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  1. This'll be pretty much a commitment watch thread Every time there is a SpursUp Gamecocks get a commit #spursup hashtag on Twitter https://twitter.com/hashtag/spursup
  2. Multiple four-stars, including Florida decommit, to be at South Carolina this weekend January 18, 2019 Two key South Carolina football recruiting targets tweeted they’ve landed. Another, once a Florida Gators commit, tweeted he’d be in Columbia on Saturday. The Gamecocks are set for a big weekend with official visitors and juniors coming to campus. Four-star defensive tackle Jaquaze Sorrells and three-star defensive back Dequan Watts tweeted they’d arrived in town for official visits. North Carolina defensive end Kedrick Bingley-Jonesannounced he’d arrive a day later. Sorrells and Watts are both 2019 targets and could fill some of the three or four spots remaining in USC’s class. Watts is a 6-foot-2, 165-pound defensive back out of Atlanta, ranked the No. 899 player in his class in the 247 Sports composite rankings. As a senior he had 49 tackles, six interceptions and nine pass breakups. He got a visit from Bryan McClendon this week and is also looking at Oregon and Louisville. The Gamecocks only signed a pair of defensive backs in the early signing period and will likely look to add at least two more. Sorrells is the No. 163 player in the class, the 12th-best defensive tackle and 22nd best player in Florida. He had 36 tackles as a senior, eight for loss and a pair of sacks, and he made the Under Armour All-American Game. Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp has said he wouldn’t say no to a good defensive lineman, and Sorrells would fit the bill. Bingley-Jones is a 2020 player, and he’s ranked No. 202 in his class. One of the 10 best players in North Carolina, the 6-foot-4, 266-pound Providence Day School star had 60 tackles, 22 tackles for a loss and two sacks as a sophomore and at least 49 tackles and five sacks in the seven games his team has posted on MaxPreps. He was a Florida commit from the end of July until Jan. 15 and has offers from Florida State, Louisville, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Georgia.
  3. Gamecock football recruiting ends & odds for Friday January 18, 2019 CB Dequanteous Watts of Atlanta, a USC target, was offered by Syracuse. He will take an official visit to USC this weekend. USC offered 2020 LB Desmond Tisdol of Rochelle, GA. It’s his first offer. “That was my very first offer so I’m still shocked right now. I like Coach Hutzler.” Tisdol is also being recruited by schools as a running back. USC offered 2020 SAF Jerrold Pough (6-0 172) of Hollywood, FL. USC offered 2021 LB Gaethan Bernadel (6-1 210) of Hallandale, FL. USC offered 2022 DE Shemar Stewart (6-4 215) of Miami. Notable official visits scheduled for this weekend: CB Dequanteous Watts and DL Jaquaze Sorrells to USC USC target CB Jammie Robinson to Tennessee
  4. Wednesday evening notes of interest January 16, 2019 ▪ Pensacola, Fla., offensive lineman Darius Washington remains undecided. He took official visits to South Carolina, Mississippi State and Miami. He said he continues to hear from the Gamecocks. Clemson also has been in touch and he said things are “up in the air” with the Tigers at this point. Washington did not want to reveal if he has any more official visits planned at this point. He has been committed to Mississippi State and has publicly maintained that despite his other visits. ▪ Kannapolis, N.C. defensive end Kedrick Bingley-Jones decommitted from Florida. He has a USC offer among many others. TheBigSpur reported he will visit USC this Saturday. ▪ Hammond 2020 defensive lineman Alex Huntley plans to visit tje Gamecocks on Saturday. He also told GoVols247 he will visit Tennessee on Jan. 26. ▪ Rome, Ga., coach John Reid said his running back Jamious Griffin is not planning a visit to South Carolina. He said former running backs coach Bobby Bentley called, but Griffin is still firm with N.C. State commitment. Clemson came through last month but there’s been nothing more. Griffin has visited State, Auburn and Georgia Tech. Reid said Griffin might not take any more visits but if he does Miami might get one. Alabama coach Nick Saban was at the school Tuesday as were coaches from Michigan State, Colorado State and Mississippi State. Griffin rushed for 2,800 yards and 28 touchdowns this season.
  5. Tuesday morning recruiting notes January 15, 2019 USC target 2020 LB Kevin Swint was offered by Kentucky. 2020 DB Jaidyn Denis of Charlotte plans to visit USC this weekend. 2020 WR Da’Quon Stewart of Huntersville, NC plans to visit USC Saturday. He has a Gamecock offer.
