Phil Kornblut

Stephon Gilmore’s brother was choosing from four big-time offers; now he has none

South Pointe Stallions Steven Gilmore, Jr, returns a kick during the game between South Pointe High School and Ridge View High School.
South Pointe Stallions Steven Gilmore, Jr, returns a kick during the game between South Pointe High School and Ridge View High School. jblake@thestate.com

South Pointe wide receiver/defensive back Steven Gilmore Jr. went into 2017 as one of the state’s highly regarded prospects with offers from South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, Louisville, Duke and East Carolina. With strong ties to USC, and a strong pull from Will Muschamp, it was thought he’d be a quick commit. But Gilmore waited, waited for more big offers to materialize. Now, with the early signing period approaching Wednesday, Gilmore has no Power Five options available to him according to his coach Strait Herron.

“He’s lost everything that he had,” Herron said. “North Carolina came down Tuesday and talked to him and said if they were to lose somebody that his name is still on the board and there’s still a chance. A lot of it is going to come down to what happens next week. Right now he’s in a position where he will have to wait until that day is over and if somewhere somebody falls thru and somebody who was committed doesn’t sign, maybe somebody will jump back on him. He’s had plenty of time, he just didn’t do what he should have done.”

South Pointe receiver Steven Gilmore was named offensive MVP for North in 24-12 win in Touchstone Energy Cooperative Bowl.

Herron said most puzzling to him is how Gilmore, whose brother Stephon was a star cornerback at USC and is now in the NFL, let the opportunity to sign with the Gamecocks slip through his fingers.

“Coach Muschamp, when he called me, said, ‘Coach, we offered him over a year ago and we haven’t gotten anything telling us, yeah, this is where I want to go to school.’ I told Coach Muschamp, look, this is not on South Carolina. This is completely on the kid. They made sure to call me. Bobby Bentley called me and Muschamp called me because they wanted to make sure that we knew, and they wanted to make sure Stevie didn’t come out and say I’m going to South Carolina and he didn’t have a spot anymore. They did everything right. After that happened, Georgia came into my office and Shane Beamer told me the same story.”

So, a highly regarded prospect who had multiple options in front of him in the spring, summer and fall finds himself empty handed in winter.

“No clear scholarship offers right now,” Herron explained. “Every single one of them has said we didn’t pull your offer, we’re out of room. Everybody’s committed, we’re done. We don’t have any more spots.”

This story may still have a happy ending for Gilmore. Muschamp has let him know a preferred walk-on or grayshirt opportunity exists for him at USC, and that might be the ultimate course taken by Gilmore.

“Right now, I think that might be what he’s leaning to do,” his coach said. “Hopefully something will open up and he’ll get what he wants but we’ve just got to wait and see.”

Herron said Coastal Carolina, Appalachian State and others contacted him after learning Gilmore might be available but he’s not sure Gilmore will be interested in those programs.

Herron said there’s a lesson to be learned from this for all future recruits.

“The lesson to learn is number one, if you get an offer and it’s the offer that you want, you better say yes. Lesson number two is, get some help. Ask for advice, call somebody, It’s best to call your coach. If you’re a recruit and you’ve got questions and you’re not sure what’s going on, you definitely don’t want to lose something. Man, go talk to your coach.”

Gilmore was the offensive MVP for the North in last weekend’s Touchstone Energy Bowl with seven receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown. Herron said Gilmore will only get better in college when he’s in a strength and conditioning program.

The Stallions will have several other players signing Wednesday: wide receiver Derion Kendrick and kicker B.T. Potter with Clemson, defensive end Eli Adams with Virginia Tech, defensive back Jamari Currence with James Madison and defensive back B.J. Davis and wide receiver Scott Robinson with SC State.

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