South Carolina Football Recruiting: Grading the Gamecocks' 2013 Recruiting Class
LB Larenz Bryant headlines the class. Courtesy ESPN
South Carolina has an excellent recruiting class this year despite it being underrated. The class is headed up by Larenz Bryant—a linebacker who should compete for the starting role in the spur/"Will" right away.
Steve Spurrier has always been excellent at recruiting and has been able to develop any and every talent he brings into his team. Follow along as we look at everyone the Gamecocks brought in for the 2013 season.
QB Connor Mitch. Courtesy Charleston Post and Courier Online
QB Connor Mitch: 6'3", 220 pounds, 4 stars, rated 91
Despite Connor Shaw and Dylan Thompson taking up residence at the quarterback position for at least the next two years, Spurrier found fit to bring in a top prospect there. Connor Mitch is a great fit for Spurrier's offense, and after he redshirts for a year, he could end up starting for at least three years in Columbia.
RB David Williams. Courtesy 247 Sports.com
RB David Williams: 6'0", 195 pounds, 4 stars, rated 94
RB Jamari Smith: 5'10", 195 pounds, 3 stars, rated 88
For the perfect replacement to Marcus Lattimore, look no further than David Williams. He's a taller, bigger back and has the ability to impact as a freshman as an all-around back. Jamari Smith is more of a change-of-pace back and should end up as the long-term solution for that role.
OG D.J. Park. Courtesy 247 Sports.com
OG D.J. Park: 6'5", 313 pounds, 4 stars, rated 90
OT Na'Ty Rodgers: 6'5", 270 pounds, 4 stars, rated 90
C Bryce King: 6'3", 293 pounds, 3 stars, rated 89
OG Alan Knott: 6'4", 275 pounds, 3 stars, rated 88
OT J.P. Vonashek: 6'7", 275 pounds, 3 stars, rated 87
In a great move, Steve Spurrier brought in an entire offensive line group. He brought in his future at everywhere along the line, especially if they decide to go with a set of J.P. Vonashek at LT, Alan Knott at LG, Bryce King at C, D.J. Park at RG and Na'Ty Rodgers at RT.
The only issue with this potentially great starting offensive line is that they will take a couple years to develop. The entire group of linemen are very balanced both in run and pass blocking, and it will be interesting to see how they grow both individually and as a group.
DT Kelsey Griffin. Courtesy Atlanta Journal-Constitution Online
DT Kelsey Griffin: 6'2", 290 pounds, 4 stars, rated 95
DE Devin Washington: 6'3", 225 pounds, 4 stars, rated 90
DE David Johnson: 6'1", 253 pounds, 3 stars, rated 89
DE Devante Covington: 6'3", 210 pounds, 3 stars, rated 88
Kelsey Griffin is someone who could compete for a spot in the rotation right away. But he won't start early with how deep the Gamecocks defensive tackle rotation is. At end, the Gamecocks did that much better.
Devin Washington, David Johnson and Devante Covington are all very solid players. However, it will be interesting to see how they work into the rotation in 2013 and who gets redshirted. None of them are Jadeveon Clowney, but they could all work their way into being at least Devin Taylor.
OLB Larenz Bryant. Courtesy CarolinaVarsity.com
OLB Larenz Bryant: 6'1", 213 pounds, 4 stars, rated 96
OLB Skai Moore: 6'3", 215 pounds, 4 stars, rated 90
ILB Gerald Turner: 6'1", 240 pounds, 3 stars, rated 87
ILB Jonathan Walton: 6'1", 227 pounds, 3 stars, rated 87
OLB Mohamed Camara: 6'2", 205 pounds, 3 stars, rated 84
Larenz Bryant is an excellent player who will be competing for the spur and Will roles in the defense. It will be interesting to see where he finally ends up, but he could be the next DeVonte Holloman. Skai Moore was a great late pickup who can play the "Sam" early on and is a great fit for nickel linebacker.
The combination of Gerald Turner and Jonathan Walton will be a great fit for the future of the middle linebacker spot in Columbia. They won't start right away but should be able to compete for the starting role early in their careers.
CB Pharoh Cooper. Courtesy newbernsj.com
CB Pharoh Cooper: 5'11", 181 pounds, 4 stars, rated 89
CB Ali Groves: 5'11", 177 pounds, 3 stars, rated 88
CB Ronnie Martin: 5'10", 185 pounds, 3 stars, rated 86
S Jasper Sasser: 6'2", 185 pounds, 3 stars, rated 84
Pharoh Cooper is the biggest name on the list here, but overall, the prospects that Spurrier brought in are prove-me types. Those are just the kind of moves that has made him a great coach throughout the years.
He takes secondary players who are considered average prospects as 3- or 4-star rated prospects and gets them to play like 5-star guys.
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
College football's No. 21-rated recruiting class has a ton of underrated talent coming into it. The best part about the class is how the talent is distributed. Despite no receivers or tight ends, they have essentially a full starting offense and defense worth of talent coming in.
Spurrier brought in potentially 10 starters and even more contributors. He has a ton of talent on this class and could really bring the most out of it if he develops it properly.
All stats used are either from Pro Football Focus's Premium Stats, ESPN, CFBStats or the NFL. All contract information is courtesy Spotrac and Rotoworld. All recruiting rankings come from 247Sports.com.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL Draft. He is also the Falcons analyst at Drafttek, runs the NFL Draft Website ScarDraft.com and hosts Kvetching Draftniks Radio.