The 2015 class in the state of South Carolina has gotten off to a mighty strong start and we profile a prospect who not only is the biggest in terms of stature to date but also has the potential to be one of the best as well. Gaffney High School continues their winning ways as they were arguably the most impressive team in the state last season dominating everyone before falling to rivals Byrnes in the AAAA Division 1 state championship game. Up front they'll see 2015 offensive lineman T.J. Haney step up as a probably starter and the 6'6 315 pound prospect has off the charts upside as he's "UP NEXT" with SCPrepNation.com!
Haney passes the proverbial "look test" with flying colors checking in at 6'6 315 pounds. Although he spent most of his freshman season on the JV team he was called up late in the season as the Indians continued to crush opponents down the playoff stretch. He's expected to start for coach Dan Jones' group as a sophomore next season and a handful of schools are already showing early interest in what we feel is a star in the making.
Haney has already seen one of the in-state powers and he talked about his experience there.
"Yes, I visited South Carolina on Febuary 4th and I liked it alot. The coaches were nice and their athletic department really impressed me."
The 2015 prospect talked about some goals he's set for himself as he's making preparations for his sophomore season next year.
"One of my goals is to start varsity as a sophomore and my other is to win state because we lost this year to our rivals Byrnes in the state game."
While size means a lot when it comes to the big guys up front the youngster realizes there's more to the science of being a lineman than just being big. He shared where he feels he's got distinct strengths and advantages right now when it comes to his game.
"With me being left handed it gives me a great advantage over almost all of the defensive linemen I go up against. I have a very strong upper body that I also use to my advantage. I am also very smart which means I can make the right changes to my blocking assignment when needed."
When Haney says he's smart, he isn't kidding either. The Gaffney standout reports a 4.3 GPA and is an honor student.
Haney says there's definite room for improvement when it comes to his play on the football field and he talked about a couple of areas where he'll strive to get better.
"My footwork and my run blocking because I need to get quicker in order to lead block for my running back and in order to change directions on pulling assignments."
The Gaffney prospect competed recently in the Nike Combine held in Charlotte North Carolina where he posted a score of 67 despite his youth compared to most participants. He talked about his experience at the event and how he felt he performed.
"I felt that I could have did better but a 67 SPARQ rating is not bad for a freshman. My favorite testing event was the powerball throwing because I my upper body is very strong."
With it being his first SPARQ experience Haney says he'll approach things differently next year in an effort to improve his score.
"Yes, I now understand how important it is to do your best in each event. Next year I will be aiming for the invite to The Opening."
The 6'6 315 pounder is also looking forward to one game in particular next season he says.
"Byrnes, but not only because they defeated us in state but because they laughed in our faces as we shook hands after the game and that was very disrespectul."
Although he's already heard from a trio of schools early on in the process Haney has a list of schools that he'd love to hear more from soon he says.
"Florida State University is my dream school and the school that I will do anything for a chance to go to but I am also interested in Alabama, LSU, South Carolina, USC (University of Southern California), and Georgia."
SCPrepNation.com will keep you posted with recruiting updates regarding Haney as he'll likely become one of the state's most sought after prospects as he's got unbelievable upside. Keep it locked right here for the very latest!
INSIDE THE NUMBERS...T.J. HANEY
Bench press: 270 pounds
Squat max: 385 pounds
Power clean: 220 pounds
Fastest 40 time: 5.7 seconds
GET TO KNOW...T.J. HANEY
Favorite food: BBQ Ribs
Favorite movie: Book of Eli
Favorite music artist: Future and Lil Wayne
Favorite subject in school: English
Dream college: Florida State
Favorite football player? Jake Long
Dream date would be with: Nicki Minaj
One thing that most people would be surprised to know: "That I am an honor student and that my GPA is a 4.3"