  6. Monday morning recruiting news January 14, 2019 Oregon is scheduled to be back in on Tuesday to visit with CB Dequanteous Watts of Atlanta. The cornerbacks coach was in on Saturday. Louisville is coming in on Wednesday. USC also is expected in at some point. Louisville coaches were in Sunday night to see USC target OL Darius Washington according to the Louisville 247Sports site. Clemson also is recruiting Washington who has remained committed to Mississippi State. He’s also considering Miami. 2020 WR Rakim Jarrett of Washington, DC tweeted he’ll be at Clemson later this month. He has offers from the Tigers as well as USC and is a national-level recruit. USC offered 2020 LB Derek Wingo of Ft. Lauderdale, a Penn State commit.
  7. Weekend recruiting notes January 13, 2019 USC offered 2020 LB Derek Wingo of Ft. Lauderdale, a Penn State commit. USC and Clemson are in top 11 with 2020 WR KeAndre Lambert of Norfolk. The rest on his list are Southern Cal, Duke, Michigan, Florida, Virginia Tech, Texas A&M, Penn State, Virginia and Tennessee.
  8. What's ahead in recruiting this week with high school all American games December 31, 2018 The top two high school football all-star games in the country will be played this week and there will be several USC signees and targets in the games. First up will be the Under Armour All-American Game in Orlando January 3rd at 6:00 PM on ESPN2. And on January 5th in San Antonio it’s the All-American Bowl on NBC with a 1:00 PM kickoff. USC’s signee in the game will be DE Zacch Pickens. USC targets CB Shilo Sanders, whose dad Deion Sanders is one of the coaches, and DL Jaquaze Sorrells also are in the game. USC signees in the game will be CB Cam Smith and QB Ryan Hilinski. USC target CB Chris Steele also will be in the game. A source who has been in contact with Steele said last week it still looks like USC and Florida as the top two in his mind. Oregon also has made a strong push lately. Steele did not sign earlier this month and will announce his decision during Saturday’s game. 2020 OL Seth McLaughlin of Buford, GA, who has USC offers, plans to release his top five soon.
  9. Gamecock prospects attended USC bowl practice Thursday December 28, 2018 2020 RB Trenton Simpson of Charlotte, 2021 RB Will Shipley of Weddington High in Matthews, NC and 2021 DB Gabriel Stephens of Mt. Holly, NC attended USC bowl practice Thursday.
  10. Future Gamecocks recognized as their state’s best by USA Today December 27, 2018 Several future South Carolina football players picked up all-state honors in their states by USA Today on Thursday. Zacch Pickens, the top recruit in the Gamecocks’ Class of 2019, was named SC Defensive Player of the Year. He made 87 tackles (53 solo, 15 for loss), six sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery in leading the Yellow Jackets (14-1) to the Class 5A state final game. Pickens also rushed for a team-high 889 yards and 21 TDs on 104 carries. He was Defensive MVP of the Shrine Bowl this month and will play in the Under Armour All-Star game next week. Pickens was joined on the SC first team by defensive back Cam Smith, offensive lineman Tyshawn Wannamaker and receiver Xavier Legette. Tight end Keshawn Toney was a second-team selection. Tight end Traevon Kenion was a first-team selection in North Carolina. Offensive lineman Jakai Moore earned first-team honors in Virginia. Defensive lineman Joseph Anderson and receiver Keveon Mullins were second-team selections in Tennessee.
