.

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Holman sat as Jones drove him back to Blackville, still trying to process the news.

“I’m so happy now, I can hardly think about what I did in camp,” he said. “I watched this team since I was little and dreamed of playing for Williams-Brice. Now I have the chance. It’s a dream come true.”

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Holman admitted he has choices to make and a tough decision to make, adding that he will likely commit to a college in July before the start of his senior season of high school.

Pittsburgh offered him as a running back, and Holman admitted he will likely take an official visit there next week.

Clemson is also in the mix. Holman has spoken with Tigers defensive coordinator Wes Goodwin, but Clemson still has not made an offer.

“Clemson hasn’t shown as much interest as Carolina,” he said. “I think they got interested because of Carolina. It’s one of those things like, ‘Okay, so Carolina wants him? Let me look at him too.’ ”

After Friday, South Carolina definitely wants him.

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The Gamecocks have shown interest in recent months, but things picked up after Holman won the SC High School League 1A championship in the 100 meters (10.81), 200 meters (21.98) and 4×100 (41.90 ).

At USC camp on Friday, Holman clocked a 4.43-second 40-yard dash, which impressed South Carolina coaches.

Defensive coordinator Clayton White coached Holman individually for about half an hour, focusing mainly on coverage drills.

“He wanted to see me deteriorate and wanted to see if I could continue as a DB,” Holman said. “They go back and forth because they don’t know how my body is going to (develop).”

The Gamecocks, Holman said, believe he could potentially stay at linebacker if he jumps to 225 or 230 lbs, but could also move to safety if he stays around 210 lbs. There’s also a chance they let him try at running back (he had 26 TDs and averaged over 10 yards as a junior).

“I can run track in college,” Holman said. “It’s kind of 50-50 at the moment (which position I like best).”

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But for now, he still needs time to tell his parents that their favorite school, the university an hour away, the school they have always chosen, wants Holman to play for them.

“(My family are) Carolina fans, but they’re not going to push me in one direction,” Holman said. “I know they would love to see me go to Carolina because I grew up watching Carolina.”

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