On the recruiting trail, South Carolina is starting to develop an intriguing rivalry with Virginia Tech, the best program from the ACC’s Coastal Division.
The Hokies are pushing the Gamecocks for 4-star prospect Brad Johnson, a 2017 defensive end/outside linebacker from Pendleton (S.C.) High School.
South Carolina will host Johnson for an official visit this weekend — he’s been to the campus in Columbia umpteen times, most recently in the fall for the Tennessee game.
In December, the Hokies hosted him for an official, and he was also their guest for the Battle at Bristol game.
Though a handful of 2017 commitments to both teams had offers from the other school, South Carolina and Virginia Tech weren’t pitted in many head-to-head battles, though 3-star tight end Drake Deiuliis was coveted by the Gamecocks.
It’s shaping to be a similar story in 2018, but with a few more prospects, two of whom are from the state of South Carolina.
LB Dax Hollifield – 4-star – Shelby, N.C.
Hollifield made the 2-hour trek to South Carolina several times in 2016. In the summer, he visited for camp and practice. In the fall, he visited for the Tennessee and Georgia games. South Carolina was added to his lead group after the camp offer, joining Virginia Tech and North Carolina. The No. 2-ranked inside linebacker in the country also took multiple visits to Blacksburg and Chapel Hill.
QB Dakereon Joyner – 4-star – North Charleston, S.C.
Virginia Tech will welcome Joyner to campus for the first time this weekend. Justin Fuente has proven to be one of the top offensive minds in college football, and that presents a potential scare for South Carolina. However, the Gamecocks have proximity and familiarity on their side, and they’re set to get Joyner back on campus seven days after the trip to Blacksburg. Joyner was on hand at Williams-Brice Stadium for almost every game this fall. Georgia, Louisville and N.C. State are also in the mix.
DT Rick Sandidge – 4-star – Concord, N.C.
Sandidge is a high school teammate of 4-star South Carolina commitment Hamsah Nasirildeen. The No. 6-ranked defensive tackle in the country visited multiple times in the summer and again at the start of the season for the East Carolina game. Alabama and Ohio State are also in play, among others.
ATH Bryce Thompson – 3-star – Columbia, S.C.
Thompson, who attends Ben Lippen School, which is about 20 minutes from Williams-Brice Stadium, committed to Virginia Tech in the summer. However, South Carolina since has offered and had him on campus. Thompson (6-0, 180 pounds) is the No. 42-ranked athlete in the 2018 class.
All rankings and ratings are based on the 247Sports composite.