  11. Key target for 2019 class hearing from Muschamp, South Carolina daily December 27, 2018 Atlanta corner Dequanteous Watts said he hears from South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp every single day. Even on Wednesday, when Muschamp was busy running his team through a morning practice and turning laps at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Watts said he found time to make his daily call from the speedway. All in an effort to sign him in February. “Same as usual, they want me there and all of that stuff, guaranteed playing some and a good education,” Watts said. “It’s going to come down to South Carolina, Ole Miss and Oregon.” UCF also is still in the hunt. Watts said he’s set for official visits in January to USC on the 18th, Ole Miss on the 25th and Oregon on the 31st. Muschamp has not told Watts when he’ll be in for his in home visit in January, but Watts is expecting him. As for the other two competitors, Watts has something to like about each. “Ole Miss, the coaches just love ya,” he said. “Oregon, I talked to the whole coaching staff down to the special teams coordinator. I’ve got a great relationship with them too.” Watts had set Jan. 7 for a commitment announcement but now he’s not sure about that since his officials come after that. He said he may go all the way to the February signing date before revealing his choice. There is no favorite among his top three. Watts, who originally was committed to UCF, had 32 tackles with six interceptions and 15 pass break ups this season. He returned to picks for touchdowns and had two kickoff returns for scores. Notes: ▪ Greensboro, N.C. 2020 wide receiver Michael Wyman was on hand for USC’s practice Wednesday in Charlotte. He has the Gamecocks among his favorites at this point. ▪ Montgomery, Ala. safety Collin Duncan did not sign early and said he’s still talking with USC about an official visit in January. He camped at USC last summer and took an unofficial visit during the season.
  12. The Gamecocks will remain involved with several unsigned prospects for the February signing date December 24, 2018 The Gamecocks will remain involved with several unsigned prospects for the February signing date. Those players will include WR/DB Jashawn Sheffield of St. Simon’s Island, GA who has been committed to Auburn; DL Jaquaze Sorrells of Winter Park, FL; OL Darius Washington of Pensacola, FL who has been committed to Mississippi State; CB Dequanteous Watts of Atlanta; CB Jammie Robinson of Leesburg, GA and CB Shilo Sanders of Cedar Hill, TX. And of course, some new names could be added.
  13. Gamecocks are in a tough neighborhood December 24, 2018 Here’s further proof of the tough neighborhood where USC chooses to live. The Gamecocks, who have 19 signees and unsigned commitment in junior college DL Jahkeem Green, are ranked 19th by Rivals. The class is 9th in the SEC but by Rivals, it would be the #3 class in the ACC behind Clemson and Florida State, the #3 class in the Big 12 behind Oklahoma and Texas, and the #4 class in the Big 10 following Michigan, Penn State, and Nebraska. As for other rankings for Clemson and USC….247Sports Clemson 6th, USC 20th; 247 Sports composite Clemson 5th, USC 21st; ESPN Clemson 6th, USC 22nd.
  14. NFL Hall of Famer recommended one of Gamecocks linebacker recruits to Muschamp December 20, 2018 THE STATE South Carolina and Will Muschamp have a trio of linebackers signed in their 2019 recruiting class. At least, that’s how many players are listed under that position. But Muschamp made clear on National Signing Day that those three players bring a host of varied skills to the table, and their versatility could provide them with different opportunities on defense or special teams, depending on how things shake out. Perhaps Muschamp’s highest praise was reserved for a linebacker coached by an NFL Hall of Hamer, who apparently raved to Muschamp about the player’s football IQ and ability to organize a defense. Rodricus Fitten 6-foot-2, 232 pounds, Atlanta, Ga. (Booker T. Washington) “Rodricus is a twitch guy on the edge. He’s very similar to Bryson Allen-Williams. He gives you a faster twitch on the edge. He was our first commitment in this class, I think it was September of 2017, and has stuck with us ever since. He had an outstanding senior year. We think he has a tremendous upside as a mid-year enrollee here on campus in January.” Derek Boykins 6-foot-2, 208 pounds, Concord, N.C. (Central Cabarrus) “Derek was a guy that played wildcat quarterback, he played running back, he played linebacker, he played safety. He’s a very explosive guy. We had him in camp and saw his movement skills. We’re really excited about him and the upside his has. He’s originally from Beaufort, South Carolina, and grew up a Gamecock, so we’re excited to have him come home here.” Jahmar Brown 6-foot, 195 pounds, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (St. Thomas Aquinas) “Jahmar is another guy from St. Thomas Aquinas, a state runner-up, and I was really impressed with him at camp. He’s got 33-inch arms and 11-inch hands and is a guy we think has a tremendous upside as far as his structure is concerned. He’ll be a 215, 218, 220-pound guy in a year or so. He has really good athleticism and is really smart. He directed the defense the last three years, and Jason Taylor is the defensive coordinator, who I coached at the Dolphins. Jason thinks he’s a really smart player and is a guy that gets everyone aligned and can really command the defense, which is obviously something that excites me. “Jahmar is a guy we were excited about, that we feel can play the dime position for us. We may not have to sub in some situations. He can cover and play in space. He does a lot of that at St. Thomas. That was a target for us, a guy that, athletically, we felt could play in space and do a lot of different things coverage-wise.”
