Will Muschamp’s third recruiting class at South Carolina earned good reviews, coming in the top 20 in every top service.
But it earned a different sort of strong review from SBNation’s Bud Elliott.
Elliott, the site’s national recruiting director, made the point that Muschamp and his staff have done well building their niche. The SEC is a rough-and-tumble recruiting world with geography that can cause some concerns and plenty of blue bloods that have natural pull.
“Going after too many elite players can lead to a roster with big holes,” Elliott wrote. “Going after too few can create a roster with good numbers but not enough talent. Will Muschamp’s team has found a sweet spot.”
Elliott pointed out USC is in the midst of it’s most successful run ever, give or take the dip at the end of the Spurrier era. He argues the approach the Gamecocks use points toward sustaining that run.
USC signed eight four-stars in the 2018 cycle and is still waiting to see how things play out with four-star Dutch Fork athlete Bryce Thompson.
“The Gamecocks have been able to identify which top recruits they should invest their time with, and then they also do a good job scouting mid- and lower-level gems,” Elliott wrote. “South Carolina seems particularly good at figuring out which players might fit as its Plan A, while being perhaps Georgia’s Plan B or Plan C. They win by showing plenty of love to the player throughout the process and letting the recruit know he is top priority, not just a player of interest.”
Elliott is a strong believer in the efficacy of recruiting rankings and has coined the “blue-chip ratio,” a historical precedent that no national champion has had fewer four- and five-stars than two- and three-stars.
South Carolina’s class finished 19th in the 247 Composite. The Gamecocks staff locked up 20 in the early signing day, with 13 early enrollees, and snagged four-stars Dylan Wonnum and Rick Sandidge down the stretch in February.