Former Bluffton High School standout defensive end Shameik Blackshear will see his first playing time for the South Carolina Gamecocks in Saturday's game against Central Florida, according to The (Columbia) State newspaper.
"I believe he will represent well," Bluffton High School head football coach Ken Cribb said. "I hope he wreaks havoc on the quarterback."
The State's Matt Connolly reported Thursday that Blackshear, a true freshman, would make his debut as one of several personnel changes made in an effort to improve the Gamecocks' defensive performance.
You can read Connolly's story at http://bit.ly/1iQFVu1.
"We're going to play him this week and see if he can do anything," Spurrier said of Blackshear. "We're at the point right now where you play everybody. Defensively we're ranked at the bottom of the conference in about every statistic, so we've got to play everybody and see if we can't make something happen."
On National Signing Day, Feb. 4, Blackshear was the first commitment to fax in his signed letter of intent at 8:24 a.m. He didn't hold a signing ceremony, instead signing at home surrounded only by family.
Blackshear, listed as 6-foot-4, 250 pounds by USC, was rated a four-star prospect by Rivals and 247Sports and was ranked the No. 18 player at his position by Rivals.
Injuries limited him during his junior and senior seasons.
Limited by a shoulder injury his junior season, Blackshear still made 59 tackles, including 11 for loss and five sacks.
He was selected to play in the Under Armour All-America Game held Jan. 2, 2015, but in Week 1 of his senior season, his second game, Blackshear tore his ACL against Effingham County (Ga.), ending his season.
In his last full season of football, his sophomore year of 2012, Blackshear tallied 97 tackles, including 17 for loss and five sacks with 19 quarterback hurries.
Less than two weeks after signing with USC, Blackshear was charged with petit larceny in connection with a theft Feb. 7 putting his future with the Gamecocks in doubt.
But those charges were dropped in April, and Blackshear was medically cleared to play in the spring, allowing him to report to USC practice with the rest of the freshman class.
In August, Blackshear told The State's Josh Kendall he believed he would play this season.
"I have a good feeling I'll play this year," Blackshear said. "I had a little issue learning the plays the first few days but now I know the plays. It shouldn't be hard for me to get a spot to play. They haven't told me I'm going to play, but the amount of reps that I get I just have a feeling they are going to need me to play."