Syvelle Newton will announce for the Gamecocks Monday. We've already received a firm commitment from Blake Mitchell. (Tennessee is still scrambling to try to get him to reconsider.) Mike Rathe is enrolled. Benjamin Swygert is still a question mark. Brett Weyman may walk on unless he receives an offer from a D1 program between now and signing day. Dondrial Pinkins returns as the heir apparent.
Summary: With Newton's commitment and with the other commitments our QB needs have been more than adequately filled. This has to be one of the better QB classes in the country. Two four star commitments, one two star JuCo transfer and a three star walkon unless something changes between now and Wednesday.
Demetris Summers will announce for USC on Wednesday. Cory Boyd remains firm with his commitment. Returning are Kenny Irons, Thez Robinson, Gonzie Gray. Also weighing in are Daccus Turman and Regis Edgerson who will both be used in more of an upback role rather than a tailback role.
Summary: With a commitment from Summers our tailback needs are filled. Although, we are going on record as saying that it will be very difficult for Summers to replace Irons as the leading candidate for the starting position next season. Still, it's a great problem to have.
Noah Whiteside, Derrick Harper, D'Von Hill, David Smith, Travis Lee. If that's not the number one wide receiver class in the country then it is close based upon sheer numbers alone. Add them to Andrea Gause and Mathew Thomas, Chavez Donnings, Troy Williamson, Taqiy Muhammad and Andre Hemphill and that makes for an impressive and deep corp of wide receivers.
Summary: Our needs at wide receiver have been more than met provided one or two of the newbies step in and contribute on a level greater than or equal to that of Troy Williamson last season.
David Laggis and Robert Pavlovic are committed and ready to sign. They'll join Hart Turner, Brian Brownlee and Andy Boyd at tight end.
Summary: We honestly were not expecting much luck signing a tight end this year, and instead we'll sign two. Either or could eventually be moved to defensive end but that's the beauty of signing athletic big men - they are versatile. Our coaches should be applauded for their tight end results as much or more than any other position. We've been hearing that both of the new guys are slight projects but highly underrated.
William Brown is solidly committed. Remaining on the board are Young and Overmyer. We return 13 offensive linemen, but only two starters and only eight with playing experience. We really need Young or Overmyer ... preferably both.
Summary: The jury is still out on this class of offensive linemen where filling our needs are concerned. We already have adequate depth and talent at this position but you always make room for players such as Eric Young and David Overmyer. Both could earn early playing time. We may know about Overmyer sometime Monday. Young is another story. We'll keep our fingers crossed with the hope that he signs on Wednesday with the Gamecocks.
You can never have too many and there are never enough out there. But we may have hit a homerun already in Stanley Doughty according to at least one first hand account posted on the Digital Perch. Freddy Saint Preux remains on our board as does Cliff Dunham Jr. and Cedric Boone. We return Randy Jackson along with Preston Thorne. We have signed and enrolled Darrell Shropshire. Chad Tucker has been moved back to the defensive line and the studly Brandon Schweitzer has been moved there as well. Plus it looks like Superman Moe Thompson is going down thanks to the extra muscle he has added.
Summary: Bringing the five star JuCo transfer Shropshire in early is huge! That is almost like signing two quality freshmen defensive tackles. Dunham will probably be a placement candidate (we believe) so that leaves Saint Preux as the leading remaining target that might contribute next season. All in all considering the moves the coaching staff has made and considering the returning talent we should find ourselves in excellent shape at the defensive tackle position this coming season. If we somehow manage to sign one more DT it only helps long term. We have enough players onboard right now to run a four man front. Saint Preux would be icing on the cake should it happen.
We have Josh Johnson committed and he is supposed to be very good and highly underrated. Charles Silas is still somewhat of a question mark but we believe he will be a Gamecock come signing day and no one will be happier to get it out of the way than Silas and our fans. George Gause and Jason Capers return as two of the better defensive ends in the conference but they'll need backups if not players capable of pushing them for starting roles. Silas may be good enough to actually accomplish that task. James Scott returns and we like his speed but he has yet to gain the weight that might make him a serious threat at DE. He'll need to contribute soon however. Remaining on the board is Vince Redd and he is 50-50 between Tennessee and South Carolina at the moment with anything possible between now and signing day - including Virginia Tech.
Summary: Silas is the key to this class of defensive ends. You have to believe that our coaches would have liked for Doug Langenfeld to have honored his word after Dave Roberts helped him find a Junior College in the first place. This position's class falls a little short of expectations but provided Silas signs and enrolls we should be okay with enough returning talent and depth to provide us with a much better pass rush this coming season.
It begins with Marcus Lawrence because he committed early, stuck with us, took care of his grades, signed and enrolled. A five star JuCo linebacker ... what more could we ask. Jeremiah Garrison and Darrel Slay return. Ryan Brown is solidly committed. Ricardo Hurley returns along with Lance Laury and Orus Lambert. DeAdrian Coley, who we hear may be the best of them all, is committed and will sign on Wednesday. We could talk about a certain Air Force transfer and really place a shine on this class but it's not necessary so we'll save him for next season.
Summary: This is probably going to be the consensus number one linebacker class in the country. You cannot do much better than that. More important the JuCos help balance the depth chart at this position and give us needed maturity in the junior class that should bode well for us two seasons from now.
Tray Rogers is committed and always has been. Cody Wells is going to be a pleasant surprise for everyone reading this. Returning are Jamacia Jackson, Rodriquez Wilson and Terrell Davis.
Summary: We could have used another safety but which position would we have sacrificed to do so? Given the level of talent returning and the fact that none of them are seniors we could afford to go with one true safety signee this year. And even if Rogers gains the kind of weight that prompts his eventual move to linebacker we're still good there for another season with only Wells coming in as a true freshman. BTW, we've gotten some first hand accounts of Wells from friends in Florida and to a man we are told he is one of the biggest hitters coming out of the Sunshine State this season.
Fred Bennett is one of the most important signees of this class. Tyler Erving is a speed demon with outstanding skills along the lines of an Andre Goodman. Ko Simpson is set to commit at any moment. Returning are Dunta Robinson, Teddy Crawford, Issac Stackhouse, and Tremaine Tyler.
Summary: Our coaches hit a homerun by keeping Bennett committed, signed, and getting him enrolled early enough to participate in winter workouts and spring drills. Tyler Erving will benefit from a redshirt season but he will be a good one down the road. It would have been good to sign one major JuCo corner but things always work out for the best and we feel that the coaches have put together an outstanding class of corners that will contribute for the next four years.
We got Stellfox! You are going to love the leg on this young man. Plus we return Daniel Weaver and Josh Brown. And we'll bring in a deep snapper by the name of John Newell.
Summary: Whenever you are able to bring in a quality deep snapper and a boomer of a leg like Stellfox to boot you have done well.
Summary: With the possible exception of the defensive end position, and perhaps to a lesser extent the offensive line position, this class has actually met or exceeded any possible expectations anyone should have had heading into this recruiting season. Our coaches have filled critical needs, which were quarterbacks, wide receivers and defensive tackles. They have bolstered our linebacking corp, strengthened our secondary for the future, added a couple of quality project tight ends, probably improved our kicking game over the long haul, and they'll be more than satisfied with their defensive end and offensive lineman acquisitions before all is said and done. The two key question marks at this time appear to be Charles Silas and David Overmyer. Sign those two and this class is extraordinary.
We will rank this class better than last year's based upon sheer numbers alone. And we believe it will be ranked higher nationally than last year's, which averaged around 12th nationally.
For a better understanding of where we believe this class has the potential to be ranked in the final polls please read: Our Crystal Ball Final Class Ranking