Jalen Henry made the most of his first spring as a linebacker with the Gamecocks.
Henry, from Foley, Ala., had six tackles in South Carolina’s spring game and earned the most improved award for a freshman defender.
He was one of eight midyear enrollees for USC and was happy with his decision to get the school early.
“I wanted to get ahead of everyone and be one of the ones to come in December,” he said. “The coaches said that would be a good idea.”
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Henry this spring was listed as the third-team middle linebacker behind Skai Moore and T.J. Holloman. He will be one of eight scholarship linebackers on a unit that returns experience and depth.
It remains to be seen how he will be able to contribute during the 2015 season.
“I’m not about myself. I’m a team player,” he said. “If they need me to play special teams, I’ll definitely play that. There’s no complaining from me.”
BY THE NUMBERS
Height/weight: 5-10, 219
Stats: As a senior, had 126 tackles (16.5 for loss), four sacks, two forced fumbles.
Rating: Three-star prospect, according to 247Sports Composite
▪ Played in Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game
▪ Missed most of his junior season with a broken foot
▪ One of five players at USC this coming season who are from Alabama
▪ “It’s my goal to get in right away and show what I have.”
▪ “I get out on pass drops really well and get out on the perimeter and tackle well and make plays.”
▪ “To be part of something special like this after not getting the opportunity to do anything my whole junior year and having a big injury and not being able to help my football team, it feels good.”
Linebackers coach Kirk Botkin: “About Shaq Wilson size, athletic, really smart on the board. He’s a really smart football player. All he does is make tackles.”