Catching up with South Carolina coach Will Muschamp’s first full recruiting class:
1. Can USC stay hot in-state?
The Gamecocks have seven in-state prospects committed, including wide receiver Shi Smith, the No. 2 player in South Carolina, and tight end Will Register (No. 7). USC is also in the running with OrTre Smith (No. 1), Tank Robinson (No. 3) and Brad Johnson (No. 5). Muschamp said when he was hired that the state would be a big priority, and if the Gamecocks can hold off Clemson for a few of the top in-state guys it would be a big statement.
2. Stars vs. evaluations
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USC has 17 prospects committed for the 2017 class but only two are rated as higher than three-star prospects in Shi Smith and JUCO OT Javon Kinlaw. USC’s staff has said it won’t get caught up in rankings and will trust its evaluations. USC fans hope the evaluations are right and there is plenty of star power in this class, despite it not appearing to be there on paper.
3. How many spots are left?
USC is expected to sign a full class of 25 prospects, which leaves about eight spots remaining. The Gamecocks have several offers out but appear to be close to filling up at some positions. Defensive back Tancey Richardson of South Aiken committed to USC over the weekend but said later his recruitment is still open because there might not be a spot for him.
4. More offensive playmakers coming?
USC needs playmakers on offense, specifically at wide receiver. The Gamecocks have two wide receivers committed in Shi Smith of Union County and Shawn Smith of Brunswick, Ga. If USC can land OrTre Smith of Wando, who is also being heavily pursued by Clemson, it would give the Gamecocks three guys at wide receiver who are electric with the ball in their hands.
5. Can the momentum be sustained?
USC’s class is currently ranked No. 17, and the Gamecocks are in the running for several very good players. A winning season in Muschamp’s first year would help USC close strong on its 2017 class and carry over to 2018. If the Gamecocks struggle in Muschamp’s first season, it will be interesting to see how that affects recruiting.
USC 2017 CLASS COMMITMENTS
▪ Jay Urich, QB, Piedmont
▪ Kyshaun Bryan, RB, Fort Lauderdale, Fla
▪ Shawn Smith, WR, Brunswick, Ga.
▪ Shi Smith, WR, Union
▪ Will Register, TE, Chapin
▪ Summie Carlay, OL, Laurens
▪ Dennis Daley, OL, Georgia Military/Columbia
▪ Eric Douglas, OL, Charlotte, NC
▪ Davonne Bowen, LB, Piedmont
▪ Damani Staley, LB, Columbia
▪ Eldridge Thompson, LB, Coffeyville CC (Kansas)/Memphis
▪ Javon Kinlaw, DE, Jones County JC (Miss.)/Goose Creek
▪ Tyreek Johnson, DE, Lakewood/Sumter
▪ Devonte Wyatt, DE, Towers/Decatur, Ga.
▪ Jaylin Dickerson, DB, Southern Pines, NC
▪ Tavyn Jackson, DB, Tallahassee, Fla.
▪ Damarri Mathis, DB, Lakeland, Fla.