  15. Is South Carolina’s recruiting class good enough to compete in SEC? December 20, 2018 Whether you call Wednesday the Early Signing Period or just the new National Signing Day, it has become Groundhog Day for South Carolina’s football team. The Gamecocks signed 18 new players on the first day of the early signing period for a recruiting class that is ranked No. 22 in the nation by 247Sports’ Composite rankings. It is the seventh consecutive year South Carolina has ranked between No. 18 and No. 25 nationally in recruiting. The problem is, that’s not good enough to get where Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp wants to go, which is the SEC title game and the College Football Playoff. The correlation between elite recruiting classes and elite results is clear in college football. South Carolina’s class is ranked 10th in the SEC this year, according to 247Sports. Meanwhile, the top four national classes all belong to SEC teams — No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Georgia, No. 3 Texas A&M and No. 4 LSU. The Gamecocks play the Crimson Tide, the Bulldogs and the Aggies next year. South Carolina’s progress off the field in recent years is obvious and undeniable. Williams-Brice Stadium now looks and feels like an SEC game day destination rather than an industrial park. The Gamecocks are just a few weeks away from moving into a state-of-the-art, top-of-the-line everything, $50 million football operations building. They have two coordinators making $1 million or more per year. With the help the administration and the momentum created by Steve Spurrier’s glory days at the school, Muschamp has remade the infrastructure of the program. The only step left is getting the types of players it takes to compete with the nation’s best teams. It’s also the hardest step. SEC Recruiting Rankings According to 247Sports Composite, which factors in all networks. 1. Alabama – The Crimson Tide signed 26 players Wednesday. Twenty-five of them were four- or five-star rated players. 2. Georgia – The Bulldogs signed five five-star prospects, which gives them 15 in the last three recruiting classes. 3. Texas A&M – Head coach Jimbo Fisher solidified his reputation as an excellent recruiter with the nation’s third-ranked class. That’s not good news for a South Carolina team that must play the Aggies every year as its cross-divisional opponent. 4. LSU – The Tigers signed a five-star running back, a five-star offensive lineman and another crop of talented defenders. It was a very on-brand day Wednesday for LSU. 5. Auburn – Despite a down year, the Tigers signed the No. 1 ranked linebacker in the country in Owen Pappoe and four-star quarterback prospect Bo Nix, the son of former Auburn QB Patrick Nix. 6. Florida – The Gators had a pretty good haul but did not sign a quarterback, which means one of the incumbents will have the job again next year. Or, Dan Mullen will make a strong push for Georgia’s Justin Fields, who is considering transferring and fits Mullen’s system well. 7. Tennessee – A seventh-place finish in the conference is not bad for a team that has been one of the league’s worst on the field for a decade. The red flag here is that head coach Jeremy Pruitt lost a lot of good, home-state defensive linemen to rivals, including one to South Carolina. 8. Mississippi State – New head coach Joe Morehead, whose background is at Penn State and Fordham, needed to prove he could recruit in the Southeast despite arriving this season with no connections to the area. He did that with this class, which is substantially better than rival Ole Miss. 9. Arkansas – Chad Morris didn’t have a ton of success on the field in his first year, but he closed strong in recruiting, and he did it signing only five players from Texas. The former Texas high school coach will get more players from there in the future. 10. South Carolina – The Gamecocks signed three players (maybe four depending on how Rodricus Fitten is used) who should make an impact on the defensive line. That and quarterback Ryan Hilinski are the strengths of this class. 11. Ole Miss – The NCAA believes there’s a reason the Rebels were recruiting so well under former head coach Hugh Freeze. New guy Matt Luke isn’t having the same kind of success, which might be a good thing, but it’s going to mean a much-less talented roster soon for the Rebels. 12. Kentucky – The Wildcats are having their best run in football in recent memory, and they only managed the 12th-best class in the SEC? Yep. There’s a reason it’s hard to win consistently on the bluegrass. 13. Missouri – The Tigers have had some success in the SEC East without ever having highly ranked recruiting classes. They’re going to have to replicate that magic again if they want to get back to the top of the division. 14. Vanderbilt – The Commodores had the type of recruiting class everyone expects from the Commodores.
