South Carolina Football Recruiting: Tracking National Signing Day 2012 Targets

Alex RobertsCorrespondent IJanuary 29, 2012

South Carolina Football Recruiting: Tracking National Signing Day 2012 Targets

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    National Signing Day is right around the corner. For all of the college football addicts, it is like the second coming of Christmas.

    South Carolina has gotten off to a great start in recruiting and has a large list of players already verbally committed to the school. However, until the ink hits the paper on the player's Letter of Intent, anything can happen. 

    So, on National Signing Day, I will be keeping track of when each player signs his Letter of Intent and updating this piece in real time. This will be your home for South Carolina's recruiting day madness. 

    Will the Gamecocks be able to sway Chris Moody away from Vanderbilt? 

    Will Shaq Roland follow through with his verbal commitment and continue the Gamecocks' in-state dominance? 

    Are there any surprises waiting?

    Here are the players we will be watching. Don't forget to check back right here on Feb. 1 for all of the player updates as their letters come in!

    Please note that star ratings vary for each recruiting site. When the player signs, his school will be in the title in capital letters. 

Chris Moody, ATH; Henry County High School (McDonough, Ga.) (S.CAROLINA)

1 of 31

    Height: 6'1"

    Weight: 190 lbs.

    40 Time: 4.6

    Star Rating: 4

    Positional Ranking: 64 

    Status: Committed to Vanderbilt, but South Carolina is making a late push. (UPDATE:  COMMITTED TO SOUTH CAROLINA ON JANUARY 30th!)

     

    Moody committed to Vanderbilt on Jan. 22, but he is still highly interested in the Gamecocks. He had an official visit to Columbia on Jan. 27. 

    This intelligent player was a dual-threat quarterback who projects as a corner or safety in college. This could be the most dramatic player to follow on Signing Day, and if South Carolina could sway him, it would be huge. 

    *Update: After his official visit, Moody decided to switch over and sign with the Gamecocks!

R.J. Robinson, RB; Georgia Military College (Milledgeville, Ga.) (NORFOLK ST.)

2 of 31

    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 215 lbs.

    40 Time: 4.55

    Star Rating: 3

    Positional Ranking: Junior College


    This powerful runner from Georgia Military College is going to decide between Georgia and South Carolina on National Signing Day. 

    Robinson is listed as an all-purpose back, but he is a violent runner and seems to crave contact. He could be a great running fullback or a short-yardage back immediately. With his excellent build he could also end up being a starter, even though Georgia and South Carolina are both loaded at the position.

     

    Committed to NORFOLK STATE


Quinshad Davis, WR; Gaffney High School (Gaffney, S.C.) (N. CAROLINA)

3 of 31

    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 190 lbs.

    40 Time: 4.5

    Star Rating: 4

    Positional Ranking: 34

    South Carolina offered Davis early in the process, and he seemingly wanted to be a Gamecock.  However, after South Carolina grabbed some big-name receivers in this recruiting class, he seemed to cool on the offer. 

    A talented player who wants to be the main receiver coming in, the Gamecocks still have an outside chance to land Davis on Signing Day. 

     

    Committed to UNC on 2/1

Elijah Shumate, S; Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) (NOTRE DAME)

4 of 31

    Height: 6'1"

    Weight: 185 lbs.

    40 Time: 4.5

    Star Rating: 4

    Positional Ranking: 8


    The Gamecocks were one of the first to offer Elijah Shumate, and Shumate seemed to be favoring the Gamecocks throughout the process. However, this hard-hitting and athletic safety committed to Notre Dame on Jan. 7. 

    Shumate has NFL written all over him. He's fast and has excellent size to go along with solid high school production. 

     

    Committed to Notre Dame

Tyriq McCord, DE; Jefferson High School (Tampa, Fla.) (MIAMI)

5 of 31

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 220 lbs.

    40 Time: 4.5

    Star Rating: 4

    Positional Ranking: 7


    A player whom South Carolina really wanted, McCord committed to Miami on Dec. 4 after naming the Gamecocks the leader on Nov. 28. He could still make a switch on Signing Day.

