A Gamecock defensive lineman is heading to NFL draft.
It's just not the one you expected to hear from this earlier in the season.
According to multiple reports, South Carolina defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles will enter the 2014 NFL draft.
This shouldn't come as a big surprise, but we've been informed by someone close to him that Kelcy Quarles plans to go pro after the season.— SportsTalk (@sportstalksc) November 6, 2013
The State is also reporting that Quarles is headed to the NFL draft according to Quarles father, Buddy. Quarles has slowly become a dominant force for the Gamecocks this season, leading the team in sacks with 7.0 this season and tackles for loss with 11.5. The 6-foot-4, 298-pound tackle from Hopkins, South Carolina has started eight games this season and 25 total in his career.
Quarles is a South Carolina legacy as his father Buddy played at South Carolina from 1984 to 1987. He originally signed with South Carolina in February 2010 but enrolled at Fork Union Military Academy before being able to enroll at South Carolina in the spring of 2011.
In his career, Quarles has 21.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks.
Early indications are that Quarles could find himself drafted in the draft's first three rounds but a strong finish and combine workouts can improve his draft stock.
Losing Quarles on the defensive line will certainly be tough for South Carolina, especially with Jadeveon Clowney heading for the draft next year as well. Still, South Carolina is expected to return a large portion of players on the two-deep next season and will hopefully be able to replace Quarles and his production in 2014.