Eric Wolford off to fast start

Wes Mitchell, GamecockCentral.com
Gamecock Central
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New South Carolina offensive line coach Eric Wolford has made quick work in his goal of upgrading the overall athleticism on the South Carolina offensive line.

Wolford, who previously spent a year at USC in 2009, took a similar approach then when he landed a five-man class of A.J. Cann, Ronald Patrick, Corey Robinson, Cody Gibson and Tramell Williams, and hit on four of the five prospects.

An 80 percent hit rate on the offensive line over a period of time is not a realistic expectation, but Wolford seems to be off to a strong start during his second time in Columbia as he looks to bring in a class that will similarly reshape the position.

Below is a look at the three committed prospects.

Offensive tackle

4 STARS

South Carolina
Murfreesboro

RR: 5.8

Ht: 6'6.0"

Wt: 280.0

Class: 2018

POSITION

-

NATIONAL

STATE

Commitment status:

verbal

South Carolina

One source describes Iyama as a future NFL prospect and the type of prototypical left tackle that South Carolina needs to add to its program. Iyama is a bit raw, but has the size and athleticism that its coveted at the position and he'll only get bigger and stronger as he continues to grow into his frame. South Carolina hasn't had a lot of past success in the state of Tennessee, but recruiter Bobby Bentley has done a good job of making in-roads and it appears to be paying off as more prospects than ever from the state seem to be showing legitimate interest in the Gamecocks. Iyama, South Carolina's highest rated commit to this point, Iyama is a hit at a major position of need for Wolford.

Offensive center

3 STARS

South Carolina
Chapin

RR: 5.6

Ht: 6'4.0"

Wt: 275.0

Class: 2018

-

POSITION

-

NATIONAL

STATE

Commitment status:

verbal

South Carolina

Manos was one of South Carolina's top offensive line targets and it's easy to see why. It's also easy to see Manos' state-championship wrestling background on film too as he has a strong understanding of leverage and seems to enjoy contact. Chapin-area contacts describe Manos as a weight room warrior and he's added 40 pounds of good weight in the last year or so. Manos has also grown into more of a leader as his senior year approaches and is described as a team first kid who never puts himself first. He'll need to continue to get bigger and stronger, as is the case with most offensive line prospects, but Manos is likely a future multi-year starter for the Gamecocks. He could play any of the interior positions, but he strikes me as the Gamecocks' future starting center.

Defensive tackle

3 STARS

South Carolina
Covington

RR: 5.6

Ht: 6'3.0"

Wt: 305.0

Class: 2018

-

POSITION

-

NATIONAL

STATE

Commitment status:

verbal

South Carolina

Probably the o-line commit that the least is known about, Benson is listed as a defensive tackle in the Rivals.com database, but is set to play on the interior of the offensive line for the Gamecocks. He's also listed at 305 pounds, but is probably more in the 330-pound range. Benson was described by one college coach as a "mauler" on film and while he's raw - he's only played on year of offensive line - he's another athletic upgrade like the Gamecocks are looking for. Taking high school defensive tackles and molding them to college offensive guards is a good recipe as that athleticism transfers over, but finding the ones that buy into the idea isn't always easy. Benson has bought into the idea and, while not an immediate impact, is a high upside prospect.

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