    McCord had 17 sacks his junior year and is an incredibly fast prospect for defensive end. He may like the idea that he could get more playing time early on at Miami. 

    This is a player to watch on Signing Day, although it is likely Miami does get his Letter of Intent. 

     

    Committed to Miami

Moana Ofahengaue, OLB; Westlake High School (Lehi, Utah) (UTAH)

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    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 200 lbs.

    40 Time: 4.7

    Star Rating: 3

    Positional Ranking:  40

    An athletic leader, Moana Ofahengaue seems to be favoring schools out west. However, he still has South Carolina high on his radar, and while this would be a coup of sorts, he could end up in Garnet and Black. 

    Ofahengaue is a great tackler and has an excellent motor. He is the fifth-rated recruit in the state of Utah. 

     

    Committed to Utah on 2/1

Keilin Rayner, OLB; North Brunswick High School (Leland, N.C.) (DUKE)

7 of 31

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 220 lbs.

    40 Time: 4.7

    Star Rating: 3

    Positional Ranking: 44


    A highly intelligent player, Rayner looks to be heading to Duke University. He has offers from Ohio State, North Carolina, Clemson and South Carolina. 

    Rayner is a diagnostic player capable of reading plays and reacting. While his athleticism isn't top-notch, his mental game more than makes up for it, and he has excellent size. 

    With proper training, he could be an incredible talent for whoever picks him up. 

     

    Committed to Duke on 2/1

Gary Holmes, RB; Seminole Ridge High School (Loxahatchee, Fla.)

8 of 31

    Height: 5'9"

    Weight: 165 lbs.

    40 Time: 4.4

    Star Rating: 3

    Positional Ranking: No Ranking


    Gary Holmes is an incredibly fast, pure runner who could be a factor down the road. As his highlight videos show, he looks like a cutting back with excellent vision. 

    Holmes also takes back kicks. He has a 3.2 GPA in high school, according to his highlight video, and even has a couple of hard-hitting defensive plays thrown in his reel for good measure. If South Carolina has room for him, he'd be an excellent pickup. 

     

    Has Not Made a Decision

Jordan Diggs, S; Island Coast High School (Cape Coral, Fla.) (S.CAROLINA)

9 of 31

    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 190 lbs.

    40 Times: 4.60

    Star Rating: 4

    Positional Ranking: 11

    Status: Verbally committed to South Carolina.

     

    Jordan Diggs is a hard-hitting safety whose father, Shed Diggs, played for the Gamecocks in the 1980s. 

    Jordan has the ability to be an absolute ball-hawk and immediate contributor. He could also redshirt in order to gain some more weight. 

Jerell Adams, ATH; Fork Union Academy (Fork Union, Va.) (S.CAROLINA)

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    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 225 lbs.

    40 Times: 4.5

    Star Rating: 4

    Positional Ranking: Junior College

    Status: Verbally committed to South Carolina.

     

    Jerell Adams is a unique athlete. He has played tight end and defensive end, but projects as a tight end for the Gamecocks. His senior year in high school, he caught 21 passes for 581 yards and eight scores. 

    Adams' blazing fast speed and blocking ability will give him an opportunity to play right away on the offensive side of the ball. 

Chaz Elder, S; Banneker High School (College Park, Ga.) (S.CAROLINA)

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    Height: 6'1"

    Weight: 185 lbs.

    40 Times: 4.61

    Star Rating: 4

    Positional Ranking: 15

    Status: Verbally committed to South Carolina.

     

    A great tackling safety, Elder is a potentially great pickup for the Gamecocks. He could be a fit for the Spur position. 

    Elder amassed 83 tackles with two interceptions and six pass breakups as a junior in high school. His coverage skills are good enough for him to even get a look at corner. Elder also runs track and is a highly conditioned athlete.

    This versatile player will do great things for the Gamecocks. 

Joe Harris, OL; Lithonia High School (Lithonia, Ga.) (S.CAROLINA)

12 of 31

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 292 lbs.

    40 Times: 5.0

    Star Rating: 4

    Positional Ranking: 13

    Status: Verbally committed to South Carolina.

     

    A big man with great hands and balance, Joe Harris is the type of guard who develops into an all-SEC player. He is in excellent shape for a player of his stature. 

