Will Muschamp said Wednesday he plans to fill the two openings he has for the 2018 class and he has identified targets.
One is likely still committed defensive back Bryce Thompson of Dutch Fork. The other appears to be Rice graduate transfer safety J.T. Ibe (6-foot, 200 pounds) who has been in touch with Muschamp and defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson.
Ibe redshirted as a freshman at Rice and played the last three seasons. The program changed coaches after a 1-11 record last season, and Ibe decided to pursue graduate studies elsewhere for his final year of eligibility. He has narrowed his list to USC, Iowa State and Indiana. He visited Iowa State last weekend and is going to Indiana this weekend. USC wants him to visit for a spring practice which starts Feb. 28.
"I'm looking to play on a bigger stage and prove myself a little more," Ibe said. "I talked to Coach Muschamp and I talked to Travaris Robinson. He (Muschamp) said I'm a player with experience and I can come in, if I'm better than the guys, and come in a play right away. He feels like they are trying to win an SEC Championship and they need to do that right away."
Ibe said he's not all that familiar with the Gamecock program, but he is familiar with Muschamp's and Robinson's resumes.
"I know that they have produced athletes in the past," he said. "They have a good history of what they do and doing it well. They didn't really talk about how they see me fitting in, they just explained what they do. They are a very versatile defense and it's going to apply well at the next level and they are going to win a lot of games with it."
Ibe is a native of Mansfield, Texas. He also had an offer from Minnesota before choosing Rice where he started 17 games over his three seasons. Last season he recorded 42 tackles with three passes broken up. He also had 42 tackles as a sophomore and 37 tackles as a redshirt freshman.
Ibe also was named to the C-USA Honor Roll the last three years and won the Iron Owl Award for his weightroom work last year.
▪ Per 247Sports, Clayton N.C. defensive end Savion Jackson (6-foot-2, 245 pounds) NC has set an official visit to South Carolina for June 2. He took an unofficial visit to Alabama in late January and has visited Virginia Tech three times. Oklahoma recently offered and some of his other offers are Clemson, Ohio State, Tennessee, Duke, Penn State, NC State and North Carolina.
▪ Florida State offered USC and Clemson quarterback target Sam Howell of Monroe, N.C.
▪ The Gamecocks offered 2020 Fort Lauderdale linebacker Devon Betty (6-foot-0, 190 pounds). Some other offers are Kentucky, Ohio State and Oklahoma.