Who are South Carolina’s top remaining defensive end targets? There are 4
In the latest South Carolina recruiting question of the day, SEC Country addresses the Gamecocks’ work in recruiting 2019 defensive ends.
The question was submitted by @John_VanDyke on Twitter: Seems like [the staff] is going after a ton of defensive ends in [the] 2019 class. What’s the thought there, in your opinion?
South Carolina, like so many schools, is pretty aggressive in its approach to offering prospects, not just defensive ends. A quick count of the scholarship tracker on Rivals has more than 30 defensive ends with a Gamecocks offer.
Obviously, they can’t take all of those guys, and not all are being recruited to Columbia to play defensive end. As was written on Monday night, regarding the recent news with South Carolina’s 2019 quarterback pursuits, not all offers are created equal.
Just because you list an offer online from the Gamecocks, it doesn’t mean you can commit. That’s the case pretty much everywhere.
Four-star weakside defensive end Rodricus Fitten, who’s listed by Rivals as the No. 15-ranked player at that position, will play the ‘Buck’ position for South Carolina, a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker spot. He’s the longest-tenured Gamecocks commitment and is counted in this space as a defensive end. He’s joined by 3-star junior college defensive end Devontae Davis, a strongside defensive end.
It’s our presumption that South Carolina is in the market for at least two more defensive ends with this class, but the number also could be three. Some of that might be dictated by who wants to commit, when they want to commit and what else is going on at other positions.
Currently, it looks like the Gamecocks are focused on adding defensive ends who also could double as defensive tackles, depending on down, distance and opponent. Five-star Zacch Pickens, who checks in at 6-foot-4.5, 268 pounds, is one of the priorities, in part because he’s an in-state guy (Anderson-T.L. Hanna).
A few others stand out: 4-star Savion Jackson (Clayton, N.C.), 4-star Joseph Anderson (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) and 4-star Curtis Fann Jr. (Twin City, Ga.). Jackson and Anderson are counted among the prospects expected to take official visits that first weekend in June. There are reports that Pickens will be there, too.
Jackson is considering at least regular recruiting rivals: N.C. State and Virginia Tech. Anderson has a few schools on his radar, including Notre Dame, but South Carolina is believed to be the front-runner.
Fann never came out and named South Carolina as his favorite, but has looked and acted like a guy who’s leaning toward the Gamecocks. Auburn and Florida State, among others, remain in contention.
Pickens, of course, looks to be weighing South Carolina and Clemson. Georgia and Alabama could be involved, too, but probably not to the same extent as the in-state schools.
As it stands in the middle of May, those four names are the primary ones I’m tracking for South Carolina’s remaining defensive end spots in 2019.