    Harris uses a wide base and surprising agility to keep rushers in front of him. He will eventually work his way into the starting lineup at some point in his career. 

Shaq Roland, WR; Lexington High School (Lexington, S.C.) (S.CAROLINA)

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    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 204 lbs.

    40 Times: 4.43

    Star Rating: 4

    Positional Ranking: 10

    Status: Verbally committed to South Carolina.

     

    Shaq Roland is the crown jewel of this recruiting class. He is a 4 or 5-star prospect depending on the source and was highly sought-after. 

    Roland is an excellent runner and has great hands. He is also capable of manipulating his body to make circus catches. There is no doubt he can be the next Alshon Jeffery/Sidney Rice. 

    Roland had 2,698 receiving yards, 990 rushing yards and 62 combined touchdowns his junior and senior years. 

Jody Fuller, WR; Sun Valley High School (Monroe, N.C.) (S.CAROLINA)

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    Height: 6'0"

    Weight: 200 lbs.

    40 Times: 4.5

    Star Rating: 4

    Positional Ranking: 37

    Status: Verbally committed to South Carolina.

     

    Jody Fuller is a fantastic athlete with a high ceiling as a wide receiver. He has excellent hands, good speed and a mature route-running ability scouts absolutely love. 

    Fuller will need to add muscle weight to his frame for college football, but once he does, there is no telling how good this receiver can be. 

Kwinton Smith, WR; Dillon High School (Dillon, S.C.) (S.CAROLINA)

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    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 200 lbs.

    40 Times: 4.6

    Star Rating: 4

    Positional Ranking: 51

    Status: Verbally committed to South Carolina.

     

    If all of these verbal commits sign on the dotted line, the Gamecocks will have one heck of wide receiver splurge. 

    Kwinton Smith is huge. He has the height that scouts love to go with good speed and hands. 

    Smith was heavily recruited by Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn and Clemson. He ultimately chose the Gamecocks, much to the fans' delight, and could develop into a major offensive force. 

Brendan Nosovitch, QB; Central Catholic High School (Allentown, Penn.) (S.CAR)

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    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 200 lbs.

    40 Times: 4.6

    Star Rating: 3

    Positional Ranking: 22

    Status: Verbally committed to South Carolina.

     

    Possibly one of the most underrated recruits on the board, Brendon Nosovitch should be a 4-star player.  For his career, he had 2,488 rushing yards with 35 touchdowns and 7,002 passing yards with 82 touchdowns. 

    And that is only counting his junior and senior seasons. 

    Nosovitch was named the Pennslvania Gatorade Player of the Year. He is very similar to current Gamecock Connor Shaw, which is a compliment. Nosovitch could redshirt, but he is the future. 

Kendric Salley, RB; Williston Elko High School (Williston, S.C.) (S.CAROLINA)

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    Height: 5'10"

    Weight: 210 lbs.

    40 Times: 4.55

    Star Rating: 3

    Positional Ranking: 45

    Status: Verbally committed to South Carolina.

     

    With a nice combination of speed and power, Kendric Salley could be a very good back for the Gamecocks. He was the first pledge of 2012. 

    An injury during his senior season kept him from increasing his national stature, so Salley is a candidate for redshirting. He is a tough kid, and accounted for 5,307 yards and 90 touchdowns in his career. 

Mike Davis, RB; Stephenson High School (Stone Mountain, Ga.) (S.CAROLINA)

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    Height: 5'11"

    Weight: 195 lbs.

    40 Times: 4.6

    Star Rating: 4

    Positional Ranking: 7

    Status: Verbally committed to South Carolina.

     

    Just watch the highlight reel on this complete back—he has the nastiest spin move I have recently seen at the high school level. Davis also has power and deceptive speed. 

    Many predict that Davis will redshirt due to the crowded backfield situation, but I am not so sure. He may be very difficult to keep off the field, as Davis rushed for 1,923 yards and 21 touchdowns his senior year.

    As an added bonus, he spurned Clemson—where his brother starred—in order to come to the Gamecocks. 

