DT KELCY QUARLES, SOUTH CAROLINA*

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6’4” – 298 lbs. – 4.90e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2010: Fork Union Military Academy (Va.)
2011: 28 – 2.0 – 0.0, 4 QBH
2012: 38 – 8.0 – 3.5, 1 QBH

OVERVIEW:

Originally signed with South Carolina, but ended up spending one semester at Fork Union Military Academy, joining the Gamecocks in the Spring of 2011. That season, he played in twelve of thirteen games, starting the final six. Started all eleven games he played in in 2012, missing the Florida and Tennessee games with a shoulder injury.

POSITIVES:

•    Has almost three years of starting experience, with escalating production in each.
•    Began his career listed at 271 pounds and has added considerable bulk since then.
•    Tall and long enough to conceivably transition to the five-technique in a 3-4 defense.
•    Strong enough to drive offensive linemen back into the pocket with his bull rush.
•    Quick off of the snap and is capable of shooting gaps to penetrate into the backfield.
•    When he gets past his man, closes quickly and can finish his pressures with sacks.
•    Anchor is good enough to hold his own against bigger blockers without losing much.
•    Does a nice job of using his long arms to make tackles when engaged by blockers.
•    Rangy; athletic and determined enough to pursue plays further than most tackles.

NEGATIVES:

•    Despite having gained weight, still has a top-heavy build with a thin lower body.
•    Has some problems with leverage due to his height, gets too upright out of stance.
•    Overall awareness as a run defender can create problems with one-gap approach.
•    Could stand to add some more variety into his repertoire of block-shedding moves.
•    Probably won’t have much appeal to two-gap teams with even defensive fronts.
•    Production has been inflated as a byproduct of playing next to Jadeveon Clowney.
•    May require some investigation into academic habits after playing at a junior college.

SUMMARY:

Quarles plays inside in South Carolina’s 4-3 defense, but at the next level his frame may be better suited to a 3-4 defense, where height is more valued. A player who has performed well when given both one-and-two-gap responsibilities, he may be better suited to the former, where his ability to shoot gaps would be highlighted, although he should draw some interest from teams with two-gap philosophies as well. With some time in an NFL strength program and work on his leverage/awareness versus the run, he possesses the potential to develop into a starter, or at least a prominent member of a team’s defensive line rotation.

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