By: Justin Fabiano
As signing day approaches and each school is scrambling to make last minute visits to lock up indecisive recruits, the Gamecocks still have their targets on one player: the nation’s #1 recruit Jadeveon Clowney.
Clowney will be the icing on the cake for one school.
The Rock Hill, SC native heavily favors South Carolina and Alabama, but Clowney did spend this weekend in Clemson. The nation’s number one overall player and defensive end may still make visits to both North Carolina and LSU before he makes his final decision.
The Gamecocks welcomed the Gerald Dixon brothers just after the new year. The twins (one is named Gerald Dixon and one is name Gerald Dixon Jr.- you cannot make this stuff up) )from Rock Hill, SC are both three-star defensive end and defensive tackle recruits. One of the Gerald Dixon brothers is Jadeveon Clowney’s current teammate at South Pointe High School. The Gamecocks will lose Cliff Matthews, Ladi Adjiboye, and Travian Robertson, so signing the Dixon brothers was a huge pick up for the Gamecocks. Oh, and tie in four-star defensive tackle signee in Kelcy Quarles, and the Gamecocks look to have reloaded instead of rebuilt a defensive line.
While 2010 was a great year for USC’s defensive line, it was not a great year for the Gamecock secondary. Sheldon Royster looks to change that. The seventh ranked safety in the nation, committed to the Gamecocks on January 20th. Royster, a five-foot-nine 190-pounder from Jersey City, NJ, should help a Gamecock secondary decimated by injury. The Gamecocks’ lack of depth in the secondary should provide Royster with a chance to play early as well.
The Gamecocks also picked up Tanner McEvoy, a 6’5”-to- 6’6” athlete from New Jersey. McEvoy’s size and hands make him a formidable weapon at the wide receiver position, especially in the red zone. However, McEvoy played quarterback in high school, and we all know how Spurrier is with quarterbacks, so do not be surprised if he gets a chance to toss a few passes as well. McEvoy committed on January 19th.
The one thing that has plagued the Gamecocks in recent history is the offensive line. Spurrier is working with his third offensive line coach since he has been in Columbia, and it is finally starting to pay off. 2010 was the best season in recent memory for any USC offensive line unit, and the nation’s fifth best offensive lineman Brandon Shell should be able to help the unit soon. The six-foot-seven 310-pound lineman from Goose Creek, SC met with Nick Saban last week, but reaffirmed his commitment to Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks last Thursday.
The Gamecocks have done well addressing their needs at defensive line and defensive back. A combination of receiver commitments, including Tanner McEvoy and Alshon Jeffery’s brother, Shamier Jeffery, should add some weaponry to an arsenal that already includes Marcus Lattimore and Alshon Jeffery. And whether it is one of those two getting the ball, offensive lineman Brandon Shell will be providing either space or time.
The Gamecocks have strategically filled holes on defense, added some role players at the skill positions on offense, and solidified some youth and talent at offensive line. USC’s 2011 class is not as sexy as it was in 2007 or 2010, but it gets the job done. The Gamecocks currently have 30 commits, and landing one more in Jadeveon Clowney could make USC’s latest recruiting class one of the best in the land.
Leave a Reply