Running back depth at South Carolina just got a little thinner. It was reported Monday evening that Tyren Jones, one of the Gamecocks’ top running back recruits, won’t be signing with South Carolina because of academic issues.
That makes recruits like Rico Dowdle that much more important for Will Muschamp and his staff in 2016. Let’s get to know Rico, shall we?
Here are five things to know about Dowdle:
- The Gamecocks have one other running back commit in CJ Freeman, who has already enrolled, but that’s it for 2016 (for now, at least). Dowdle is a three-star recruit out of Asheville, N.C., where he played for A.C. Reynolds High School. Now that Jones is out of the picture, Dowdle’s responsibilities increase immediately.
- Dowdle’s statistics are staggering. He could be the perfect fit to fill the void that Jones will leave behind. According to the Citizen Times’ Andrew Pearson, Dowdle accumulated 63 (63!) touchdowns — 11 through the air, 51 on the ground and one receiving in his senior year alone. This guy is the real deal.
- He has always been a fan of the Gamecocks. According to The State, Dowdle grew up in South Carolina before he moved to Asheville, and he has family ties to the university. Dowdle’s cousin, Shaq Davidson, is a wide receiver for South Carolina. The Gamecocks made Dowdle an offer on Dec. 16, and by Jan. 8, he had committed.
- According to Pearson, Dowdle originally wasn’t invited to play in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas. The Bowl features the best players from North and South Carolina, but Dowdle didn’t receive an invite until the North Carolina team was faced with an unexpected injury. Dowdle proved his worth, though, scoring two rushing touchdowns in North Carolina’s 54-39 win.
- Dowdle had six other offers, including three from ACC schools. N.C. State, Appalachian State, Boston College, Charlotte, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest all fought for Dowdle’s services before he chose South Carolina.