In an unexpected occurrence, South Carolina received a #SpursUp on Saturday from safety JT Ibe. Ibe is a graduate transfer from Rice and will be able to play for the 2018 season. The Gamecocks beat out Indiana and Iowa State for a commitment from the former 2-star defensive back.
Judging from film alone, Ibe could realistically come in and start day one, especially when considering the talent South Carolina lost after the 2017 season. Whether he does make an early impact or not will depend on when he’s able to arrive on campus and how quickly he can learn the defense, but Ibe has the talent. The Texas Native is a downhill player who hits hard and isn’t afraid of contact. His tape reminds of Isaiah Johnson, a safety that transferred to the Gamecocks from Kansas and.now plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Whether it’s against the run or pass, Ibe does a great job of getting the ball out of the hands of the ball-carrier so his teammates can make a play. Against Pitt last season, Ibe made a bruising hit in a first-and-goal situation to stop the running back at the 1-yard line, then proceeded to punch the ball out, causing a turnover. In coverage, Ibe does an excellent job of attacking the ball and trying to separate, two qualities that Will Muschamp and Travaris Robinson preach to defensive backs constantly. He also doesn’t miss many tackles -. Ibe made a play on Christian McCaffery, who earns a living making defenders look silly, when Rice took on Stanford in 2016.
Still, the knowledge and experience JT Ibe will bring to the young Gamecocks secondary may be his most valuable asset. He plays with a rare intensity that could be compared to a one D.J. Swearinger. Ibe’s addition will also take some of the pressure off of the younger defensive backs to become impact players by September. Hopefully Ibe will be another successful addition to the South Carolina football program and help the secondary to continue to improve in the Muschamp Era.