COLUMBIA, S.C. — In this SEC Country mailbag, Hale McGranahan takes questions about South Carolina recruiting and football.
The questions below were received via Twitter.
What’s with the Xavier Thomas rumors — @gshill94?
The rumblings about the firmness of his commitment to Clemson seem to have come out of nowhere, but that sort of is the nature of recruiting. The timing of this stuff is odd, because he was just on campus up there this past weekend for the Auburn game. I was skeptical, but the word on the street is that Thomas has told people that he was planning to de-commit. I’ll believe it when I see it.
Do you think Channing Tindall has South Carolina in his final two and do you think South Carolina has any chance at flipping Jaycee Horn? — @kevinharper
Yes, I do. Could be wrong, but I believe they’re still the team to beat for Tindall. Now, I suppose that could change, if it hasn’t already, especially if he decides that getting away from home would be the best thing for him.
I do believe South Carolina has a shot to flip Horn. How good are those chances? I don’t know, but the door certainly has been left open. His father has a very high level of respect for Will Muschamp and Travaris Robinson, which certainly helps. Plus, Horn has developed a close connection with Robinson. It certainly helps that he’s going to be in town this weekend for the Kentucky game.
How possible is it for Rashad Fenton to declare for the draft if he keeps up his performances throughout the season? — @TimboCarpenter
I don’t know what kind of situation Fenton has back home, but that’s something guys usually have to take into consideration when weighing an early entry versus returning to school.
At 5-foot-11 and 183 pounds, Fenton certainly has the size to play cornerback in the NFL. It helps that he’s got experience at nickel and as a return man, too. And, on top of all that, he’s one of the fastest guys on the team.
One anonymous SEC coach told Athlon before the season that Fenton was a “millionaire walking,” which I found very interesting.
Dax Hollifield, Channing Tindall, Dylan Wonnum, K.J. Henry: How many commit to South Carolina? — @GamecockSavages
Two, maybe three.
Like I said above, I believe Tindall ultimately lands at South Carolina.
I also like the Gamecocks chances with Hollifield, who’s decision will probably also come down to Virginia Tech and, maybe, North Carolina.
Wonnum’s been on campus a ton and his brother’s already there, but if he’s one of those kids who decides he wants to carve his own identity, then it’s going to be hard to overtake Auburn.
As for Henry, I have a hard time seeing him go somewhere that isn’t Clemson or Alabama, but we’re still a good way away from this thing being finished.
How are things looking with D-line recruits? — @SpeakThenThink
With four full months left before signing day, this has been the one area of the Gamecocks’ 2018 class that gives me a little reason for concern. South Carolina’s missed out on a lot of in-state defensive linemen, including Thomas, 4-star end Stephon Wynn Jr., 4-star tackle Josh Belk and 3-star JUCO end Dorian Gerald.
I like that Muschamp went out and got a couple of JUCO tackles, because there was a lot of attrition at the position this past offseason and they’ll lose a couple of starters after this season is over.
Kingsley Enagbare, a 3-star end, was coveted by Georgia, so landing him was a nice win for Muschamp & Co. Tyreek Johnson is classified as an end, but he could potentially be an inside/outside type, depending on situation.
Four-star tackle Rick Sandidge is pretty much a must-get, and I think they’ve got a shot to flip Gerald from the Vols. Plus, Henry is still up for grabs.
There’s plenty of time left for them to close strong, after starting a little slow.