COLUMBIA – With so many workouts and player-run practices throughout the summer, when the freshmen can show off their talents a little bit, it’s hard for a college football freshman to really catch his teammates off guard in fall camp.
But as much as a guy can turn heads now South Carolina's Xavier Legette is doing it.
“As far as right now, he’s been the biggest, not surprise, because when he got here this summer we saw he had flashes of being pretty good,” quarterback Jake Bentley said. “But to come in and make plays and make plays on the ball, he’s looked really good; I think he’s going to help us for sure.”
Legette was a late addition in the Gamecocks’ 2019 class, committing in December and enrolling over the summer. He immediately started impressing his teammates with his raw speed.
He wasn’t a natural receiver at Mullins High School, playing quarterback while rushing for over 1,800 yards, passing for almost 900 and accounting for 33 touchdowns as a senior.
Even though he’s only really played receiver full-time for a few weeks since arriving on campus, he’s impressed his quarterbacks with the ability to haul in passes. It helps to also be one of the speediest guys on the field.
“He’s very fast, one of the fastest guys on the team,” Dakereon Joyner said. “He has an eye for the ball.
"He’ll go attack the ball.”
Legette is already making people notice him at one of the outside receiver spots and is taking reps at punt returner.
But it’s not just the offensive guys who see flashes from Legette.
After going up against the Gamecock defensive backs all summer and now through the first part of fall camp, they’re really getting a good idea of what he’ll be able to do on the field and think his skill set will be able to help the team sooner rather than later.
“He’s quick and fast. He’s sneaky fast. He’s going to be a good receiver,” Jaycee Horn said. “I’ve seen it from PRPs in the summer.
"He’s going to be a real good receiver.”
He’s only eight practices into his college career with his first big test of fall camp coming up Monday in the team’s first scrimmage before the season.
It’ll be his first chance to show coaches what he could bring to the table in a game setting and try to earn playing time once the season starts.
South Carolina isn’t afraid to play freshmen, and it’s just a matter of how quickly Legette can learn the playbook to determine if he’ll be able to make an early impact.
“I try to help them a lot to understand concepts, not plays,” Bentley said. “If there’s a drive concept, learn the concept, not necessarily what I have on this play. I think it gets easier that way. They can move around and understand it a little better.”