The South Carolina Gamecocks officially added a significant piece to their future backfield on Wednesday when running back prospect MarShawn Lloyd joined their 2020 recruiting class by signing his letter of intent.
Lloyd, who checks in at 5'9" and 211 pounds, is a 4-star prospect. He is the No. 39 overall player, No. 7 running back and No. 3 player from the state of Maryland in his class, per 247Sports' composite rankings.
He announced his decision to join South Carolina on his Twitter page in May:
"I like (running backs) coach (Thomas) Brown, and coach (Will) Muschamp is a great coach," he said before making his decision, per Hale McGranahan of 247 Sports. "I am building a relationship with both of them, and it is going well."
He is one of the running backs in the 2020 class with the potential to compete for All-American status and notable individual recognition, and he could slide into his new team's backfield as soon as his freshman season.
Lloyd's size and physicality jumps out, which will help him convert difficult short-yardage situations to keep drives alive and turn red-zone opportunities into touchdowns at the goal line.
However, he is more than just a between-the-tackles bruiser and possesses the burst to hit holes and enough elusiveness in the open field when he gets to the second level to make tacklers miss. He also has enough speed to feature on all three downs and attracted the attention of some of the best programs in the nation during his recruiting process.
The list of interested schools on 247 Sports featured Ohio State, Penn State and Maryland but also included the likes of Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Clemson and Notre Dame, among others, at one point.
South Carolina beat out those other contenders, securing one of the best players in this recruiting cycle and someone who can anchor its offense in the coming seasons as it competes in the SEC East.
The Gamecocks were an ugly 4-8 in 2019 and have fallen behind the likes of Georgia, Florida and even Tennessee in the division.
Landing playmakers like Lloyd on the recruiting trail is an ideal way to change that and will be important in closing the gap with those teams in the SEC East, as well as powerhouses such as Alabama, LSU and Auburn in the SEC West.