South Carolina coach Will Muschamp doesn’t grade recruiting classes until the signees are sophomores or juniors, but he’s optimistic about the group the Gamecocks added on Wednesday.
“Like I say every year, we will know about this class in two or three years, but as far as the critical factors that we look for at every position, we hit more and more of what we are looking for in our program,” Muschamp said.
Wednesday was the first day of the NCAA’s new early signing period, and the Gamecocks got signatures from 20 players. While the signing period extends through Friday, South Carolina doesn’t expect to sign the final five members of its class until the traditional February signing date.
The signing class was ranked the 16th-best in the country and sixth-best in the SEC by 247Sports.com’s composite ranking system as of Wednesday evening.
“Program got better today,” Muschamp said.
The Gamecocks signed four, four-star prospects: wide receiver Josh Vann out of Tucker, Ga., quarterback Dakereon Joyner out of North Charleston, cornerback Jaycee Horn out of Alpharetta, Ga., and defensive end Kingsley Enagbare out of Atlanta.
South Carolina signed eight players with South Carolina roots.
“We know this class we are bringing in is going to be something special,” said four-star quarterback Dakereon Joyner, the second highest-rated player to sign Wednesday. “You guys see the kind of people we have committed in the 2018 class. The most important thing is we have some good in-state guys. If you look back with (Jadeveon) Clowney and them, and they had that nice run with Stephon Gilmore and all of them, they had in-state guys. In-state guys really turn around a program.”
Thirteen members of the signing class will enroll in January and be able to participate in the Gamecocks’ offseason program and spring practice.
“I have never been a part of a midyear class this big,” Muschamp said. “I have never seen a midyear come in and it not be a benefit to the student-athlete. I think it’s a very beneficial process.”
A Signing Day surprise was Rosendo Louis, who had been committed to Florida State football since Aug. 15.
A 6-foot-1, 225-pound linebacker from Deerfield Beach, Fla., Louis is a three-star prospect, ranked 427th nationally in the 247Sports Composite. He’s the 74th-best player in Florida and No. 23 inside linebacker.
Another late addition was Charlotte lineman Jovaughn Gwyn, who picked the Gamecocks over N.C. State.
The 6-foot-3, 290-pound, two-way lineman from Harding University High School is a three-star prospect in the 247Sports Composite rankings. He’s ranked No. 418 nationally, No. 15 in North Carolina and the No. 20 offensive guard.