  16. Muschamp: South Carolina offered four in-state players for 2019 and got them all December 20, 2018 South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp has long preached the importance of recruiting well in-state. On Wednesday, as his team wrapped up the early signing period with a class of 18 newcomers, he made a boast of sorts about how his team fared securing the talent of the Palmetto State. “First thing you’ve got to be able to do is own your state,” Muschamp said. “We offered four guys in the state of South Carolina and all four came.” That group is five-star lineman Zacch Pickens, four-star corner Cam Smith, three-star tight end KeShawn Toney, plus junior college defensive lineman Devontae Davis. Muschamp might have been using a slightly generous phrasing of the word “offer,” likely defining it as a player whose commitment the staff would take as of Wednesday. Northwestern wide receiver Jamario Holley had an offer and was a long-standing commitment to USC until earlier this month. Tailbacks Michel Dukes and Zykamren Robinson, wide receivers Jacoby Pinckney and Quendarius Jefferson, and offensive tackle Kamren McCray all claimed USC offers at one point or another in the process, but it appears none were takes. Mullins receiver Xavier Legette claims a greyshirt offer, and has been told that could become a regular offer at some point. A factor in that is a lack of depth in the state’s talent overall. The Gamecocks usually take more than four in-state players. The state usually has more than three four- or five-star players (it’s the lowest total of the recruiting era). With all that said, the Gamecocks beat Clemson and Georgia for Pickens. They got the players they wanted in-state. And they gave Muschamp that point of pride.
  17. Recruiting class breakdown: South Carolina stars, sleepers and more December 20, 2018 South Carolina on Wednesday signed the bulk of its 2019 recruiting class, inking 18 new players. Eleven from Will Muschamp’s fourth class are set to enroll early. Stars Five-star defensive lineman Zacch Pickens – He’s the man with all the hype and talent. At 6-foot-5, 290 pounds he’s either big enough to be a massive defensive end or a quick defensive tackle. He led his high school team in tackles, despite double and triple teams and often not playing late into games, and was still quick enough to become an 800-yard runner with 20-plus touchdowns. Four-star quarterback Ryan Hilinski – Long one of the jewels of the class, he’s the highest-rated pro-style passer in the country in some corners and among the top quarterbacks. After throwing for more the 3,700 yards as a junior, he worked through adversity as a senior, leading a team devastated by injuries through a schedule with multiple games against top-10 national teams. He’ll likely sit next season behind Jake Bentley and start competing for the spot in 2020. Four-star defensive end Joseph Anderson – He missed a chunk of season with an elbow injury, and after that quietly anchored a beastly defense. Not only did his Oakland High School squad hold opponents to fewer than 10 points per game, but in a meeting with a Whitehaven team that featured Gamecocks receiver commit Keveon Mullins, his team allowed a scant 81 yards and three first down. He had 60 tackles, 16 for loss, three sacks, seven QB hurries, one forced fumble and one pass break up. Sleepers Tight end Traevon Kenion – He somehow slipped to three stars despite a dynamic senior season that saw him expand his role. At 242 pounds, he went from a pure tight end as a junior to a wide receiver at powerhouse Wake Forest. All he did there was catch 43 passes for 834 yards and posted 17 total scores. Offensive lineman Jaylen Nichols – A big kid at 6-foot-4, 310 pounds, he played both sides of the ball in high school. Was the right tackle for a high-powered offense and has a high physical ceiling. A gentle giant off the field, he should be a player offensive line coach Eric Wolford can mold. Linebacker Derek Boykins – South Carolina needs more playmaking at the linebacker spot, and he could have the versatility to play at a range of spots. At 6-foot-2, 208 pounds, he’s shown the ability to rush the passer a little, play in coverage a bit and could find a place to chip in here or there. Numbers 75 percent: Kenion’s high school team passed for 20 scores. He had three-fourths of them. He also accounted for more than 55 percent of the passing yards for a squad that went undefeated and finished ranked as North Carolina’s top team by MaxPreps. Two: That’s how many defensive backs and wide receivers South Carolina got in its initial haul. Expect those numbers to increase for both before the class is fully wrapped up. Sixth: Gamecocks running back signee Kevin Harris ranked sixth in the state of Georgia with 1,556 yards. He also had 22 touchdowns and eight 100-yard games. Where they’re from: South Carolina: 4 Florida: 4 Georgia: 3 North Carolina: 3 Tennessee: 2 Virginia: 1 California: 1
