USC Recruiting

South Carolina makes strong case to land Georgia pledge

Muschamp: Spring, summer key to recruiting efforts

South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp explains why the spring and summer months are important to the Gamecocks' recruiting.
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South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp explains why the spring and summer months are important to the Gamecocks' recruiting.

A Georgia commitment took a trip to visit South Carolina for its spring game April 1 and came away impressed, enough to make the three-hour trip again six days later.

Rashad Cheney committed to Georgia on Feb. 18 but made it clear that he would continue the recruiting process and take visits to Power 5 conference programs around the nation. The junior has taken trips to Georgia State, Georgia Tech and Tennessee since giving his pledge to the Bulldogs, but the two successive trips to Columbia give South Carolina an edge as the top contender for the four-star’s services.

“I loved it they treat me on a whole different level than other schools,” Cheney said. “The whole time I'm there it's just nothing but love. They treat me like family, especially (wide receivers coach Bryan) McClendon; we are from the same area. And (defensive line coach Lance) Thompson, we talk almost every day.”

It is evident that Cheney is placing a lot of thought in South Carolina as it has made sure to make the Atlanta-area product one of its main focuses. The Gamecocks do not yet have a committed prospect for the 2019 class.

Throughout his two visits, Cheney indicated that McClendon made sure to set time aside and sit down with him, along with having conversations with a couple of current Gamecocks who originate from the same area — tight end Robert Tucker and wide receiver Randrecous Davis.

While it may not be to the same level as South Carolina, Georgia continues to remain in contact with Cheney. He received a call from defensive line coach Tray Scott on Monday. Cheney will take his next visit to Georgia for the ‘G-Day’ spring game April 22, joining a host of committed and prioritized prospects.

“I need to see good love from the coaches,” Cheney said. “My main focus though is to see how much the team has progressed since last year. Both on the defensive line and the defensive unit as a whole.”

Cheney is set to begin his senior campaign, and he may be doing it alongside another Bulldogs’ pledge. The 6-foot-3, 270-pound defensive tackle told The Telegraph that he is in the process of working with the GHSA to transfer to Cedar Grove. If he is to do so, he would join a program that made a state championship appearance in 2016 and join UGA 2019 wide receiver pledge Jadon Haselwood.

Booker T. Washington — Cheney’s current program — finished with a 3-7 record in 2016 under the direction of head coach Derrick B. Avery.

Georgia has landed Cheney’s pledge in hopes of replacing the void that will be left by Trenton Thompson, who will graduate at the conclusion of the 2018 season. The Bulldogs currently have three 2019 commitments in addition to Cheney: Haselwood, defensive end Nolan Smith and offensive tackle Luke Griffin.

Cheney’s decision to commit to the Bulldogs was announced on Feb. 18, just four days after receiving an offer. As the interest continues to be garnered from a list of programs, the question is whether Cheney remains 100 percent committed.

“I wouldn’t say that, but I’m still strongly committed,” Cheney said.