Had a checkered prep career, getting kicked off three high school teams before moving to Darlington (S.C.) High in 2009. Earned all-state honors despite playing only six games because of eligibility issues following a transfer. Originally committed to Florida, but the Gators backed off after his dismissal from his football team in Charlotte. Signed with South Carolina in February 2010 and was arrested for underage drinking two days later. Redshirted in 2010. The following June, he was kicked off the team for breaking unspecified team rules; he was reinstated the following week and hit with a three-game suspension. Finally saw his first Gamecocks action in the fall of 2011 as a reserve cornerback and kick returner, recording 14 tackles, three pass breakups and one interception. As a starting cornerback in 2012, he tallied 40 tackles, six pass breakup and one interception with three tackles for loss and one sack. Made 12 starts; in the non-start against Florida, the first defensive play was a goal-line situation. In that game, he returned a blocked extra point for a two-point conversion. Played in all 13 games in 2013 and was in the starting lineup 10 times. Did not start against Georgia or in the Capital One Bowl against Wisconsin after unspecified violations of team rules. Recorded 51 tackles, nine pass breakups and three interceptions with five tackles for loss and one forced fumble. Had 10 career kickoff returns for 242 yards (24.2-yard average) and 11 punt returns for 25 yards (2.3). Arrested in April following an alleged dispute with his sister.
Well put together. Good movement skill. Plays with attitude and brings a swagger. Supports the run aggressively and is a physical tackler. Reads the quarterback and jumps routes. Good transitional quickness for his size. Drives hard on the ball. Good anticipation and ball skills. Offers safety-cornerback versatility.
Character will require careful evaluation. Has been troubled by a number of off-field issues dating back to high school, when he attended four schools. Has had issues with anger management, emotional outbursts and team suspensions. Could be susceptible to unsportsmanlike conduct penalties given tendency to talk and taunt. Lacks ideal height. Below-average timed speed and leaping ability for a corner. Can do a better job using his hands to reroute receivers in press coverage. Weight has ballooned as high as 215.
Thick-bodied defensive back with cornerback and safety traits whose size and speed likely dictate his future at safety in the NFL. Character concerns will cloud his draft status and have already knocked him off some draft boards, and bust potential might outweigh his upside.