  18. South Carolina filled 20 spots in 2019 recruiting class. Here’s what’s next December 20, 2018 South Carolina’s football team inked 18 players on Wednesday, filling up 20 new scholarship spots when accounting for a pair of transfers. So what does the Gamecocks coaching staff have to do to fill out five remaining holes? USC coach Will Muschamp pointed to a few spots of need, but preferred to fall back on an approach he put to use when coaching with the Miami Dolphins. “Would like to add an offensive lineman in this class,” Muschamp said. “And I feel like we need to add some defensive backs. I feel good about our numbers right now, across the board, where we are. It’s kind of like when I was in the NFL and you get in the draft and it’s getting into the late rounds, you take the best available player. That’s really what I told the staff.” At the moment, the Gamecocks’ offensive line class is sitting at four players. They were aiming to flip Indiana commit Matthew Bedford on signing day, but he stuck with the Hoosiers. USC has usually taken around five linemen per class and is set to lose four seniors — two of them starters — and potentially center Donell Stanley. The Gamecocks added defensive backs Cam Smith and Johnny Dixon, who Muschamp praised as a shutdown corner. That said, USC usually brings in four-plus per year at the position, and the team will again be turning over much of its defensive backfield after the season (three seniors were consistent starters). Names that have been floating around at that spot include Chris Steele, Shilo Sanders, Jammie Robinson and Dequan Watts. Beyond that, Muschamp has spoken about hoping to add another defensive lineman. JUCO tackle Jahkeem Green is committed, but he has to finish things out on the academic side, and four-star tackle Jaquaze Sorrells has been strongly linked to USC. One area Muschamp said he was mostly fine with was wide receiver, where the Gamecocks added four-star Keveon Mullins and former signee Tyquan Johnson. The Gamecocks had been somewhat linked to Jashawn Sheffield, a versatile athlete from Georgia, but he ended up pulling the trigger and signing late Wednesday with Auburn. Beyond that, the Gamecocks also have a grayshirt offer out to Mullins (S.C.) athlete Xavier Legette, a high school quarterback who is raw but has potential at receiver in college. Muschamp didn’t rule out another pass-catcher, but fell back on his core philosophy. ‘You go back to signing the best available player,” Muschamp said. “I like our numbers at the receiver position right now and I like our room. “But certainly you’re not going to turn down a good player.”
  19. 5 main takeaways from South Carolina's first day of Early Signing Period December 19, 2018 SDS Are the next Jadeveon Clowney and Connor Shaw on the way to Williams-Brice Stadium? South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp and the Gamecocks hope so after the first day of the Early Signing Period. In a seemingly pedestrian recruiting class that is in the bottom half of the SEC’s early rankings, the Gamecocks boast two program-changing, top-55 prospects: DE Zacch Pickens and QB Ryan Hilinski. This class has been largely intact for several months, but it added a couple of notable players this week. As they celebrated Wednesday’s additions, the Gamecocks waited on CB Chris Steele of Bellflower, Calif., who is a major target. He won’t announce a school until the Army All-American Game on Jan. 5. South Carolina is trying to beat out the likes of Florida, Oklahoma and Oregon. South Carolina was also waiting on an attempt to flip Auburn commitment WR Jashawn Sheffield of St. Simon’s Island, Ga. He reportedly won’t sign until February as he’s concerned about Tigers coach Gus Malzahn’s status. Another player not expected to sign early is Mississippi State commitment OL Darius Washington of Pensacola, Fla., another recruit South Carolina is trying to flip. Clemson and Florida State are among those also in the mix for him. In the meantime, here are five takeaways from South Carolina’s first day of the Early Signing Period: A rare 5-star Pickens is the first 5-star in a South Carolina class since Clowney in 2011. He won South Carolina’s Mr. Football award during a season in which he had 82 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and five sacks, as his Anderson T.L. Hanna High team reached the state title game for the first time since 1974. Pickens, the nation’s No. 18 player in this class, is set to play in the Under Armour All-American game Jan. 3 in Dallas. This extends a solid recruiting haul for South Carolina with in-state players. This is the sixth time in the past 11 seasons and 10th time since Mr. Football was founded in 1991 that South Carolina landed the winner of that award. The analysts at 247 Sports rate Pickens as the No. 2 strong-side defensive end in the country. QB of future Hilinski is one of the most anticipated recruits in school history and he committed in April. It’s impressive that Gamecocks went outside their natural recruiting footprint to reel him in. Hilinski, of Orange Lutheran