Five of the area's former prep football stars have been named to the South Carolina Football Hall of Fame's Preseason All-South Carolina Team for the upcoming college season.
North Carolina offensive lineman Marcus McKethan and Coastal Carolina defensive lineman Tarron Jackson made the first team, Coastal Carolina wide receiver Kameron Brown and Georgia Southern linebacker Rashad Byrd made the second team, and Presbyterian linebacker Colby Campbell was named honorable mention.
McKethan, a redshirt-junior who established himself as one of the state's best people-movers during his days at Barnwell, made 12 starts at right guard last year for the Tar Heels and helped pave the way for the nation's No. 12 offense in yards per game. He allowed only two sacks in 818 snaps and graded out at 81 or better in three games.
Jackson, a redshirt-senior who starred at Silver Bluff, enters the season on watch lists for the prestigious Bronko Nagurski and Chuck Bednarik awards for the nation's top defensive player. He was also added to the Reese's Senior Bowl Top 250 list. Jackson started all 12 games last season at defensive end for the Chanticleers. He's CCU's second-ever first-team All-Sun Belt selection, and the multi-time all-league performer tops all of the conference's preseason defensive lists. He led the Sun Belt and set a new school record last season with 10 sacks and set CCU single-season marks in quarterback hurries (13) and yards lost from sacks (72). Jackson graduated in May with his bachelor's in mathematics.
Brown, a grad student from Charleston Southern by way of Midland Valley, is a three-time All-Big South selection. He tied the Bucs' single-season record with 10 touchdown catches last year, had back-to-back 100-yard receiving games, and he scored six touchdowns over his final three games. Brown earned his bachelor's in social and human services in December.
Byrd, a redshirt-senior from North Augusta, is a three-time All-Sun Belt selection. He started all 13 games for the Eagles last season and was second on the team with 85 tackles, and he scored two touchdowns. Byrd started last season with a career-high 16 tackles against eventual national champion LSU, and he earned Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week honors after making 11 tackles, forcing a fumble on a sack and returning it 44 yards for a score against Minnesota.
Campbell, a senior tackling machine from South Aiken, made program and conference history last season for the Blue Hose. He started all 12 games and made a Big South-record 150 tackles, and he was a narrow runner-up for league Defensive Player of the Year. He led the team with 16.5 tackles for loss, and his nine sacks set a program record in its Division I era. He recorded 10 or more tackles in 10 different games, including a single-game program Division I record 20 against Kennesaw State.
The All-South Carolina Team recognizes players from the state in addition to ones who play for colleges within the state. Clemson quarterback and Heisman Trophy favorite Trevor Lawrence is the first-team quarterback. The Tigers' Travis Etienne is a first-team running back, and Amari Rodgers is a first-team wide receiver. South Carolina's Shi Smith is a first-team wide receiver, and teammates Israel Mukuamu and Jaycee Horn are first-team defensive backs.