Hale McGranahan/SEC Country
South Carolina linebacker Rosendo Louis was rated as the No. 352 overall prospect in the Class of 2018, per the 247Sports composite.

South Carolina freshman LB likes to hit; projecting Gamecocks’ LB depth chart

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‘My favorite thing about football is the hitting’

South Carolina freshman linebacker Rosendo Louis thanks his older sister, Latisha, for getting him interested in football.

“She played tackle football and she used to run me over in the hallway, so that’s what got me really started,” Louis told reporters before the Under Armour All-America Game.

Since the days of the sibling Oklahoma drill, the former 4-star prospect’s love of the game grew, so too did his affinity for tackling.

“My favorite thing about football is hitting,” Louis said. “That’s what I love to do.”

Louis, who enrolled at South Carolina in January, could play any of the four linebacker positions for the Gamecocks, according to coach Will Muschamp.

A new look

The Gamecocks’ linebacking corps will look quite different in 2018 with All-SEC linebacker Skai Moore graduating.

Junior T.J. Brunson will be counted on to replace Moore’s leadership and production in the middle.

“The top returning tackler (88) from a season ago, Brunson was on the field for basically every meaningful snap in 2017, during which he recovered 3 fumbles and had 2 sacks,” wrote SEC Country’s Hale McGranahan.

Beyond Brunson, senior Eldridge Thompson and sophomore Sherrod Greene will likely be the Gamecocks’ other starting linebackers.

Come on down

Muschamp is ready to bring Rice graduate transfer safety J.T. Ibe to Columbia for an official visit on March 3.

“[Muschamp] was just catching up and said they were going to set up a visit,” Ibe told SportsTalk’s Phil Kornblut. “I think he’s pretty excited about me. He wants to get me down and see the program and see if I like it.”

In three years at Rice, the Mansfield, Texas, native posted 121 tackles and 11 pass breakups.

Going deep

South Carolina is eyeing another talented pass catcher for 2019. The Gamecocks will host 4-star wide receiver Zion Puckett for a visit in May.

Puckett already boasts offers from Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, Tennessee and more.

He’s rated as the No. 37 overall receiver for 2019, according to the 247Sports composite.

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In the trenches

Four-star guard Caedan Wallace is a prospect to watch for the Gamecocks in the 2019 recruiting cycle.

South Carolina has already hosted the 6-foot-5, 315-pound lineman for two visits.

“I like how the current coaches are running the program. The facilities and the coaches being hands on really stands out,” Wallace said.

Wallace is rated as the No. 115 overall prospect for 2019, per the 247Sports composite.

Round 2

Four-star defensive end and 2019 prospect Dante Walker could be headed back to Columbia this weekend.

The Riverdale (Ga.) High School standout last visited South Carolina in November for the Clemson game.

Walker lists offers from Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina, among others.

And the finalists are …

South Carolina is among the contenders for 6-11 center Brandon Stone. Stone lists Penn State, Pittsburgh and Duquesne as his other finalists.

“While my recruitment is still open for the 2018 and 2019 classes, I would like to focus on these four schools for the 2018 class,” Stone wrote on Twitter.

Stone has already taken two visits to see the Gamecocks.

Originally from Alverton, Pa., Stone currently attends the Christ School in Arden, N.C.

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