USC Recruiting

Class analysis, where South Carolina’s recruiting haul ranks after signing day

‘Come be the first, not the next,’ Muschamp tells recruits

What Will Muschamp tells the recruits on why they should come play football for South Carolina.
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What Will Muschamp tells the recruits on why they should come play football for South Carolina.

For all intents and purposes, South Carolina’s 2019 recruiting cycle is finished.

The Gamecocks have signed 23 new players. Nine are already on campus. They got their blue chip quarterback (Ryan Hilinski), and five-star in-state coup (defensive lineman Zacch Pickens).

So how does the group stack up?

In the standard for ranking, the 247Sports Composite, the Gamecocks come in at 19th. They even hold there if one takes out Jahkeem Green, a longtime junior college pledge who wasn’t able to sign because of academics.

That group, with one five-star and five four-stars, is one spot lower than last season’s class. It’s eighth among SEC classes.

The Gamecocks were No. 17 in the ESPN rankings, with three players in the top 66, and 17th in the Rivals rankings, which had USC with nine four-star players.

The group hails from eight states, but primarily the core footprint of South Carolina’s recruiting efforts.

“Eighteen players from what I would say is our footprint,” Muschamp said. “Where we’re drawing most of our players from. I say in-state because our state is so small.”

That’s five from South Carolina, Georgia and Florida each, plus three from North Carolina and two from Tennessee.

Then there was the pair of “national players,” in Muschamp’s words: Hilinski from California and Shilo Sanders from Texas.

What the class looks like by position:

Quarterback: one signed

Hilinski is a top-50 prospect nationally and showed well in his all-star practices. He’s not particularly mobile, but he could be the centerpiece of a pro-style passing game. He’ll almost assuredly sit a year behind Jake Bentley.

Running back: one signed

Kevin Harris doesn’t have a ton of recruiting hype, but the staff seems particularly high on him. He’s a big back, and Muschamp has said several times he’s got better speed than most think.

Wide receiver: three signed

The group boasts a lot of height, with an interesting blend of play-making. Keveon Mullins is the top-rated player, a prolific and dynamic guy with the ball in his hands. Xavier Legette has room to grow into the position, while Tyquan Johnson projects as a jump ball threat.

Tight ends: two signed

The pair brings some play-making potential, especially Traevon Kenion, who played wide receiver at 242 pounds as a senior and won two state titles at different schools.

Offensive line: five signed

None of the players is rated above three stars, but USC beat some good teams for a few of them. Jakai Moore was highly sought-after, and Jaylen Nichols has a high physical ceiling.

Defensive line: four signed

This is the best-rated group by far, with three four- or five-stars and a productive junior college player. Zacch Pickens, Jaquaze Sorrells and Joseph Anderson all weigh between 270 and 314 pounds, but can rush off the edge if needed.

Buck/Sam: one signed

Rodricus Fitten isn’t the biggest guy, but the staff likes his potential. He played a range of positions in high school.

Linebacker: two signed

Both Derek Boykins and Jahmar Brown are on the mobile side for linebacker, something needed against the spread offenses ubiquitous in college football. Muschamp praised the way Boykins (226 pounds) could move in space, and Brown (6-0, 195) wouldn’t be signed to an SEC roster at his size unless he could move.

Defensive back: four signed

The group doesn’t necessarily have any pure safeties, but it has a versatile group of players. Cam Smith is long and showed well in an all-star setting, while Muschamp said Jammie Robinson projects as a slot or safety. The coach raved about John Dixon’s ability and Shilo Sanders’ bloodline.

Cornerback Shilo Sanders breaks down why he joined South Carolina and how he thinks he can help the Gamecocks football team.

