USC Recruiting

Bios: South Carolina Class of 2016 football signees

VIDEO: Will Muschamp reaction to his first USC signing class

South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp discusses the Gamecocks' 2016 signing class.
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South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp discusses the Gamecocks' 2016 signing class.

South Carolina closed on its 2016 recruiting class on Wednesday. Here's a recap of the day's signees and when they were confirmed by the Gamecocks.

(Unless otherwise noted, star rankings are according to 247Sports Composite, which factors in all networks.)

Stephon Taylor (12:42 p.m.)

Defensive lineman; 6-5, 290; New Orleans (McDonogh 35)

Three-star prospect, according to 247Sports’ Composite ranking that factors in all networks. Has four stars from ESPN, 247Sports and Scout. ... Also considered LSU, Florida State, Texas and Oklahoma.

Randrecous Davis (11:18 a.m.)

Wide receiver; 5-10, 173; Atlanta (Mays)

Three-star prospect ... 58 catches for 1,024 yards, 19 total touchdowns as a senior ... Originally committed to Georgia. ... Also considered Miami.

Akeem Cooperwood (10:52 a.m.)

Offensive lineman; 6-7, 359; Knoxville, Tenn.

Attends Georgia Military College in Milledgeville, Ga. ... Was a second-team junior college All-American in his freshman season at GMC. ... Will have three years to play two with the Gamecocks.

Evan Hinson (9:49 a.m.)

Tight end; 6-4, 228; Deltona, Fla. (Deltona)

Three-star prospect ... Picked USC over Southern Cal. Originally committed to Miami ... Also plans to play basketball at USC. Shooting guard averaged 23.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.7 assists last year when he was named Player of the Year by the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Sadarius Hutcherson (9:37 a.m.)

Offensive lineman; 6-4, 230; Huntingdon, Tenn. (Huntingdon)

Three-star prospect ... Could play offense or defense. ... Athletic enough to play tight end as well as defensive end ... Picked the Gamecocks over Memphis, Illinois and Arizona State.

Kiel Pollard (9:37 a.m.)

Wide receiver; 6-0, 232; Moultrie, Ga. (Colquitt County)

Three-star prospect ... Georgia 6A Offensive Player of the Year after, helping lead Colquitt County High to the state championship. ... 76 catches for 1,163 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior ... Originally committed to Arkansas.

Darius Whitfield (9:19 a.m.)

Defensive end; 6-2, 281; Mobile, Ala. (St. Paul’s Episcopal)

Three-star prospect ... Also recruited by Missouri, Arkansas and Florida, among others. ... Committed to USC the same day Steve Spurrier announced he was resigning as head coach ... Selected for the Alabama-Mississippi All Star game.

Aaron Thompson (9 a.m.)

Defensive lineman; 6-3, 269; Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Dillard)

Three-star prospect ... Was committed to Maryland.

Pete Leota (9 a.m.)

Offensive lineman; 6-5, 300; Asheville, NC (Asheville)

Three-star prospect ... Pete “Pika” Leota was a Shrine Bowl selection ... Chose USC over Virginia Tech.

Griffin Gentry (9 a.m.)

Defensive end; 6-2, 255; Birmingham, AL (Homewood)

Two-star prospect ... Originally committed to Troy. ... As a junior he had 106 tackles and seven sacks.

Jamarcus King (8:30 a.m.)

Cornerback; 6-1, 170; Eight Mile, Ala. (Blount)

Four-star prospect ... Attending Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College ... Originally planned to enroll in January but instead will join the Gamecocks this summer ... One of the nation’s top junior college cornerbacks ... 37 tackles with three interceptions and a team-high 10 pass breakups as a sophomore, earning first-team All-Jayhawk Conference and honorable mention All-America accolades.

Robert Tucker (8:30 a.m.)

Tight end; 6-3, 238; Atlanta (BEST Academy)

Three-star prospect ... Some of his other offers were Minnesota, UCF and Marshall.

