The 2018 South Carolina recruiting class has 22 signees and isn’t quite finished, but SEC Country still has grades for Will Muschamp’s third group of Gamecocks.
According to the 247Sports composite, it’s the No. 19 class in the country.
Grading South Carolina’s offensive signing class
There’s no doubt that a lot of Gamecocks fans are excited about 4-star quarterback Dakereon Joyner (North Charleston, S.C.), and for good reason. The No. 9 dual-threat quarterback in the country is an explosive athlete who won a lot of games in high school, including a state championship as a sophomore, the first in the history of the Fort Dorchester program. Muschamp told reporters on Wednesday that Joyner has the “it-factor,” to go along with many of the other intangibles required to play the position.
The running back duo of Deshaun Fenwick (Bradenton, Fla.) and Lavonte Valentine (Melbourne, Fla.) offers a nice combination of power and speed. Both were rated as 3-star prospects, but each has a unique skill set.
Four-star wide receiver Josh Vann (Tucker, Ga.) is the No. 2 overall prospect in the Gamecocks’ class. Fellow wide receivers Tyquan Johnson (Sylvania, Ga.) and Darius Rush (Greeleyville, S.C.) add size and athleticism to the class. Johnson is 6-foot-3 and Rush is 6-2.
Two of the five offensive linemen signed by the Gamecocks are 4-stars, tackle Dylan Wonnum (Tucker, Ga.) and guard Jovaughn Gwyn (Charlotte, N.C.). Three-star center Hank Manos (Chapin S.C.) played in the Under Armour All-America Game. Fellow 3-stars Maxwell Iyama (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) and Wyatt Campbell (Lugoff-Elgin) profile as tackles.
Seven of the signees from this side of the ball enrolled in January.
Grading South Carolina’s defensive signing class
Four-star tackle Rick Sandidge (Concord, N.C.) and 4-star defensive end Kingsley Enagbare (Atlanta, Ga.) headline the linemen on this side of the ball. Three-star junior college tackle Jabari Ellis (Georgia Military College) and 3-star end Tyreek Johnson (Sumter, S.C.) shouldn’t be slept on. Jesus Gibbs (Dumfries, Va.) has the athleticism to play along the defensive line, even though he profiled as an offensive tackle for much of his recruitment.
The two-man linebacker class includes a pair of 3-stars, Ernest Jones IV (Waycross, Ga.) and Under Armour All-American Rosendo Louis (Deerfield Beach, Fla.). Both are already on campus.
South Carolina’s secondary haul is led by 4-star cornerback Jaycee Horn (Alpharetta, Ga.), a former Tennessee commitment. Like Louis, 3-star Israel Mukuamu (Bossier City, La.) was once committed to Florida State. Three-star safety Jonathan Gipson (Hoschton, Ga.) finished just shy of 4-star billing. And 3-star safety R.J. Roderick (Summerville, S.C.) could prove that he should have been nationally ranked.
Six of the signees from this side of the ball enrolled in January.
Grading South Carolina’s overall signing class
The Gamecocks didn’t land every offensive prospect they wanted, but have plenty to be proud about with that portion of the class. Four-star Warren Thompson (Seffner, Fla.) would have certainly provided a nice, late boost to the wide receiver haul.
Kudos are in order for offensive line coach Eric Wolford for landing an impressive group, including one of the longest-tenured South Carolina prospects in the cycle. If at least two or three of these big guys end up as multi-year starters, which is totally within the realm of possibility, then the offensive line haul will have been a successful one.
Message-board posters and talk-radio callers might wonder what if, as it relates to the defensive line class. The Gamecocks missed on several throughout the cycle, from Xavier Thomas and K.J. Henry (Clemson) and Stephon Wynn (Alabama) to Jarrett Jackson (Louisville) and John Mincey (Tennessee).
You can’t win them all, but South Carolina did edge Georgia for Sandidge and Enagbare, so there’s reason to feel good about landing those two.
But the Dawgs did get linebacker Channing Tindall, who’s from Columbia. Flipping Louis from Florida State certainly took away some of the sting there, but missing out on a big-time hometown guy does hurt, maybe more so because it was to a rival.