When South Carolina holds its Gamecock Showcase on Saturday, it could be the last time the school’s premier football camp takes place the final weekend of July.
“It’s changed so much because so many guys have committed,” said Steve Spurrier Jr., USC’s recruiting coordinator. “We’ve talked about moving the date next year to a little earlier.”
In the accelerated world of recruiting, USC is one of five schools with 22 or more commitments for the Class of 2015. For the Gamecocks, eight pledges came in June, and two more followed in July.
“It used to be the end of the summer was kind of a big deal,” Spurrier said. “We’ve got a good group of guys that are uncommitted that we’re still recruiting pretty hard that are going to be in attendance. Hopefully it’s a good day.”
South Carolina is not alone in hosting an end-of-July “elite camp.” Florida, LSU and Ohio State are among those with similar events this weekend. Clemson, Georgia and Kentucky had their big prospect gatherings last weekend. Tennessee and North Carolina held marquee camps June 21, while Auburn’s was May 31.
Even if the Gamecocks’ event changes dates, the format and purpose aren’t expected to change.
The Showcase takes place at Williams-Brice Stadium and other spots on campus and brings in as many as 50 prospects from the 2015, 2016 and 2017 classes. It is designed to give recruits and their families a better chance to interact with coaches and get a closer look at the campus and the school’s academic offerings.
While it is more meet-and-greet than helmets and cleats, there is an on-field workout that lasts about an hour.
“It’s a formal day,” Spurrier said. “We want family there, parents there. The president speaks. It’s a day where we let everyone in attendance know that it’s important, and we really get to show off everything South Carolina has to offer.”
It’s also an opportunity to get uncommitted prospects, such as Sumter running back Ty’Son Williams and Brooksville, Fla., offensive lineman Christian Pellage, in the same setting as a dozen or so USC commitments, including Atlanta defensive end Arden Key and Kennesaw, Ga., quarterback Lorenzo Nunez.
Junior college defensive end target Marquavius Lewis, originally from Greenwood, also will be on his official visit this weekend.
“It’s a special day and a different camp from others,” Spurrier said. “We expect a good group of people here.”