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. For previous editions of SpursUp Surveillance, check out the link.
Over the next few days, SEC Country will take an in-depth look at which programs South Carolina is battling with to land some of the top Class of 2019 prospects.
Four schools come to mind.
Up first: Clemson.
Committed to South Carolina
None of South Carolina’s nine commitments have an offer from Clemson.
Nationally, the Gamecocks’ 2019 class is ranked No. 12 in the 247Sports composite.
Committed to Clemson
Clemson’s 2019 haul is currently ranked No. 6. Frank Ladson, a 5-star wide receiver from Miami, is the headliner. He lists an offer from the Gamecocks, but never really looked like a realistic option for South Carolina.
That wasn’t the case with 4-star cornerback Sheridan Jones (Norfolk, Va.) and 4-star quarterback Taisun Phommachanh (Avon, Conn.). Both visited Columbia earlier this year and there seemed to be some mutual interest between South Carolina and the two prospects.
Two other Clemson commitments visited South Carolina earlier this year, though neither has an offer from the Gamecocks: 2-star punter Aidan Swanson (IMG Academy) and 3-star safety Lannden Zanders (Shelby, N.C.).
Four-star running back Chez Mellusi (Naples, Fla.) was offered by South Carolina last fall. He’s one of about 15 running backs in the 2019 cycle who list an offer from the Gamecocks, which doesn’t count 5-star athlete Quavaris Crouch (Charlotte, N.C.).
Duking it out
Crouch is the top-ranked prospect that South Carolina and Clemson will be battling for over the next several months — assuming he goes all the way until December before making a commitment. A handful of other schools are also in the mix, including Florida State and Tennessee.
RELATED: The Gamecocks’ to-do list for Crouch
Sitting at No. 13 in the country, two spots behind Crouch, is 5-star defensive end Zacch Pickens. The top-ranked in-state prospect attends T.L. Hanna High School in Anderson, which is a short drive from the Clemson campus. South Carolina, however could be in the driver’s seat. The Gamecocks hosted Pickens for a visit last weekend. Georgia is thought to be a factor, too.
Though there are several non-committed targets with offers from South Carolina and Clemson, only a few of those prospects could feature a recruiting battle that includes the two schools.
- 4-star linebacker Kalen Deloach (Savannah, Ga.)
- 4-star tackle Warren McClendon (Brunswick, Ga.)
- 4-star guard Keiondre Jones (Hogansville, Ga.)
- 3-star linebacker Derek Boykins (Concord, N.C.)
In reality, the only true head-to-head battles for any of the four names above could be for the two linebackers.
The 2020 targets
It’s a bit of a down year for the 2019 prospects from South Carolina, so that limits the potential for recruiting clashes between the Gamecocks and Tigers. The Class of 2020, however, is already shaping up to be a strong one, particularly along the defensive line.
Five-star defensive end Jordan Burch (Columbia) has an early grip on the No. 1 spot in the class and both have already offered. The two schools have also offered 4-star defensive end Tonka Hemingway (Conway).
Plus, there are at least three more Power 5-caliber defensive linemen in the class, two of whom have offers from the Gamecocks: 4-star defensive tackle Alex Huntley (Columbia) and 4-star defensive tackle Xavier McIver (Cheraw).
The recruitment of 5-star defensive end Jacolbe Cowan (Charlotte, N.C.) could make for another potential South Carolina-Clemson battle.
Notable names from the past
- Wide receiver OrTre Smith (Mount Pleasant, S.C.) — South Carolina 2017
- Wide receiver Bryan Edwards (Conway, S.C.) — South Carolina 2016
- Offensive lineman Zack Bailey (Summerville, S.C.) — South Carolina 2015
- Offensive lineman Donell Stanley (Latta, S.C.) — South Carolina 2014
- Defensive end Xavier Thomas (Florence, S.C.) — Clemson 2018
- Defensive end KJ Henry (Clemmons, N.C.) — Clemson 2018
- Offensive lineman John Simpson (North Charleston, S.C.) — Clemson 2016
- Cornerback Mark Fields (Cornelius, N.C.) — Clemson 2015
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