South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp listed off the names who aren’t January enrollees, the likes of Josh Vann, Tyquan Johnson, Jovaughn Gwyn, Jonathan Gipson and Jaycee Horn.
In short, there weren’t a lot.
It means a sea change for how his team approaches the next few weeks for the program, as well as what newcomers could potentially do for the Gamecocks in 2018.
The fact 13 of the team’s 20 early signees will enroll early will mean recruiting ahead and mean more players get a longer runway into Year 1. Muschamp called it some good change from the new early signing rules.
“Because of the mid-year enrollees, all of these guys are going to go through spring ball, which is huge in the development part of it,” Muschamp said. “It’s changed because ... you’re starting on the 2019 class and the 2020 class.”
Not that he’s totally done with 2018. His team has four spots left, with three commits after Marlon Character revealed academics will prevent him from being a part of the class, and some questions lingering around the two spots not held by local product Bryce Thompson.
The usual National Signing Day will be Feb. 7, though much of the luster has come off with so many already signed.
Muschamp said the incoming group “needs” another offensive lineman and “better” have another defensive lineman, possibly an allusion to four-star targets Dylan Wonnum and Rick Sandidge, who represent the top players USC is still after (both have ties to the school to boot).
The Gamecocks will soon welcome the 13 newcomers to campus. The group includes a quarterback, five linemen, a pair of running backs and a couple defensive backs.
USC already has a start on next year’s recruiting cycle with three commits, and having the weeks ahead should help on that front. A contact period runs from Jan. 12 to Feb. 3, and with only a handful of 2018 prospects still in play, attention turns forward.
“You’re getting further ahead on those guys,” Muschamp said. “You’re going to get better evaluations in January on the younger classes, because you’re not spending as much time on the 2018 class. We’re going to have 13 mid-year guys on campus right now. That’s what’s changed a little bit for the good in my opinion.”
USC football ’s early enrollees
Class of 2018 signees who will be on campus this month for the Gamecocks and go through spring practice
▪ Wyatt Campbell, OL (6-5, 275) Elgin, S.C.
▪ Kingsley “J.J.” Enagbare, DL (6-4, 259) Atlanta, Ga.
▪ Deshaun Fenwick, RB (6-1, 222) Bradenton, Fla.
▪ Maxwell Iyama, OL (6-5, 305) Murfreesboro, Tenn.
▪ Tyreek Johnson, DL (6-3, 262) Sumter, S.C.
▪ Ernest Jones, LB (6-2, 218) Waycross, Ga.
▪ Dakereon Joyner, QB (6-1, 200) North Charleston, S.C.
▪ Rosendo Louis, LB (6-1, 238) Deerfield Beach, Fla.
▪ Hank Manos, OL (6-4, 275) Chapin, S.C.
▪ Israel Mukuamu, DB (6-4, 186) Bossier City, La.
▪ R.J. Roderick, DB (6-1, 211) Summerville, S.C.
▪ Darius Rush, WR (6-2, 177) Greeleyville, S.C.
▪ Lavonte Valentine, RB (5-11, 190) Melbourne, Fla.