Korey Banks (7:51 a.m.)

Wide receiver; 5-11, 173; Tyrone, Ga. (Sandy Creek)

Three-star prospect ... 61 catches for 813 yards, 10 total touchdowns as a senior. ... Originally committed to North Carolina. ... Also considered Alabama.

Will Putnam (7:35 a.m.)

Offensive lineman; 6-5, 282; Harrisburg, NC (Hickory Ridge)

Three-star prospect ... Chose USC over Virginia Tech. ... Played left tackle and defensive end for Hickory Ridge High

T.J. Brunson (7:35 a.m.)

Linebacker; 6-1, 225; Columbia, SC (Richland Northeast)

Three-star prospect ... Shrine Bowl defensive MVP after a game-high 13 tackles, one sack and 1.5 for loss ... Originally committed to Louisville. ... Had team-high 138 tackles for Richland Northeast.

Dennis Wonnum (7:24 a.m.)

Defensive lineman; 6-5, 227; Stone Mountain, Ga. (Stephenson)

Three-star prospect ... 38 tackles with 11 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks as a senior ... Originally committed to Indiana and Iowa State ... Played at same school as current Gamecocks D.J. Neal and Ali Groves.

Chavis Dawkins (7:11 a.m.)

Wide receiver; 6-2, 200; Moore, SC (Byrnes)

Three-star prospect ... Was the Sandlappers’ leading receiver in the Shrine Bowl with six catches for 62 yards and two touchdowns ... As a senior, had 73 catches for 1,319 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Rico Dowdle (7:08 a.m.)

Running back; 5-11, 208; Asheville, NC (AC Reynolds)

Three-star prospect ... Scored two touchdowns in the Shrine Bowl. ... Had 63 total touchdowns as a senior. Rushed for 2,545 yards and 51 touchdowns and passed for 1,434 yards and 11 scores. Also had one receiving score.


Bryan Edwards

Wide receiver; 6-3, 205; Conway, SC (Conway)

Four-star prospect ... Mr. Football finalist ... Recovering from meniscus injury ... 53 catches for 969 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior. ... Selected for Shrine Bowl and the US Army All-American Game ... Picked USC over Georgia and Clemson, among others.

C.J. Freeman

Running back; 5-11, 196; Greensboro, NC (Northern Guilford)

Three-star prospect ... Rushed for 2,091 yards and 23 touchdowns in his senior season, averaging more than seven yards per carry and nearly 150 yards per game. ... In four playoff games, he averaged 265 rushing yards ... Also visited Wisconsin and Louisville.

Brandon McIlwain

Quarterback; 6-0, 198: Newtown, Pa. (Council Rock North)

Four-star prospect ... Two-sport standout who also plays baseball ... Threw for 1,720 yards and 17 touchdowns on 147-of-252 passing and rushed for 1,545 yards and 30 touchdowns on 227 carries as a senior ... As a defensive back, he collected 62 tackles and two interceptions, returning one for a score ... Named an Elite 11 quarterback after The Opening national event ... Gatorade Player of the Year in Pennsylvania ... Had more than 20 offers.

Chris Smith

Cornerback; 5-10, 168, Rock Hill, S.C. (South Pointe)

Three-star prospect ... Multi-position athlete who will compete at the cornerback position, but could play on either side of the ball ... Helped the Stallions to a 14-1 record as a senior and the 3A state title for the second-straight season. ... Shrine Bowl selection.

Kobe Smith

Defensive tackle; 6-4, 294; Lawrenceville, Ga. (Archer)

Three-star prospect ... Committed to play in the Semper Fidelis All-American Game following his senior season ... Originally committed to NC State and then to Kentucky before selecting the Gamecocks.

Keir Thomas

Defensive end; 6-1, 245; Miami (Miami Central)

Three-star prospect ... 22 sacks among his 83 tackles as a senior ... Originally committed to Florida State ... Also visited Arkansas, Auburn and Tennessee before announcing his decision for USC on Christmas Day.

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