Whenever Will Muschamp lands a commitment, the South Carolina coach drops a #SpursUp on Twitter. Come take a look at SEC Country for the latest news, notes and observations on the prospects who could be the newest Gamecocks.
Junior college placements
Just a couple of weeks after South Carolina named Will Muschamp head coach, the Gamecocks landed commitments from two of the top 2016 in-state prospects.
Fort Dorchester High School WR Diondre Champaigne committed Monday, Dec. 21. Goose Creek High School DE Javon Kinlaw jumped on board two days later.
The Charleston area duo originally committed to South Carolina’s 2016 class, but neither signed in February. Instead, both wound up at Jones County Junior College in Ellisville, Miss., where they’ll play for Steve Buckley.
“Both of them are just great kids, first of all,” Buckley said, during a recent interview with SEC Country.
Kinlaw, the No. 31 ranked offensive tackle in the class of 2016, will play 3-technique defensive tackle for Jones County.
“He came in at 276 and he’s like 315 now,” Buckley said.
A 4-star prospect and U.S. Army All-American, Kinlaw was ranked as the No. 5 overall prospect in the state of South Carolina.
“I think Javon is a talented, talented kid. We’ve got to remember, he just turned 18 years old,” Buckley said. “This is a real league. He’s going to be playing against SEC players on a weekly basis and he practices against them every day. Right now, we feel like the best thing for him and for us is to play him on the defensive side of the ball.
“When he gets to South Carolina, I think he could go either way. Javon has incredible length. He’s a 6-6, 315-pound kid and that’s what the guys on Sunday look for at left tackle, that length. I’m not going to say he’s going to end up there, but Javon has the hand and feet quickness to be a defensive lineman also.”
Champaigne was rated a 3-star and ranked the No. 21 overall prospect from the state of South Carolina.
“Diondre has long speed, unbelievable hands, great length for a receiver and he is an unbelievable worker. He’s the kind that’s always out running extra routes, catching extra balls, doing whatever he can do to get better.”
The 6-foot-3, 180-pound prospect enrolled at Jones County last month. If all goes according to schedule, he’ll graduate in December of 2017.
Kinlaw began his Jones County career in January, so the plan is to have him back in South Carolina by this time next year.
“We just sped the process up,” Buckley said. “He early enrolled in January. He’ll get January, he was here this summer, he’ll be here in the fall and he’ll graduate in the following spring.”
The state’s top 2019 prospect
Zacch Pickens is listed by 247Sports as the No. 1 overall in-state prospect for the 2019 class. This summer, he visited South Carolina and Tennessee in June.
“We just went there to have fun. It was like a game day,” he said of the trip to South Carolina,
While in Columbia, Pickens spent time with Muschamp and defensive line coach Lance Thompson.
“I got to talk to coach Muschamp and really all the coaches,” Pickens said.
Muschamp, he said, “was just happy to see me.”
Plenty stands out to Pickens about the Gamecocks.
“How close they and how they’re like a family. Every time I go down there, they treat me like I’m home,” he said.
As a kid, the 6-foot-3, 244-pound prospect rooted for both of the in-state powers, South Carolina and Clemson.
This figures to be a battle between the Gamecocks and Tigers, but others will receive consideration, Florida State and Tennessee in particular.
Pickens is ranked as the No. 8 overall prospect in the class of 2019.
Tuesday: Moving on from Monday