2013 recruiting: Targets still on USC's board

GoGamecocks staff reportsNovember 5, 2012 

South Carolina’s 2013 recruiting class is largely complete, but the Gamecocks could add another commitment or two by the time signing day arrives.

USC has 21 pledges toward its maximum of 22 for this class.

“We’re close to done,” recruiting coordinator Steve Spurrier Jr. said. “You never know until the end exactly where you are and exactly where your numbers will play out, academics, and who might stick and who might not. We may take one or two more, but we’re pretty close to done.”

Here’s a look at the primary targets still on the board for the Gamecocks:

RB David Williams (6-1, 192), Philadelphia

Williams is looking at six schools, and three of those have moved to the front: South Carolina, Tennessee and Arizona State. The others under consideration are Nebraska and Ohio State.

Williams said he talks weekly with Gamecock recruiter G.A. Mangus, and they’ve been working on visits. He has taken an official visit to Arizona State and will take one to Tennessee Nov. 24. He visited USC unofficially.

This season he has 1,061 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns.

Where he ranks: He’s a consensus four-star prospect. The 247Sports Composite ranking has him as the nation’s seventh-best all-purpose back and 133rd overall player.

RB Greg Bryant (5-10, 197), Delray Beach

A former Oklahoma commitment, Bryant said he will set two of his official visits with South Carolina and Georgia. He said Auburn and Florida State also are possible for officials. And he is still interested in Oklahoma.

Bryant has not made any visits for games this season. He has been in touch recently with USC recruiter Grady Brown and the Gamecocks remain interested.

This season he has 1,245 and 17 touchdowns, plus nine catches for 204 yards and two scores.

Where he ranks: Rivals considers the U.S. Army All American a five-star athlete; he has four stars from everyone else. The 247Sports Composite ranking has him as the seventh-best running back and 52nd overall prospect in the country.

WR Taj Williams (6-4, 166), Tallahassee, Fla.

Williams has called USC his favorite. He has the Gamecocks, Alabama, Florida State and Louisville as his current top four. He told Rivals that the hometown Seminoles are making a strong push for him.

He plans to make USC his first official visit, but the date has not been set. He has no timetable for making a decision.

Where he ranks: Williams is a consensus four-star athlete. The 247Sports Composite ranking has him as the 27th best receiver in the country and 223rd overall recruit in this class.

WR Jaelen Strong (6-3, 205), Pierce Junior College, Calif.

USC has been evaluating Strong. He’s a close friend and former teammate of running back target Williams. G.A. Mangus is recruiting both for the Gamecocks.

Strong, originally from Philadelphia, has offers from LSU, Oregon State, Nebraska, Tennessee and Texas Tech, with interest from USC, Miami, N.C. State, Kansas, Arizona and Arizona State, among others.

Strong has around 1,000 receiving yards with 13 touchdowns this season. He has not named a favorite.

Where he ranks: He is a four-star prospect, according to 247Sports. The 247Sports Composite ranking has him as the seventh-best junior college receiver and 33rd overall junior college prospect nationally.

OL Na’Ty Rodgers (6-5, 278) Pomfret, Md.

Rodgers has the Gamecocks strongly out in front of Maryland right now. “It’s an 8.5 to a 9,” he said in describing the strength of the USC lead on a scale of 10.

He’s also considering Michigan and Oklahoma. Rodgers plans to take his official visit to USC in December before Christmas.

Rodgers won’t announce a commitment until the Under Armour game.

Where he ranks: Rodgers has four stars from three of the major recruiting rankings. The 247Sports Composite ranking has him as the 32nd best offensive tackle prospect in the country and 350th overall recruit.

LB Yannick Ngakoue (6-3, 240) of Washington, D.C.

Ngakoue committed to Maryland in the summer with one of his teammates but has since backed off that pledge. He is now looking at five schools and said in a video interview with Rivals that USC is in that group.

He listed his five schools as USC, Maryland, Tennessee, Miami and West Virginia. Ngakoue said in the interview that USC’s plans for him is attractive to him. “They want me as an inside linebacker and I like that,” he said.

Ngakoue said he may wait until the Under Armour game to announce his choice.

Where he ranks: Ngakoue has four stars from three of the major recruiting rankings. The 247Sports Composite ranking has him as the 12th-best inside linebacker prospect and 235th overall recruit.

DL Keith Bryant (6-2, 306), Delray Beach, Fla.

Bryant is committed to Miami but will take other official visits. One of those will be to USC. Bryant visited for the Georgia game and came away impressed.

Bryant plans to take his official visit to USC after the season. “I want to spend some time with the coaches and if you go when they’re playing, you’re just another person there,” he said.

Miami will not receive an official visit from Bryant but Oklahoma and LSU could. As for a possible change of heart Bryant said, “It’s possible. Yeah, I could change my mind.”

Where he ranks: Bryant is a consensus four-star prospect. The 247Sports Composite ranking has him 15th best defensive tackle in this class and the 189th overall prospect.

P Jonathan King (6-0, 165), Knoxville, Tenn.

P/PK Jonathan King of Knoxville is still in the mix with the Gamecocks.

“I actually talked to coach (Joe) Robinson but they’re not sure if they’re going to have a scholarship available for a punter this year,” said King. He expressed his interest in the Gamecocks and plans to remain patient.

Other schools showing interest include Alabama and Notre Dame. King is interested in all three schools. He does not have a favorite.

This season he has a long of 42 yards on field goals and is averaging more than 45 yards a punt.

Where he ranks: Kohl's Professional Football Camps ranks him the fifth-best punter in this class.

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