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.
Change of course
Last December, 4-star defensive end M.J. Webb joined South Carolina for a few practices in Columbia before the team left for the Birmingham Bowl.
Because Webb was a midyear graduate from Morgan County High School in Madison, Ga., he was permitted to work out with the Gamecocks, even though he hadn’t taken any classes.
On Sunday night, Muschamp wasn’t certain if any of the 12-or-so 2018 commitments who are on track to graduate this month would be able to practice at South Carolina prior to the team’s Dec. 26 arrival in Tampa for the Outback Bowl.
“It’s interesting, because the way the [December signing period] is set up, and there’s a dead period involved with that, it’s going to be more difficult to have guys be involved in bowl practice, because that is now a 48-hour dead period from the 20th through the 22nd,” Muschamp said.
“It’s going to be an issue as far as getting guys in to practice. We’re still working through that, and we have a lot of guys involved in all-star games, and if they’re playing in an all-star game, they can’t come to bowl practice.
“I don’t know if that’s going to be something moving forward with this early signing date to be able to get guys in like we have before.”
During a dead period, college coaches are not permitted to have face-to-face contact with prospective student-athletes.
Earlier this fall, Muschamp said he expected to have upward of 12 freshmen enrolling in January. Four-star quarterback Dakereon Joyner (North Charleston, S.C.) is among the commitments on track to arrive next month. Three-star defensive back Israel Mukuamu, who recently de-committed from Florida State, will graduate early from Parkway High School in Bossier City, La.
Both prospects are committed to play in the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl.
South Carolina recruiting update
South Carolina’s 2018 class is ranked No. 25 in the country, according to the 247Sports composite. The 18-man class — not counting 3-star defensive end Tyreek Johnson, a holdover from 2017 — is ranked ninth among teams from the SEC.
Four-star wide receiver Josh Vann (Tucker, Ga.) is the top-rated prospect, followed by Joyner and 4-star junior college defensive back Marlon Character Jr. (Atlanta).
“I think we’re in a good spot,” Muschamp said. “Obviously, there’s a signing date [on] Dec. 20. Somebody may feel like they’ve been committed to you, and in those sorts of situations where they all of a sudden say they may sign in February, it makes you start wondering where you are with that young man.
“Obviously, in a lot of situations academically, they didn’t do well in the fall semester. Then, we have to reevaluate that situation, so there are a lot of different things you’ve got to juggle through in this early signing date as far as those things are concerned.”
Dakereon Joyner on Kurt Roper
Joyner visited South Carolina two weekends ago for the Clemson game. Co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Kurt Roper stopped by his home last week for an in-home visit.
But Roper has been linked to the coaching vacancy at Rice.
“As far as I know, that’s going to be my offensive coordinator and quarterback coach in January,” Joyner told Phil Kornblut. “I was with him all weekend and he came to my house Tuesday, so, if he decides to leave, I’ll be shocked, but it is what it is. I’m still committed to the university itself, not any coach.”
Three-star offensive tackle Jerome Carvin (Cordova, Tenn.) remains in the crosshairs of Gamecocks offensive line coach Eric Wolford.
“Really, he was saying they have five offensive line commitments right now and he said he is taking six offensive linemen,” Carvin told Kornblut. “He said he’d like for me to be the last one, and the first one to commit gets the spot. He was mostly saying they have a big need at offensive line and that’s why they are taking six this year.”
Auburn, Tennessee, Memphis, Mississippi State and UCLA are among the primary contenders.
Miss a previous edition of Spurs Up Surveillance? Get caught up here.