Moving on from Xavier Thomas, plus top remaining targets for Gamecocks
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Well, it happened.
The nation’s No. 2 overall recruit and major Carolina target, defensive end Xavier Thomas, pulled the trigger and committed to Clemson on Saturday.
— Xavier Thomas 1️⃣9️⃣ (@atxlete) April 8, 2017
It’s a shot across the bow for the Gamecocks. Thomas was reportedly between the Gamecocks and Tigers and wasn’t set to announce his pick until his birthday on December 20.
The Florence, S.C., native would’ve been a massive pull for the Gamecocks, but Carolina has the ear of plenty of other playmakers (more on that later).
In regards to Xavier Thomas: One player doesn't make a team. Not every 18 year old recruit pans out. Take a deep breath Gamecocks we're good
— Atlanta Sports Guy (@Atlantasportguy) April 8, 2017
Remember, while the Gamecocks were trumpeting a five-game win streak over the Tigers, Dabo Swinney was laying the groundwork for a run to the national championship.
Does it sting? Sure. Is all hope lost for the future of Carolina football? Absolutely not.
Top remaining targets
Though Thomas may be off the board, the Gamecocks are still in the mix for several highly sought-after prospects in the 2018 class, including:
- 4-star QB Dakereon Joyner
- 3-star WR Jatavious Harris
- 5-star DE K.J. Henry
- 4-star WR Matthew Hill
- 4-star LB Dax Hollifield
- 4-star LB Zakoby McClain
- 4-star DT Alim McNeill
- 3-star CB Chris Smith
- 3-star QB Tyler Shough
- 4-star DE Stephon Wynn Jr.
- 3-star QB Chase Wolf
SEE! Not all is lost, Gamecocks!
Parade of champions
South Carolina fans took to the streets on Sunday to celebrate their national champion women’s basketball team…
"Y'all did it!" pic.twitter.com/HXVRXxZPTJ
— Gamecock Athletics (@GamecocksOnline) April 9, 2017
It was a massive celebration, one that basically took over Columbia — through campus and downtown.
On top of the double-decker bus and gold Under Armour Humvee, perhaps the most impressive part of the parade was the crowd.
We already knew the Lady Gamecocks were a draw, boasted the No. 1 attendance in the nation, but the crowd that came to witness their coronation on Sunday was phenomenal.
Crowd shot from today's celebration. pic.twitter.com/XtG9P5ytci
— GoGamecocks.com (@gogamecocks) April 9, 2017
Baseball has dropped four of its last six SEC contests, but enter a short break on a high note after winning the series finale against Vanderbilt on Saturday.
“Our kids kind of willed our way to this win today,” fifth-year coach Chad Holbrook said after the game. “Up to this point, this was our most important game of the year considering what happened the last couple of games. It was a big win for us.”
The Gamecocks have a short break from conference play as they head to Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday for a one-game showdown with North Carolina at BB&T Ballpark.
The Gamecocks are getting a major boost on the mound Tuesday night when they face the No. 5-ranked Tar Heels: Closer Tyler Johnson is cleared to return…
The feeling when you get cleared. ? See you Tuesday. pic.twitter.com/r3DDV5hqmv
— Tyler Johnson (@TyJohnson_21) April 8, 2017
Johnson has been out of action since March 4.
A win against a top-5 opponent like UNC before re-entering the SEC slate would be huge for the Gamecocks.
In case you missed it
- Duane Notice pens farewell letter to South Carolina, thanking school, fans and team
- Sindarius Thornwell is inching toward a first-round draft projection, according to The Big Spur
- Inside the Gamecocks’ scholarship numbers game
- Georgia LB recruit always pays attention to Gamecocks LB Skai Moore, from The State
- South Carolina freshman WR OrTre Smith looks to build off first spring
- Former Georgia, Louisville CB considering South Carolina
- Baseball lands top 50 recruit for Class of 2019, from The Big Spur
Today in silver linings
Had the Gamecocks not lost out on 5-star DE Xavier Thomas, we wouldn’t have this gem, in reference to former Gamecocks RB Brandon Wilds dating singer Christina Milian…
At least one Gamecock can land a 5 star https://t.co/ext1r8zJhp
— Proffitt (@BreakinDownFilm) April 8, 2017