|John Raoux/Associated Press|
|South Carolina defensive lineman Kelcy Quarles is the third Gamecocks defender to opt to go pro in 2014.|
What's been presumed for a couple of months, since his father spilled Kelcy Quarles' NFL beans, became official Thursday as the Gamecocks defensive lineman reportedly signed with an agent, thus ending his NCAA eligibility, and will enter the 2014 NFL Draft.
Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal reported via Twitter that Quarles has chosen Relativity Sports and will be represented by Eugene Parker and Tory Dandy. Quarles was the most productive defensive lineman the Gamecocks had this season, with team-highs in sacks (9.5) and tackles for loss (13.5). He finished the year with 39 tackles from an interior tackle position, just one less than star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.
The 300-pound Quarles has drawn a comparison to Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp from Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier. Ideally suited to play tackle in a 4-3 defense, Quarles has an impressive ability to penetrate the offensive backfield with a quick first step.
Quarles becomes the third South Carolina underclassman to declare his intention to enter the draft, joining defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and cornerback Vic Hampton. South Carolina may also lose junior wide receiver Bruce Ellington, who is expected to make his announcement in the coming days.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.