High in Orange, Calif., picked the Gamecocks early and never wavered as interest grew around the country, even from his long-time “dream” school Stanford. He even signed financial aid paperwork with South Carolina in November. A 4-star prospect rated among the top three pro-style quarterbacks in the country, Hilinski has already dealt with a heavy dose of tragedy. His older brother, former Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski, committed suicide in January. That drew national attention from the likes of ESPN and The New York Times. Hilinski will also play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 5 in San Antonio, then be in Columbia by Jan. 7 for the spring semester. Big get late Jakai Moore is the fourth offensive lineman in the class, joining Vincent Murphy, Mark Fox and Jaylen Nichols. Moore committed this week after narrowing his choices to South Carolina or Penn State. He is the best of South Carolina’s crop of offensive linemen, and he was sold on playing early. “We don’t want you, we need you and I can come in and start early,” Moore said was the message he got from Muschamp and offensive line coach Eric Wolford during the recruiting process, according to Phil Kornblut. “When I talked to them, the first thing they told me is they are going to take care of me and my mom. They didn’t leave my mom out of anything. My mom is coming down there with me.” The 6-foot-6, 295-pound offensive lineman from Nokesville, Va., announced his commitment to the Gamecocks Monday. Moore picked South Carolina over finalist Penn State and two dozen other scholarship offers. 247 rates Moore as a 3-star prospect and the nation’s No. 28 offensive guard. Bulk of the signees ink now This is the second time the Gamecocks have signed the bulk of their players in the early period, as they signed 23 last year. This year, Muschamp expected 18 to 22 players the Gamecocks to sign this week, with 13 or 14 of those enrolling mid-year. To pull that off, Muschamp said at his bowl preview press conference that the players need to be organized and up on their academics. And schools need to graduate players to make room under the 85-scholarship limit. Signing day pickup … and losses It didn’t take very long for the Gamecocks to add a new pickup in CB Johnny Dixon of Tampa, Fla. He’s a 3-star prospect and a top 50 player from the Sunshine State. The Gamecocks beat out Miami even after he took a recent official visit with the Hurricanes. On the other hand, South Carolina lost out on OL Matthew Bedford of Memphis, who signed with Indiana, and Florida signee LB Tyron Hopper of Roswell, Ga.
  20. South Carolina in position to finish strong with final recruiting targets December 17, 2018 Entering the week of college football’s early signing day, South Carolina sits at 17 commitments and six more spaces the Gamecocks can fill. With those spots, the team still needs to add to the defensive backfield and the offensive line, and Will Muschamp has said he won’t say no to a good defensive lineman. Here are some of the early signing day targets still in play the Gamecocks are looking at: ▪ Jakai Moore, OL, Nokesville, Va.: A big body at 6-foot-6, 295 pounds, he’d get the Gamecocks close to what they need for the class. Picking between South Carolina and Penn State at 3 p.m. Monday. 247Sports Crystal Ball says: 54 percent to Penn State, 46 to South Carolina. UPDATE: Moore picked the Gamecocks. ▪ John Dixon, DB, Tampa, Fla.: Visited Miami and West Virginia down the stretch, but also had good things to say about Gamecocks coaches. Picking between South Carolina, Miami and others at 8 a.m. Wednesday. 247Sports Crystal Ball says: 89 percent to South Carolina, 11 to Florida. ▪ Chris Steele, CB, Bellflower, Calif.: He decommitted from Southern Cal and is believed to be deciding between the Gamecocks and Florida. He will make his choice this week and not announce until Jan. 5. Picking between: South Carolina, Florida, Southern Cal, Oregon and Oklahoma. 247Sports Crystal Ball says: 42 percent to Southern Cal, 38 percent to Florida, 15 percent undecided, 5 percent to Oregon. ▪ Eric Gray, RB, Memphis, Tenn.: The three-time Mr. Football made a late visit to Columbia and at one point was committed to Michigan. Picking between Tennessee and several others, including South Carolina, at noon on Thursday. 247Sports Crystal Ball says: 94 percent to Tennessee. Flip targets ▪ Tyron Hopper, LB, Roswell, Ga.: Currently a Florida commit who has publicly said he’s “1,000 percent” with the Gators. There are some rumblings things aren’t completely wrapped up for the former Gaffney resident. 247Sports Crystal Ball says: 100 percent Florida. ▪ Matthew Bedford, OL, Memphis Tenn.: Currently an Indiana commit, the Gamecocks have been after the 6-foot-5, 260 pounder hard to shore up the the offensive front. While being committed to the Hoosiers, is reportedly considering Mississippi State and South Carolina and will enroll early. 247Sports Crystal Ball says: 83 percent to South Carolina, 17 percent Indiana.
