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Four-star safety and South Carolina target Jaylen McCollough is ranked the No. 4 safety for 2019.

South Carolina’s top targets in Georgia; Gamecocks QB commit checks in with coaches

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Gamecocks’ most-wanted

The South Carolina Gamecocks have always ventured into Georgia to pluck some of the talent-rich state’s top prospects. The 2019 recruiting cycle is no different.

Four-star safety Jaylen McCollough of Powder Springs, Ga., is one of the Gamecocks’ top targets in the Peach State.

“So what is he, a safety or a running back? Well, South Carolina’s coaches are telling him he could play both,” SEC Country’s Hale McGranahan writes. “From this perspective, he looks more like a safety in the SEC. It’s shaping up to be a battle between South Carolina, Alabama, Auburn and Tennessee, among others.”

The 6-foot, 190-pound athlete is the No. 100 overall prospect for 2019, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.

‘I’m his guy’

After speaking with Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp on Monday night, 4-star quarterback and South Carolina commit Ryan Hilinski is back on the same page with the Gamecocks.

The 2019 prospect had yet to hear from the coaching staff after they offered fellow 4-star quarterback, Dwan Mathis, during the weekend.

“He just reaffirmed what I was going through and not to worry because that’s just what they are going to do in our class,” Hilinski said of his conversation with Muschamp, via SportsTalkSC’s Phil Kornblut. “I’m his guy, is what he said. He wants to build the program with me. I talked to him and had a great conversation with him.”

The 247Sports composite tabs the Orange (Calif.) Lutheran standout as the No. 169 overall prospect and No. 6 pro-style quarterback for 2019.

Family reunion

Four-star tackle Warren McClendon joins McCollough on the Gamecocks’ wish list of Georgia prospects.

The Brunswick, Ga., native is the cousin of South Carolina offensive coordinator, Bryan McClendon. Many who cover recruiting believe that relationship will “seal the deal for the Gamecocks,” according to McGranahan.

South Carolina is contending with Florida, Georgia and Clemson, among others, for McClendon’s services. He’s rated as the No. 250 overall prospect for 2019, per the 247Sports composite.

Getting defensive

With two defensive ends already committed for 2019 and more than 30 offers out to other players at the position, what’s South Carolina’s plan along the defensive line this recruiting cycle?

“It’s our presumption that South Carolina is in the market for at least two more defensive ends with this class, but the number also could be three,” McGranahan writes. “Some of that might be dictated by who wants to commit, when they want to commit and what else is going on at other positions.”

The Gamecocks’ 2019 class currently includes commits from 3-star defensive end Rodricus Fitten and 3-star junior college defensive end Devontae Davis.

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Be happy

Hilinski’s message to South Carolina fans on Monday night was short and sweet.

The 4-star quarterback has been committed to the Gamecocks since April 4. He’s ESPN’s top-rated pocket passer for 2019.

Bummer

The South Carolina baseball team’s final regular-season home game was canceled on Tuesday night due to impending weather.

The Gamecocks (30-21, 15-12 SEC) head to Texas A&M on Thursday for Game 1 of a three-game set to wrap up the regular season.

South Carolina finished its 2018 home schedule with a 24-10 record.

Silver linings

The home slate might be over, but the cancellation on Tuesday night means South Carolina closed out its regular season at Founders Park in style on Sunday, thanks to sophomore Carlos Cortes.

Cortes leads the team in home runs (14), runs scored (44) and walks (35), and is second in RBI (38).

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