Highly touted passer Gunner Stockton committed to South Carolina on Thursday:
Stockton indicated in July the Gamecocks were one of two finalists with Georgia.
The Tiger, Georgia, native is the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback and No. 34 player overall in 247Sports' composite rankings for 2022.
Dating back to 2000, Stockton is one of the best recruits to commit to South Carolina. His 0.9861 composite rating on 247Sports is the seventh-highest overall and the best for a quarterback, eclipsing former Gamecocks signal-caller Stephen Garcia (0.9759).
Stockton's numbers as a sophomore highlight why he was so highly sought after. He threw for 3,472 yards and 43 touchdowns while running for 1,179 yards and scores.
South Carolina has yet to win more than nine games under head coach Will Muschamp, and the Gamecocks are 1-2 in bowl games through his first four years.
Speaking with Dawgs247's Rusty Mansell in July, Stockton explained that he thought the program can climb to the top of the SEC:
"I believe championships can be won in South Carolina. The facilities are in place, the support is there, and it's ready to take off. It's well documented the relationship that I have with the Shaw and Bobo family, but when I went to watch South Carolina practice, I found myself watching Coach Muschamp more than anybody else. His energy was unreal, and you could see the players respond to him. Then, I met with him in his office and he was extremely easy to talk to. He believes in South Carolina and he wants to bring the fans a championship. I loved everything about who and what he stands for."
Ryan Hilinski had an up-and-down freshman season, throwing for 2,357 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions while completing 58.1 percent of his passes. He was the No. 2 pro-style QB in the 2019 class, per 247Sports' composite rankings, so he'll presumably remain the starter for 2020 and likely 2021.
Muschamp also added Luke Doty for 2020, with Doty sitting fourth in 247Sports' composite rankings of the top dual-threat QBs.
When he arrives, Stockton should have some serious competition for the starting gig.
When South Carolina reeled off three-straight 11-win seasons under Steve Spurrier, the team was built around dominant defenses and a strong running game. That recipe probably won't work anymore in the SEC as teams have embraced the spread offense more and more.
Getting a commitment from Stockton after having already signed Hilinski and Doty shows Muschamp is looking to put a big emphasis on the aerial attack going forward.