South Carolina Football Recruiting: Out-of-Staters Steve Spurrier Must Land
It's no surprise that the South Carolina Gamecocks have recruited the state of South Carolina well.
For four straight years, they signed the No. 1 recruit in-state. The names of those players are Stephon Gilmore, Marcus Lattimore, Jadeveon Clowney and Shaq Roland. Gilmore was recently drafted in the first round of the NFL draft, and Lattimore and Clowney may not be that far behind him. Roland is a freshman expected to step up big for South Carolina in 2012.
As you can see, it's very important for South Carolina to recruit in-state very well. The interesting thing, though, is how well South Carolina has recruited outside the state. Look at the 2012 recruiting class for a perfect example; South Carolina signed 12 players from the state of Georgia.
The state of South Carolina is a smaller state, so while there is normally great talent located within the borders, the Gamecocks need to recruit well out of the state in order to field an ultra-competitive football team.
Here is a look at some of the remaining out-of-state recruits whom Steve Spurrier must land.
No. 1: DT Kelsey Griffin
If there is a glaring need left in the 2013 recruiting class, it's defensive tackle.
South Carolina has been searching for a star defensive tackle to help build some immediate depth for the future, and Kelsey Griffin is the Gamecocks' main focus at defensive tackle after striking out on in-state recruit Michael Hill.
The 6'2", 290-pound lineman from Georgia has had the Gamecocks near the top of his list according to Rivals, but ESPN claims the hometown favorite Georgia Bulldogs have built a substantial lead after their recent Dawg Night event this past weekend.
South Carolina is the firm No. 2 for Griffin's services, but it appears the lead Georgia has right now may be tough to overcome.
It would be unfortunate if South Carolina is unable to pull the upset and land Griffin in this recruiting class. At one time, the Gamecocks looked to be in good shape for both Hill and Griffin, but now South Carolina could strike out on both.
The key would be for Griffin to withhold a commitment to the Bulldogs and take another unofficial visit to South Carolina. The longer Griffin holds off on committing, the better for the Gamecocks.
This might be the most important position left in the 2013 recruiting class, and Kelsey Griffin is the Gamecocks' last chance at making a big splash at defensive tackle.
No. 2: CB Brendan Langley
The Gamecocks and Georgia are battling head-to-head for another top prospect from the state of Georgia.
Like Kelsey Griffin, Brendan Langley plays an important position of need for South Carolina. The cornerback recruit who stands 6'1" and weighs 180 pounds has favored the Bulldogs and the Gamecocks at one time or another during the recruiting process.
Langley was recently at Dawg Night as well, but left Georgia without a commitment. This was after a teammate of his made his commitment to the Bulldogs. South Carolina received an unofficial visit from Langley this week for their Gamecock Showcase camp, and while he didn't work out, he seemed to enjoy himself with current South Carolina commitments (per 247Sports).
The Gamecocks have battled Georgia and Alabama for Langley, and they seem to be in much better shape than they were in the past. Langley would be a big pickup for the Gamecocks at this point in the recruiting process.
The Class of 2013 has limited spots, and you want to finish with a bang. Brendan Langley could do that for South Carolina.
No. 3: OL Na'Ty Rodgers
There is one more offensive line spot in this 2013 recruiting class, and it has Na'Ty Rodgers' name all over it.
Rodgers is a versatile offensive lineman from the state of Maryland and is a 4-star recruit on the 247sports.com database. He's listed at 6'5" and 270 pounds.
Offensive line has been an issue in the past for the Gamecocks, and if they hope to continue their rise to the top, recruits like Rodgers can help them reach that level.
South Carolina seemingly has a nice lead for Rodgers' services according to Rivals, but 247Sports claims his offer list has expanded, thus making it even more important to stay on top of his recruitment.
Offensive line depth is so important in the SEC. The Gamecocks need a talent like Rodgers to help keep that depth stacked for the foreseeable future.
No. 4: WR Kyrin Priester
The Gamecocks plan to sign two wide receivers in the Class of 2013.
One of those players could be in-state product Mike Williams; the other is currently up in the air but right now, but South Carolina is in great shape to pick up Kyrin Priester.
Priester, a one-time Georgia commitment, has favored the Gamecocks since mid-June and looks like he could commit any day now (per GroupState.com).
The key question with Priester is, will the Gamecocks accept his commitment if he decides he wants to commit?
South Carolina is still recruiting a few other wide receivers, including Demarcus Robinson, and have to decide whether or not Priester is someone they could take at this moment.
The 6'2", 185-pound wide receiver from Georgia has offers from Georgia, USC, TCU and Vanderbilt. He wants to be a Gamecock, or so it seems.
It's unlikely the Gamecocks will be able to pull Robinson away from a team like Clemson, which makes it even more important to sign Priester. He's a great player who can add value to this Gamecocks receiving corps.
USC can't strike out here, so adding Priester would be a good step toward finalizing the 2013 class.
No. 5: RB David Williams
When South Carolina landed recruit Jamari Smith over the weekend, it initially looked like it was done with the running back recruiting for 2013.
However, it appears South Carolina may still look for another running back to add to this class, and David Williams is an out-of-state player whom USC is heavily involved with right now.
Penn State seems to have the big lead here for Williams (per VictoryBellRings.com), but the Gamecocks have done extremely well and are in his top group of schools. The familiarity and closeness of Penn State gives it the edge, but South Carolina has a lot going for it, especially with running back Marcus Lattimore getting close to ending his Gamecock career.
Lattimore has shown you can be a star at running back for South Carolina, and he could potentially be gone after the 2012 season, opening up playing time for everyone else. Williams could have an immediate shot at seeing the field as a true freshman and playing football in the South—in the SEC—is enough to lure all kinds of talent from all over.
Being able to land a talent like Williams from up north would be a huge statement for Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks.