South Carolina football signee Keshawn Toney ‘at a loss for words’ after joining Gamecocks
South Carolina’s Bobby Bentley had already gotten his hands on freshman tight end Keshawn Toney and was just starting to work with Traevon Kenion.
And he liked what he saw.
“Keshawn has done a really good job picking the system up,” Bentley said during spring practice. “He is really going to be a really good player
“Tre Kenion just got in. We’ve got to get him out to practice now and get him up to speed.”
Kenion missed the start of spring practice because of an admissions issue. He was on campus at the start of last week and working his way through the acclimation process.
Toney spent much of his recruitment as one of the lowest-rated prospects in South Carolina’s class, but after enrolling made a jump of nearly 350 spots in the national rankings. As a senior, he caught 51 passes for 750 yards and nine touchdowns, despite dealing with injury and playing defense.
He checked in at 6-foot-2, 236 pounds, and his coach likes his potential as a playmaker. His teammates like his approach, how he put in extra time behind the scenes.
“I think he’s a wide receiver that can play tight end,” Bentley said. ”When you look at his tape from high school. He’s a guy that’s splitting guys down the middle and he can really run. He’s a big guy, 245, 250 pounds and can really motor.”
If he is up to that weight, it could mean a good bit more work in the box. At 236, he might be in line for the H-back slot position filled last year by K.C. Crosby and Kiel Pollard.
If Toney is a receiver who can play tight end, Kenion is a tight end who actually played wide receiver. The 6-foot-3, 242-pounder moved there in a three-back offense after transferring to Wake Forest High School his senior season.
“Just going back and looking at his video from high school, he’s really talented,” Bentley said. “So I can’t wait to get him out on the field and see him running around in the grass.”
His team only threw 10.5 passes a game, completing 5.6. He accounted for more than half the team’s receiving production, with 43 receptions, 834 yards and 15 of the team’s 20 passing scores.
Losing the first few months of the semester will likely leave Kenion a bit behind, but getting the next few weeks of practice and more time in the weight room could pay off down the line.
“A guy can come in in the spring and not have to worry about a game, not have to worry about all the academic pressure of being here,” Bentley said. “Now he can come in, a little more relaxed. Practice is every other day. Got a gap in between them.
“I think it’s going to help Tre tremendously this time next year.”