South Carolina’s coaching staff can see the finish line of what may ultimately prove to be one of the most successful recruiting seasons in school history.
The Gamecocks have 26 commitments right now, including four from players that enrolled in school earlier this week, and could add to that total soon with the impending decision of St. Peter’s Prep (N.J.) safety Sheldon Royster.
“We like where we are right now, but there is a long time until signing day,” USC recruiting coordinator Shane Beamer said. “We’re not relaxing and taking anything for granted as this point. We’ve really got to push and finish strong.
“We’ve got to keep these guys committed to us committed to us. Everyone knows there are a lot of great uncommitted players left out there, particularly in our own state. If we can push and finish strong, we’ve got a chance to arguably put together one of the best signing classes in the history of this school.”
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South Carolina’s wins over Georgia, Tennessee, Florida and Alabama helped give the program recruiting momentum, but season-ending losses to Auburn and Florida State helped negate some of the ground the Gamecocks had made.
“Obviously the last two games were disappointing,” Beamer said. “Unfortunately we’ve been in this position the last three or four years where we’ve either lost bowl games or did not go to a bowl game. It’s a little more difficult going on the road when you don’t have the momentum of coming off a bowl victory.”
Decisions coming from N.J. targets
The belief in northern New Jersey, according to one area writer, is that South Carolina is involved in two two-horse races to land two of the best places in suburban New York City.
The Gamecocks are hoping to land St. Peter’s Prep (N.J.) safety Sheldon Royster and Bergen Catholic (N.J.) quarterback Tanner McEvoy.
Royster is believed to be choosing between – in a “50/50 tossup” – USC and Rutgers, Hudson County Varsity editorial director Jason Bernstein said via email. He was scheduled to visit North Carolina this weekend, but that visit has been canceled and it doesn’t appear as if the Tar Heels were ever really a factor.
Royster is expected to announce his decision within the next week. His decision could be impacted by the choices of prep teammates Keith Lumpkin, an offensive lineman committed to Rutgers, and Savon Huggins, an elite running back leaning toward the Scarlet Knights.
McEvoy will likely end up in the Carolinas at either USC or UNC, according to Bernstein. Rutgers and Michigan are believed to be completely out of the running for his services.
McEvoy was an all-state receiver as a junior before putting up big numbers as a quarterback in 2010. He could play quarterback, receiver or tight end at the next level.