The South Carolina 2016 recruiting class lost two members on the defensive side of the ball the same day the Gamecocks announced Will Muschamp as their next head coach.
Earlier Monday, defensive end Jordan Smith of Lithonia, Ga., broke his pledge from the Gamecocks and eliminated USC from consideration.
Late Monday night, defensive back J.J. Givens of Mechanicsville, Va., backed off his commitment but says the Gamecocks are still in the mix.
“First and foremost, with a heavy heart I would like to thank the University of South Carolina for offering me an opportunity to further my education and play football at the collegiate level. However, I will announce that I have decommitted from the school,” Givens announced on Twitter. “I will, however, still be visiting and they will be a top school until the end. I will not be conducting interviews about decommitting. Please respect that. #ForeverToThee”
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Givens originally committed to USC in June at the conclusion of the Gamecock Showcase camp.
The 2016 class now includes 13 members. Overall, the Gamecocks have had six decommitments in the class, with five of them coming after Steve Spurrier announced his resignation as head coach. Four of those lost pledges have come from defensive prospects.
Givens has not yet talked with Muschamp but is expecting him to come by this week. And he said he is planning to visit USC unofficially this weekend. He has not yet set an official visit date. He visited unofficially for the Clemson game.
As a defensive player, Givens was excited about Muschamp taking over the program.
“He brings great tenacity to the game,” he said. “Great defensive-minded coach. I’m still kind of in shock they kind of got rid of all the staff the way that they did, but life moves on.”
Givens said he’s going to play it by ear regarding his other official visits. Arizona State was in to see him a couple of weeks ago. He is looking at Arizona State, Ole Miss and Maryland for other official visits. And he said North Carolina is getting back in the mix with him as well.