Whenever Will Muschamp lands a commitment, the South Carolina coach drops a #SpursUp on Twitter. Come to SEC Country for the latest news, notes and observations in South Carolina recruiting.
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South Carolina’s 2018 signing class already is 11 deep, but there’s still plenty of work to be done.
SEC Country takes a look at a few of the items left on the to-do list for Muschamp and the Gamecocks coaching staff.
More LBs, please
Two of the three returning scholarship linebackers on South Carolina’s 2017 roster are seniors, so acquiring more talent at the position is perhaps the most pressing need left for the 2018 class, given the lack of numbers.
Three-star prospect Ernest Jones IV, who could play either inside or outside, already is in the boat as a commitment. At least three others are prime candidates to hop on board with him.
Muschamp, defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson and linebackers coach Coleman Hutzler don’t have to look too far from campus for two of the top options: 4-star outside linebacker Channing Tindall and 4-star inside linebacker Dax Hollifield.
Tindall attends Columbia’s Spring Valley High School, which is about 25 minutes from Williams-Brice Stadium, depending on I-77 traffic. Hollifield is about 2 hours up the road at Shelby (N.C.) High School.
Rosendo Louis, a 3-star inside linebacker from Deerfield Beach (Fla.) High School, is believed to have South Carolina among his top options. Florida State and Miami are firmly in his mix, too.
The other JUCO defensive linemen
Tackle Dantrell Barkley (Independence Community College in Kansas) announced his commitment last Tuesday. He’s hardly the only semi-local JUCO lineman on South Carolina’s radar.
Barkley graduated from A.L. Brown High School in Kannapolis, N.C., in 2016. Ends Jabari Ellis and Dorian Gerald are products from South Carolina high schools, Lake Marion and West Florence, respectively.
Ellis, a tackle at Georgia Military College, is also considering North Carolina State. He’s set to announce a commitment next month.
Gerald, an end at College of the Canyons in California, lists Louisville, Florida State and Tennessee among the other schools he’s considering.
According to the 247Sports composite rankings, Gerald is the No. 10 overall JUCO prospect in the Class of 2018. Ellis is a few spots behind him at No. 13.
In 2018, South Carolina’s efforts to mine the state of Georgia are focused on the skill positions: wide receiver and defensive back.
Four-star Snellville-Brookwood wide receiver Matthew Hill (No. 17 in Georgia according to 247Sports) is the highest-rated target left for the Gamecocks. Four-star Tucker wide receiver Josh Vann is a few spots back at No. 21. Alpharetta cornerback Jaycee Horn (23), Hampton-Dutchtown safety Trey Dean (27) and Stockbridge wide receiver Marquez Ezzard (28) are also rated as 4-star prospects.
Yep, Georgia’s loaded again. The state’s top 36 prospects are all 4-star recruits.
Under normal circumstances, South Carolina would take 4-star quarterback Dakereon Joyner and call it a day. But there are only three scholarship quarterbacks on South Carolina’s roster right now, one of whom will be a senior by the time Joyner arrives next year.
In the name of numbers, the Gamecocks need to sign a pair of quarterbacks in the 2018 haul. At this point, there’s a bit of an issue — their options are somewhat limited.
Three-star prospect Carter Bradley, son of former Jacksonville Jaguars coach Gus Bradley, appears to be one of the top remaining options.