Recruiting team rankings for 2019 class

The Class of 2019 team recruiting rankings according to the 247Sports Composite that factors in all networks:

1. Alabama

Ben Breiner: BreinerTheState

2. Georgia

3. Texas

4. Texas A&M

5. LSU

6. Oklahoma

7. Oregon

8. Michigan

9. Florida

10. Clemson

11. Auburn

12. Tennessee

13. Penn State

14. Ohio State

15. Notre Dame

16. Florida State

17. Washington

18. Southern Cal

19. South Carolina

20. Nebraska

21. Stanford

22. Ole Miss

23. Arkansas

24. Mississippi State

25. Purdue

South Carolina class, by position

OFFENSE (12)

Quarterback (1): Ryan Hilinski

Running Back (1): Kevin Harris

Wide Receiver (3): Tyquan Johnson, Xavier Legette, Keveon Mullins

Tight End (2): Traevon Kenion, KeShawn Toney

Offensive Line (5): Mark Fox, Jakai Moore, Vincent Murphy, Jaylen Nichols, William Rogers

DEFENSE (11)

Defensive Line (4): Joseph Anderson,

Devontae Davis, Zacch Pickens, Jaquaze Sorrells

Buck/Sam (1): Rodricus Fitten

Linebacker (2): Derek Boykins, Jahmar Brown

Defensive Back (4): John Dixon, Jammie Robinson Shilo Sanders, Cam Smith

South Carolina class, by state

South Carolina (5): Devontae Davis, Xavier Legette, Zacch Pickens, Cam Smith, KeShawn Toney

Florida (5): Jahmar Brown, John Dixon, Mark Fox, Vincent Murphy, Jaquaze Sorrells

Georgia (5): Rodricus Fitten, Kevin Harris, Tyquan Johnson, Jammie Robinson, William Rogers

North Carolina (3): Derek Boykins, Traevon Kenion, Jaylen Nichols

Tennessee (2): Joseph Anderson, Keveon Mullins

California (1): Ryan Hilinski

Texas (1): Shilo Sanders

Virginia (1): Jakai Moore

These South Carolina Gamecocks were all considered 5-star recruits according to Rivals, including 2007 signee Chris Culliver.

South Carolina class list

NAME

POS

HT/WT

HOMETOWN (HIGH/LAST SCHOOL)

Joseph Anderson*

DL

6-3, 270

Murfreesboro, Tenn. (Oakland)

Derek Boykins*

LB

6-1, 226

Concord, N.C. (Central Cabarrus)

Jahmar Brown

LB

6-0, 195

Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (St. Thomas Aquinas)

Devontae Davis*

DL

6-3, 284

New Ellenton, S.C. (Silver Bluff/Georgia Military)

John Dixon

DB

5-11, 180

Tampa, Fla. (Chamberlain)

Rodricus Fitten*

B/S

6-1, 235

Atlanta, Ga. (Booker T. Washington)

Mark Fox

OL

6-4, 292

Miami, Fla. (Miami Northwestern)

Kevin Harris*

RB

5-10, 235

Hinesville, Ga. (Bradwell Institute)

Ryan Hilinski*

QB

6-3, 230

Orange, Calif. (Orange Lutheran)

Tyquan Johnson

WR

6-3, 180

Sylvania, Ga. (Screven County/Fork Union)

Traevon Kenion

TE

6-3, 242

Monroe, N.C. (Wake Forest)

Xavier Legette

WR

6-1, 190

Mullins, S.C. (Mullins)

Jakai Moore

OL

6-5, 285

Nokesville, Va. (Patriot)

Keveon Mullins

WR

6-1, 206

Memphis, Tenn. (Whitehaven)

Vincent Murphy

OL

6-2, 290

Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (St. Thomas Aquinas)

Jaylen Nichols*

OL

6-5, 315

Charlotte, N.C. (Myers Park)

Zacch Pickens*

DL

6-3, 293

Anderson, S.C. (T.L. Hanna)

Jammie Robinson

DB

6-0, 195

Leesburg, Ga. (Lee County)

William Rogers

OL

6-3, 302

Hampton, Ga. (Lovejoy)

Shilo Sanders

DB

6-0, 186

Cedar Hill, Texas (Trinity Christian)

Cameron Smith

DB

6-0, 171

Blythewood, S.C. (Westwood)

Jaquaze Sorrells

DL

6-2, 314

Winter Park, Fla. (Winter Park)

KeShawn Toney*

TE

6-2, 235

Williston, S.C. (Williston-Elko)

* denotes January enrollees

West Coast raised. Midwest educated. Southern football indoctrinated. Covers most everything Gamecocks, primarily football.


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