South Carolina Football Recruiting: Updates on 2014 Commits and Targets
The old ball coach Steve Spurrier is getting up there in age, but his age shouldn't shy players away from committing to South Carolina.
South Carolina's recruiting is nothing amazing, yet it meets team needs and continues the spree of Spurrier's in-state recruiting work.
The Gamecocks put together another 11-win season and have a promising future as they only lose a handful of players, though Spurrier and his staff need to revamp the depth of the roster to prepare for the future.
Gamecock Nation, this is your spot for South Carolina recruiting updates.
News, analysis and updates on targets and commits are right here and will be updated regularly.
Update: D.J. Smith commits to South Carolina on 1/13/2014
Update: Poona Ford, a 4-star defensive tackle out of Hilton Head, SC who was committed to Louisville, may be heading to the Gamecocks. With Charlie Strong switching to Texas, Ford could follow Strong to Texas or make the more probable decision to stay in state with South Carolina.
Update: 3-star defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth is still considering another school in the SEC, despite committing on 7/27/2013
Update: 3-star JUCO defensive tackle Abu Lamin signed letter of intent 12/18/2013
Update: 4-star weak-side defensive end Dante Sawyer verbally commits on 12/17/2013
End of 1/13/2014 update
Targets: Bo Baldwin, 3-star pro-style QB; 6'5", 230 pounds; (Aiken, SC)
Already Committed: Michael Scarnecchia, 3-star pro-style QB; 6'3", 185 pounds; (Orange Park, FL)
Analysis: With Brendan Nosovitch and Connor Mitch in line to play quarterback as well as Dylan Thompson most likely stepping in to replace Connor Shaw, Scarnecchia probably won't find any playing time soon. Scarnecchia has good size, but beyond that he isn't the most intriguing recruit. He's probably a backup of the future.
Baldwin has the size for college football, but his arm needs a lot of work. He has decent upside if South Carolina wants to groom him for his upperclassman years.
Targets: Derrell Scott, 4-star all-purpose running back; 5'11", 180 pounds; (Havelock, NC)
Already Committed: None
Analysis: Scott is exactly what South Carolina wants in a running back.
He's an all-purpose back with excellent agility to break tackles. He also possesses the explosiveness to make big plays in the run game as well as in the passing game as a receiver. Although he is more compact, Scott would be the next Mike Davis type of back to join an already deep core of running backs next season.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Already Committed: Shaq Davidson, 4-star WR; 6'0", 170 pounds; (Gaffney, SC)
Terry Googer, 3-star WR; 6'4", 209 pounds; (Atlanta, GA)
Tyshun Samuel, 3-star WR; 5'11", 180 pounds; (Inman, SC)
Kevin Crosby, 4-star TE; 6'0", 236 pounds; (Bamberg, SC)
Kalan Ritchie, 3-star TE; 6'5", 210 pounds; (Goose Creek, SC)
Analysis: Shaq Davidson is the stud of this group of recruits.
With a solid frame and highly rated pass-catching abilities, Davidson could have an early impact in an already deep group of receivers. He may need to fill in for the loss of Bruce Ellington, who recently declared for the NFL draft.
Terry Googer's height is definitely the trait to like most about this kid. He has potential as a big target for the future especially with that height in the red zone. Tyshun Samuel rounds out the trio of receiver commits as a depth player for now.
Kevin Crosby and Kalan Ritchie continue the trend of South Carolina having top-tier tight-end talent.
Crosby provides a blocking style, though is an underrated receiving despite his compact, short frame. On the other side, Ritchie is a receiving threat with his long body, though he needs to pack on some weight to be more of a tight end. Otherwise, his current size is more of a wide receiver's build.
Targets: Damian Prince, 5-star OT; 6'5", 295 pounds; (District Heights, MD)
Already Committed: Donell Stanley, 4-star OG; 6'4" 330 pounds; (Latta, SC)
Malik Young, 3-star OG; 6'3", 277 pounds; (Piedmont, SC)
Analysis: Donell Stanley is no slouch of a recruit, but landing Damian Prince would be the real gem of this group.