Darius English, DE; McEachern High School (Powder Springs, Ga.) (S.CAROLINA)

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    Height: 6'7"

    Weight: 215 lbs.

    40 Times: 4.65

    Star Rating: 4

    Positional Ranking: 22

    Status: Verbally committed to South Carolina.

     

    Darius English is an athletic freak who is built in the mold of a Devin Taylor-type of player. English's long, lanky frame hides an explosively strong and powerful man.

    He may need to redshirt in order to add some weight, because a 215-pound defensive end may get thrown around a bit, but English may very well play his way into the rotation. He had 173 tackles and 39 sacks in his career. He also had four forced fumbles his senior year. 

Jhaustin Thomas, DE; Columbia High School (Decatur, Ga.) (S.CAROLINA)

20 of 31

    Height: 6'6"

    Weight: 245 lbs.

    40 Times: 4.7

    Star Rating: 3

    Positional Ranking: 43

    Status: Verbally committed to South Carolina.

     

    Another physically gifted defensive end, Jhaustin Thomas has the strength and frame to be highly successful at the collegiate level. He has a very powerful bull-rush and was fantastic at utilizing his hands. 

    Thomas needs to work on his closing ability and his motor, but he was responsible for 17 sacks in his career.

Carlos Hood, DT; Stephenson High School (Stone Mountain, Ga.) (S.CAROLINA)

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    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 265 lbs.

    40 Time: N/A

    Star Rating: 3

    Positional Ranking: 46

    Status: Verbally committed to South Carolina.

     

    Hood is a prototypical run-stuffing defensive tackle. He will not wow you with his pass-rushing ability, but he is consistently around the football. Hood had 108 tackles in two years, which is a big number for a defensive tackle. 

    Hood will need to work on his pass-rushing ability to be an every-down type of player. He will most likely redshirt to add weight and work on his technical skills. 

Kaiwan Lewis, LB; St. Joseph High School (Hammonton, N.J.) (S.CAROLINA)

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    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 230 lbs.

    40 Time: 4.7

    Star Rating: 4

    Positional Ranking: 48

    Status: Verbally committed to South Carolina.

     

    Kaiwan Lewis is a big and productive linebacker. He could line up at any linebacker position or even defensive end. 

    Lewis is incredibly strong and well-built, and could be a factor from Year 1. He has excellent instincts and was the stereotypical "man among boys" in high school. 

    With the Gamecocks' lack of true playmakers from the linebacker position, Lewis could be exactly what the doctor ordered. 

T.J. Holloman, LB; St. Pius X School (Atlanta) (S.CAROLINA)

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    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 206 lbs.

    40 Time: 4.7

    Star Rating: 3

    Positional Ranking: 63

    Status: Verbally committed to South Carolina.

     

    While Holloman doesn't have elite speed or size as of this writing, he is a productive and intelligent linebacker. In nine games during his senior season, Holloman had 91 tackles, three sacks and five forced fumbles. He's been known as a game-changer at his high school.

    Lorenzo Ward is excited about his prospects as a linebacker. Holloman could redshirt to gain weight through the strength program. 

Rico McWilliams, DB; Lovejoy High School (Hampton, Ga.) (S.CAROLINA)

24 of 31

    Height: 6'0"

    Weight: 170 lbs.

    40 Time: 4.38

    Star Rating: 3

    Positional Ranking: 26

    Status: Verbally committed to South Carolina.

     

    A blazing fast player who is extremely excited to be a Gamecock, Rico McWilliams offers an enticing package for a corner. While one would look at his small stature and think that he's just speed, his five forced fumbles in his career reveal a hard-hitting player. 

    McWilliams is a bit of an inexperienced corner; he was a wide receiver until his junior year. However, that didn't stop schools like Auburn, Arkansas and North Carolina from heavily recruiting him.   

T.J. Gurley, DB; Cairo High School (Cairo, Ga.) (S.CAROLINA)

25 of 31

    Height: 5'10"

    Weight: 185 lbs.

    40 Time: 4.6

    Star Rating: 3

    Positional Ranking: 44

    Status: Verbally committed to South Carolina.

     

    A talented player who had four SEC offers (South Carolina, Auburn, Mississippi State and Arkansas), Gurley brings a very powerful build and solid speed to the table. He is a tackling machine, with more than 150 tackles for his career. 

