High School Football

Local speedster tailback from powerhouse program picks up Gamecocks’ offer

Before Saturday, CJ Stokes didn’t have any Division I offers.

That changed with one performance at South Carolina football camp. The Gamecocks offered the Hammond rising sophomore tailback after an impressive effort.

Stokes ran a 4.41 in the 40-yard dash. He ran a 4.47 in the 40 earlier this month at Virginia Tech.

“It honestly means a lot because the coaches have confidence in me and my game,” Stokes said. “I like the family vibe that the coaches and players give off.”

Hammond, a SCISA 3A powerhouse in the state, is becoming a hotbed for Gamecocks recruiting. Senior defensive lineman Alex Huntley committed to the Gamecocks earlier this month. Senior defensive end Jordan Burch is the No. 1 ranked prospect in the country by 247Sports and highly coveted prospect. Burch visited Alabama this weekend, according to 247Sports but has made several visits to USC

“I feel like having them around is a great opportunity for me,” Stokes said of Huntley and Burch. “I have other schools looking at me right now so I do feel like this would help with the process.”

Stokes, 5-foot-10, 175 pounds, played most of last season on the Skyhawks’ JV team but was brought up to the varsity late in the season. He rushed for 172 yards on 34 carries and caught three passes for 12 yards.

But Stokes should see a bigger workload this season, splitting carries with Burch and being more involved in the Skyhawks’ passing game.