It was another big Signing Day for football players in the Midlands this week.
Thirteeen signed with Division I schools, and more than 80 are headed on to play on some level next year. With this year’s crop out of the way, it’s not too early to look at some of next year’s top prospects in the Midlands.
Six Midlands players are in the 247Sports and Rivals rankings for the Class of 2018.
Jordyn Adams was the area’s top-ranked prospect, but he will finish at Green Hope in Cary, N.C.
Ben Lippen has two top prospects in Bryce Thompson and Trad Beatty. Thompson is ranked No. 11 by 247Sports and 13th by rivals. Beatty is ranked 13th by 247Sports and 15th by Rivals.
Thompson helped the Falcons to their first state title and was a multi-purpose threat on offense. He committed to Virginia Tech, which recruited him as a receiver, but some schools are recruiting him as a defensive back.
Thompson had 1,819 yards total offense and 24 TDs this past year. He had three interceptions on defense. South Carolina is interested inhim and has offered.
“Thompson is a guy who caught my attention at a camp during the offseason because of his abilities, and it didn’t take long for him to impress coaches either,” Rivals recruiting analyst Woody Wommack said. “He’s a guy with good hands and smooth route-runner, and someone who I see adding plenty of more offers before it’s all said and done.”
The 6-foot-4 Beatty is the second highest-ranked QB in the state behind Fort Dorchester’s Dakereon Joyner. He battled injuries during his junior season at Chapin, but played well down the stretch before transferring to Ben Lippen.
The Gamecocks have offered three Midlands players for next season – Saluda’s Kelijiha Brown, Spring Valley’s Channing Tindall and Chapin’s Hank Manos.
Brown, a 6-foot-3, 305 defensive tackle, is ranked eighth by Rivals and 10th by 247Sports.
Tindall, a linebacker, is ranked No. 11 by Rivals and had a breakout junior season. He racked up 144 tackles and eight sacks.
Manos, 6-foot-4, 275-pound offensive lineman, looks to continue that Chapin pipeline to the Gamecocks. Former Eagle standout Mason Zandi was a two-year starter at USC, and Will Register signed with the Gamecocks on Wednesday.
Manos picked up five offers over the past month, including N.C. State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia State and East Carolina.
Ridge View’s Damion Daley is ranked No. 22 by 247Sports. The younger brother of Gamecocks’ signee Dennis Daley plays defensive tackle. Damion Daley was offered Cincinnati in the spring.
These are some of the names on teams’ radars for Class of 2018, and the list will grow going into spring practice and the summer camp circuit.
Best in S.C. for Class of 2018
Ben Lippen has two of the top recruits from South Carolina for the Class of 2018, according to 247Sports composite. A look at the top players and their high schools:
1. Xavier Thomas
2. Derion Kendrick
3. Stephon Wynn
4. Josh Belk
5. Dakereon Joyner
6. Kavesz Sherard, OT;Anderson;T.L. Hanna
7. Khalid Jones, LB;Duncan;Byrnes
8. Jake Venables, LB;Central;Daniel
9. Demarcus Gregory, WR;Duncan;Byrnes
10. Kelijha Brown, DT;Saluda;Saluda
11. Bryce Thompson, Ath.;Columbia;Ben Lippen
12. Justin Williams, Ath.;Charleston;Fort Dorchester
13. Trad Beatty, QB;Chapin;Ben Lippen
14. Kenneth Brown, LB; North Charleston; Fort Dorchester