South Carolina suffered a significant blow to both its 2014 and 2015 recruiting classes on Sunday. Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier lost his grip on commitments from Wesley Green and Arden Key, two top-tier Georgia recruits, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The decommiting duo are teammates at Martin Luther King Jr. High School in Lithonia, Ga. Their decisions come two weeks after South Carolina suffered a disheartening loss to SEC rival Georgia in an early-conference showdown.
Green, a 5'11", 170-pound prospect, is listed as the country's 16th-best class of 2014 cornerback recruit in 247Sports composite rankings. He offered up a verbal pact with the Gamecocks in June.
Before initially committing to South Carolina, Green considered offers from Auburn, Georgia, LSU and Arkansas, among others, according to 247Sports. Expect several SEC squads to jump back into the fray for his services.
Key, a 6'5", 200-pound standout lineman, is a tough loss to take for Spurrier's 2015 class. The athletic defender is extremely versatile and listed as the seventh-best junior in Georgia in 247Sports composite rankings.
The same ranking system considers Key the No. 5 weak-side defensive end prospect in his class. He pulled the trigger on a South Carolina commitment in June.
The Gamecocks' loss is likely to be someone else's gain. Key holds offers from Miami, Georgia, LSU, Auburn, Arkansas and Louisville.
Cortez Allen, head coach at M.L. King High, cited lack of communication as a main concern for both Key and Green. He expressed those feelings to Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Michael Carvell.
They both enjoyed their visits up there, and they like what South Carolina has going on. But they hadn’t really heard from South Carolina a whole lot, and that kind of worried them. I think they both still really like South Carolina. But again, just from their standpoint, you know how kids are. They were asking me about why weren’t hearing much from South Carolina. I told them that ‘I can understand. That’s kind of weird. But just call them. Call South Carolina and see what’s going on.’ That would be my only answer to the kids.
Those comments are sure to send a message to the South Carolina recruiting department.
With the decommitments, the Gamecocks' 2015 class shrinks to four players, while the 2014 class currently features 12 athletes and just one cornerback prospect. Spurrier and his staff must now turn their attention elsewhere to bring talent to Columbia.