‘Come be the first, not the next,’ Muschamp tells recruits
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 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.
Recruiting team rankings for 2019 class
The Class of 2019 team recruiting rankings according to the 247Sports Composite that factors in all networks:
Ben Breiner: BreinerTheState
4. Texas A&M
13. Penn State
14. Ohio State
15. Notre Dame
16. Florida State
18. Southern Cal
19. South Carolina
22. Ole Miss
24. Mississippi State
South Carolina class, by position
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
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
South Carolina class list
HOMETOWN (HIGH/LAST SCHOOL)
Murfreesboro, Tenn. (Oakland)
Concord, N.C. (Central Cabarrus)
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (St. Thomas Aquinas)
New Ellenton, S.C. (Silver Bluff/Georgia Military)
Tampa, Fla. (Chamberlain)
Atlanta, Ga. (Booker T. Washington)
Miami, Fla. (Miami Northwestern)
Hinesville, Ga. (Bradwell Institute)
Orange, Calif. (Orange Lutheran)
Sylvania, Ga. (Screven County/Fork Union)
Monroe, N.C. (Wake Forest)
Mullins, S.C. (Mullins)
Nokesville, Va. (Patriot)
Memphis, Tenn. (Whitehaven)
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (St. Thomas Aquinas)
Charlotte, N.C. (Myers Park)
Anderson, S.C. (T.L. Hanna)
Leesburg, Ga. (Lee County)
Hampton, Ga. (Lovejoy)
Cedar Hill, Texas (Trinity Christian)
Blythewood, S.C. (Westwood)
Winter Park, Fla. (Winter Park)
Williston, S.C. (Williston-Elko)
* denotes January enrollees