Will Muschamp said Wednesday at his Signing Day press conference 18 starters emerged from his first two recruiting classes. Those recruits helped elevate the program from three wins in 2015 to nine wins last season. There’s more help on the way in the freshly signed 2018 class.
Here are six new Gamecocks, three on offense and three on defense, who provide some immediate help.
QB Dakereon Joyner: No, he’s not going to come in and take Jake Bentley’s job. But he will provide Bryan McClendon and Dan Werner another option on offense with his running ability. How quickly he becomes an SEC-level passer will determine how soon he competes, or wins, the starting job.
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OL Dylan Wonnum: Successful programs ordinarily don’t need to rush offensive linemen into service. They prefer to redshirt them and let them mature for a season. USC, however, doesn’t have that luxury and Wonnum appears to be the most prepared offensive lineman to play as a freshman since Zack Bailey arrived four years ago. The Gamecocks could use his help on either end of the line.
WR Josh Vann: He could be the next Deebo Samuel for the Gamecocks, and he’ll get to learn alongside Deebo this season. He’s an excellent receiver and appears destined to work out of the slot where he can be put in motion and the coaches can find a variety of ways to get the ball in his hands.
DB Jaycee Horn: Who needs quality cover corners? Everyone. USC has gotten better in the secondary and that’s because they’ve recruited better corners. Jamarcus King leaves so there’s a spot open and Horn will get an early opportunity to see if he can handle the job. As a bonus, 6-goot-4 Israel Mukuamu, also will be a factor at corner.
DL Rick Sandidge: USC’s needs aren’t as pressing up front but Sandidge is too strong and talented to stand on the sideline. Muschamp recruited him to provide an inside rush, and his strength and size should allow him to elbow his way into the rotation.
LB Rosendo Louis: Pulling a South Florida talent away from Florida State was no easy task. One of the reasons Louis flipped was the chance for early playing time with the Gamecocks. The departure of Skai Moore leaves a big hole at linebacker, but the 6-foot-1, 238 pound Louis can physically fill that. How quickly he picks up the nuances of the position will determine how early and how much he’s on the field.