Work to do for all-stars

Goose Creek's Brandon Shell
Goose Creek's Brandon Shell

Three of the four players committed to South Carolina that played in last week’s Shrine Bowl are slated to participate in another all-star game.

Lake City tailback Shon Carson and Calhoun County receiver Shamier Jeffery will play in the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl on Dec. 31, and Goose Creek offensive tackle Brandon Shell will participate in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl next month.

Spartanburg corner Ronnie Martin has likely played his final prep games unless he receives a late invite to an all-star event. That doesn’t mean he has started to think about track season, however. Martin is an accomplished sprinter.

The 5-foot-11, 175-pounder knows he needs to add weight this offseason if he’s going to make any on-field contributions for the Gamecocks next fall.

“I’m trying to get my weight up a little more,” he said. “If I can do that, I think I’ll be alright next year.

“I need to learn more about the game. I’ve got the basics down, but there is more that I need to know.”

Martin was a lockdown corner for the Vikings. His physical tools allowed him to shutdown many great receivers, including Clemson-bound standout Charone Peake of Dorman.

Martin was also a special teams ace. He specialized in returning punts and kicks and also blocking them. If he’s going to have an impact as a true freshman, it would most likely come as a return man. Fellow freshman Damiere Byrd is also a standout returner.

Martin had one punt return for two yards and one kickoff return for 27 yards in the Shrine Bowl.

Brains with brawn

When you are the nation’s 148th-ranked wide receiver, there aren’t many major colleges knocking down your door. However, James Island standout Bo Patterson, a Shrine Bowler, kind of likes it that way.

Patterson carries a 4.27 GPA and has decided that his academic pursuits should be just as important as his athletic ones. He will likely end up playing at an Ivy League school.

“Initially I wasn’t thinking Ivy League at all,” he said. “Dartmouth heard about me, and then all the Ivys started offering. It just kind of seemed like a great idea to go get a great education and get out making a lot of money. If an [FBS] schools were to offer, I’d definitely think about it, though.

“I don’t even know anybody that’s gone to an Ivy League school. But everyone that I’ve talked to, all my teachers and coaches, said it’s a good idea.”

Patterson’s use of the word “offer” is, of course, a little different than many players that are currently being recruited. Ivy League schools do not offer athletic aid, though they are known to provide great academic aid packages for their athletes.

Patterson is planning to visit Brown, Dartmouth and Harvard. He played quarterback at James Island this season, but the 6-foot-1, 185-pounder projects as a wide receiver in college. He had 75 catches as a junior in 2009.