  21. Saturday morning recruiting report December 15, 2018 According to the coach LB Tyron Hopper of Roswell, GA, though he’s committed to Florida and hasn’t told him anything different, there is some sense of uncertainty about his decision at this point. USC has been working him trying to turn him. GamecockCentral reported Gamecock coaches were in on Thursday to see WR Jashawn Sheffield of St. Simon’s Island, GA. He has been committed to Auburn and the Gamecocks have been trying to turn him. USC coaches Will Muschamp and OL coach Eric Wolford are in Nokesville, VA tonight for the final in person visit with OL Jakia Moore. Moore’s coach said the Gamecock coaches arrived this afternoon and spent time with Moore’s mother. They will be at his basketball game tonight and will meet with him following that. Coach Brud Bicknell said James Franklin and his entire offensive staff, plus a couple of other coaches who stopped by, were in yesterday for their final visit. Moore will announce Monday at 3:00 PM at the school. USC target CB Shilo Sanders of Cedar Hill, TX is taking an official visit to Colorado State this weekend. He also has taken an official visit to USC and he plans to take one to Tennessee in January
  22. Friday's Gamecock recruiting news December 14, 2018 The coach of OL Will Putnam of Tampa said Thursday night there’s a good chance a decision will come down Friday. Clemson, Florida State and Auburn are the finalists. Florida State recruiters visited Thursday. Penn State coach James Franklin made his in home visit with OL Jakai Moore of Nokesville, VA Thursday night. USC coach Will Muschamp will be at the school Friday, attend Moore’s basketball game Friday night and then meet with him and his mom afterwards. Moore is announcing Monday at 3:00 PM. USC target CB Shilo Sanders of Cedar Hill, TX is scheduled for an official visit to Colorado State this weekend. 2020 WR Da’Quon Stewart (6-2 194) of Huntersville, NC was offered by USC, his first offer. He took his official visit to USC in October. He plans to visit Tennessee in January.
  23. Suicide, Quarterbacks and the Hilinski Family Tyler Hilinski, a quarterback at Washington State, killed himself in January and was posthumously diagnosed with C.T.E. His brother is a star recruit at the same position. It’s raw and complicated.
  24. Gamecocks will get visit from blue chip defensive lineman, along with Penn State, Alabama December 13, 2018 South Carolina defensive tackles coach Lance Thompson visited defensive lineman Jaquaze Sorrells of Winter Park, Fla., last week. Sorrells is not signing until February. He has visited USC unofficially and he plans to visit USC, Penn State and Alabama in January. The Gamecocks visit probably will be Jan. 18. This season, he had 36 tackles, eight for loss, with two sacks, one interception and one fumble forced.
  25. Gamecocks QB commit jumps more than 60 spots in Rivals rankings, local lineman up 35 December 13, 2018 After successful junior season, Myrtle Beach quarterback and South Carolina commit Luke Doty made a splash in the latest Class of 2020 Rivals 250 rankings released Wednesday. Doty moved up to No. 182 in the rankings and is the fourth-ranked prospect in the state. In his first year as a starting quarterback, he helped Myrtle Beach to the Class 4A title last week at Williams-Brice Stadium. The junior finished with 3,037 yards passing, 36 touchdowns. On the ground, he rushed for 701 yards and seven scores. Doty is the only USC commit in the rankings but two Hammond players are part of the list. Defensive end Jordan Burch is ranked as No. 32 ranked prospect in the country and top prospect in SC. Alex Huntley moves into the top 250 at No. 237. The two player helped Hammond to its second straight SCISA 3A title. Burch had 62 tackles on defense and team-best 10 sacks and also rushed for 680 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also caught four TD passes. Huntley, a defensive tackle, had 48 tackles including a team-high 18 for loss. Both Huntley and Burch are being recruited by South Carolina and have other several other Power 5 offers.

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