Prince has the size and talent to be a dominant offensive tackle at the college level, but it is beyond extremely unlikely that he actually ends up in garnet and black. South Carolina is still on the list, but it looks like Prince will stay in Maryland or head down to Florida State where a recent national championship could be an instant hook to land the highly touted tackle.
Stanley has superior size and also has a solid set of feet underneath him, especially considering his large frame. With good footwork, Stanley has a future anchoring the offensive line and continuing the recent success of the Gamecocks' strong offensive line.
Young is the other recruit who could see some playing time in the future, but he needs to bulk up and progress through practices, whereas Stanley is a more college-ready talent.
Targets: Dexter Wideman, 4-star DT; 6'4", 255 pounds; (Saluda, SC)
Already Committed: Dante Sawyer, 4-star WDE; 6'2.5", 262 pounds; (Suwanee, GA)
Jhaustin Thomas, 3-star JUCO SDE; 6'6", 255 pounds; (Decatur, GA)
Abu Lamin, DT; 6'3", 300 pounds; (Fort Scott, KS)
Analysis: Dante Sawyer is one of the biggest landings in South Carolina's 2014 recruiting class.
He adds to the defensive line, which will need some revamping after losing Jadeveon Clowney, Kelcy Quarles and Chaz Sutton. Sawyer is quick and good with his hands. He will turn into a solid pass-rusher. And if South Carolina holds onto Shameik Blackshear, a potential Clowney 2.0, in the 2015 recruiting class, and Sawyer switches to the other side of the line, South Carolina will have a dominant rush off the edges.
Thomas is an interesting commit because he is a JUCO with experience. He also has a long body, which can be menacing for opposing quarterback as they try to look for receivers.
Dexter Wideman is the anchor that this defense can use in the middle. He needs to bulk up to play on the interior, but this recruit has skills. Wideman has a good motor and is disruptive in the middle. If South Carolina can land him, which it can pending open scholarships, the Gamecocks will get a gem to add to the 2014 class.
Already Committed: Bryson Allen-Williams, 4-star OLB; 6'1", 222 pounds; (Ellenwood, GA)
Joe Blue, 3-star ILB; 5'11", 235 pounds; (Dillon, SC)
Analysis: Bryson Allen-Williams is poised to have a freshman impact on arguably the weakest position for the Gamecocks.
As an OLB, Allen-Williams is a little small but is explosive with exceptional linebacker instincts. He's smart with his reactions and is a sound tackler, which bodes well for South Carolina. Off the field, Allen-Williams should be a leader as he took charge of this recruiting class and tried to lure more players to South Carolina.
Joe Blue is another in-state recruit to add to Steve Spurrier's list of in-state recruits he has landed. Blue is short, but has a good frame. He's also a versatile player with a lot of experience as he played both sides of the ball in high school.
Already Committed: Al Harris, 3-star CB; 5'11", 160 pounds; (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Darin Smalls, 3-star S; 5'11", 200 pounds; (Summerville, SC)
D.J. Smith, 4-star CB; 6'0", 191 pounds; (Marietta, GA)
Analysis: D.J. Smith is highly rated for his superior tackling ability and instincts to snuff out the football.
He makes plays straight for the ball, and South Carolina wants him to fill in a secondary that needs some help for 2014.
With the losses of Victor Hampton, Jimmy Legree and the transfer of Ahmad Christian, Smith could step in right away. He doesn't have refined ball skills and is raw in coverage, but he will learn with time and experience. The Gamecocks have now landed Smith.
Al Harris comes from high school powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas, which means he has experience playing tough competition.
He is quite small at just 160 pounds, but could be a future depth player who can rise up the depth charts. Similarly, Darin Smalls is a decent sized safety who could be an option down the road.
Targets: Corbin Daly, 3-star P; 6'3", 190 pounds; (Charlotte, NC)
Already Committed: None
Analysis: South Carolina has a young group of kickers, so it is not a major need.
They are also very unlikely to land Daly. Though Daly has decommitted from Texas, he will likely stay in-state with North Carolina.