    During his senior year, Gurley also showed a knack for causing turnovers, with four interceptions and two forced fumbles. 

Kyle Fleetwood, DB; Stephenson High School (Stone Mountain, Ga.) (S.CAROLINA)

26 of 31

    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 200 lbs.

    40 Time: 4.4

    Star Rating: 3

    Positional Ranking: 38

    Status: Verbally committed to South Carolina.

     

    Watching video of Fleetwood makes you wonder how he is only a 3-star safety. He is a fantastic tackler and has great hands for a defensive back. He is also powerfully built and productive. 

    Fleetwood had seven interceptions and 11 pass breakups his senior year. He's the type of 3-star player whom the Gamecocks will mold into an All-SEC-caliber safety. 

Nick St. Germain, K; McEachern High School (Powder Springs, Ga.) (S.CAROLINA)

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    Height: 5'10"

    Weight: 165 lbs.

    40 Time: N/A

    Star Rating: 3

    Positional Ranking: No Ranking

    Status: Verbally committed to South Carolina.

     

    Fifty touchbacks in 10 games.

    Fifty! 

    While I usually don't think kicker highlight videos are particularly exciting, one can't help but watch in awe at this young man's incredibly strong leg. 

    While I understand that the kicking distance differs from high school to college, St. Germain's kicks were not of the downed in the end zone variety—they were of the knocking out members of the marching band in the stands variety. 

    You are most likely looking at the starting kickoff man for 2012. He needs to improve his accuracy to be the full-time field goal kicker, though. 

Mason Zandi, OL; Capin High School (Chapin, S.C.) (S.CAROLINA)

28 of 31

    Height: 6'8"

    Weight: 265 lbs.

    40 Time: N/A

    Star Rating: 2

    Positional Ranking: No Ranking

    Status: Verbally committed to South Carolina.

     

    The only "project"-type of player in this year's class, Zandi picked South Carolina over an offer from Clemson. He was a defensive player until his senior year, when he was shifted to offensive tackle.

    Zandi's 6'8" (almost 6'9") frame is an excellent selling point for a strength coach. If he can put on about 40 pounds of muscle and continue to learn his still relatively new position, his elite size could take him very far. 

    An absolute redshirt for Year 1, but Zandi has a high ceiling. 

Brock Stadnik, OT; Western Guilford High School (Greensboro, N.C.)

29 of 31

    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 285 lbs.

    40 Time: 5.0

    Star Rating: 4

    Positional Ranking: 36

    Status: Signed a Letter of Intent and enrolled at the University of South Carolina on Jan. 9, 2012.

     

    Brock and his brother Clayton are both enrolled at the University and have already begun the process of becoming bigger, stronger and better linemen. 

    This 4-star brother chose the Gamecocks over Auburn and Clemson early in the process. He is a Parade All-American and will eventually be a starter for the Gamecocks. Brock is a player who could easily be in the rotation this fall. 

Clayton Stadnik, Center; Western Guiliford High School (Greensboro, N.C.)

30 of 31

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 255

    40 Time: 5.0

    Star Rating: 3

    Positional Ranking: 18

    Status: Signed a Letter of Intent and enrolled at the University of South Carolina on Jan. 9, 2012.

     

    The second Stadnik may not have the accolades of his brother, but he is still a highly talented center. Clayton has excellent strength and intelligence, and is capable of big things at the collegiate level. 

    He may redshirt to add some weight to his frame.   

Kelvin Rainey, TE; Yulee High School (Yulee, Fla.)

31 of 31

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 210 lbs.

    40 Time: 4.6

    Star Rating: 3

    Positional Ranking: 18

    Status: Signed a Letter of Intent and enrolled at the University of South Carolina on Jan. 9, 2012.

     

    This incredibly talented tight end chose the Gamecocks over offers from Arkansas, Clemson, Florida and Florida State. 

    Rainey is a versatile player. He played outside linebacker as well as tight end in high school, and was productive at both ends.

    With deceptive speed and excellent hands, Rainey projects very well as a tight end at the collegiate level.