With NFL Draft stock rising, Xavier Legette appears to be unfazed by it all

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In a couple months time, if all goes to plan, Xavier Legette will be the highest-drafted offensive player from South Carolina since Deebo Samuel.

Samuel was taken on day two of the 2019 NFL taken, getting selected early in the second round (pick No. 36) by the San Francisco 49ers. With the combine in the rear view mirror, many draft experts project Legette to come off the board in the second round, with some optimistic he’ll be a first rounder.

Samuel and Legette, both South Carolina natives who played wide receiver for the Gamecocks, are separated by less than an inch and just a few pounds.

After taking part in South Carolina’s Pro Day, the 6-foot-1, 222-pound Legette said teams are seeing the similarities on the field, too.

“A lot of people, they be trying to compare me to him — maybe when I’m in the meetings with the coaches from different teams,” Legette said. “They try to compare me to him, but I wanna make a name for myself.”

Legette didn’t participate in much of the testing during Tuesday’s Pro Day, deciding to stand on most of his numbers from the NFL Combine. Which was probably wise. In Indianapolis, the Mullins native ran a 4.39-second 40-yard dash (9th among 30 WRs) and posted a 40-inch vertical (6th among 31 WRs).

The Pro Day was about proving his ability on the field. His goal was to prove “that I can run every route in the route tree,” he said.

“I feel like we put that together here as well. I had a couple drops but I overcame those.”

This time a year ago, no one was paying much attention to Legette. In four seasons at South Carolina, beginning in 2019, he caught a combined 42 passes for just over 300 yards. Then Bruce Wayne put on the cape.

Catching passes from quarterback Spencer Rattler this past season, Legette caught 71 balls for over 1,100 yards and seven scores. He went from an afterthought to one of the best pass catchers in the SEC and then stood on the field after his Pro Day with the same level of anxiety you’d get brushing your teeth.

“I’m always even-keeled. I don’t get nervous. I’m past that stage in this game,” he said. “I don’t get nervous anymore. I just came here to do my work.”

Legette has always been a cool customer, rarely concerned with anything that isn’t getting him better. Coaches struggled to keep him out of reps as he dealt with an injury late last season. They’d turn their back and he’d be running a route downfield.

His comments at Pro Day were along the same lines, almost like you have nothing to worry about if you don’t cheat the process.

Also helping Legette’s NFL stock: He seems not the least bit daunted by what an NFL playbook might entail, arguing that playing under a trio of offensive coordinators — Mike Bobo, Marcus Satterfield and Dowell Loggains — has prepared him.

“Every offense is mainly the same, just different wording,” he said. “I went through three offensive coordinators while I was here and everything was basically the same, pro-style offense just different names. And it’s the same way in the league. The concepts are the the concepts.”