Gamecocks' 2014 recruiting class outlook: Top targets on the board

GoGamecocks staff reportsDecember 3, 2013 

Wesley Green

GERRY MELENDEZ — gmelendez@thestate.com

South Carolina remains busy on the recruiting trail for the Class of 2014 as National Signing Day draws closer.

The Gamecocks have 14 commitments for the upcoming class, with a handful more expected between now and Feb. 5. The final signing group is expected to number 18 to 20, with the lower end a more likely finishing point.

Here is an updated, position-by-position look at this year's recruiting class and outlook. (All star ratings are from the 247Composite index, which factors in all networks.)

Quarterbacks: Done

... Committed: Three-star Michael Scarnecchia (Fleming Island High, Fleming Island, Fla.)

Scarnecchia picked the Gamecocks on Oct. 20, with head coach Steve Spurrier handling much of his recruitment. He had been committed to UAB and was drawing interest from Syracuse, Arkansas State and some Ivy League schools.

Four-star Drew Barker of Hebron, Ky., was this year's initial target, but he chose Kentucky. Three-star Bo Baldwin of South Aiken was evaluated and received a grayshirt offer and could still join the Gamecocks that way.

Running backs: Taking one, or none

... Committed: None

... Targets: USC has long been the perceived leader for four-star all-purpose back Derrell Scott of Havelock, N.C., who took his official to Columbia for the Florida game weekend. He's also taken official visits to Tennessee and NC State. Havelock remains alive in the N.C. playoffs, and a decision from Scott is expected after the season. If the team somehow misses on Scott, USC could decide to stay put with the six scholarship backs who will already be here.

Fullback: Done

... Committed: Three-star Joe Blue (Dillon High, Dillon)

Blue originally committed as a linebacker but could fill the role of fullback or H-back for the Gamecocks. Blue plays offense and defense for Dillon and could play either at South Carolina.

Wide receivers: Taking one more

... Committed: Four-star Shaq Davidson (Gaffney High, Gaffney); three-star Terry Googer, (Woodward Academy, College Park, Ga.)

Davidson and Googer were top targets and are locked in. The Gamecocks could add one more receiver to the fold.

... Target: Three-star instate receiver Tyshun Samuel of Chapman is on track to join USC's class this week after receiving an offer from the Gamecocks on Nov. 23. Samuel has an announcement set for 4:30 p.m. Thursday at his school.

Tight ends: Done

... Committed: Three-star Kalan Ritchie (Goose Creek High, Goose Creek); Four-star K.C. Crosby (Bamberg-Ehrhardt High, Bamberg)

Coaches didn't looking far for both tight end commitments after not signing anyone at the position in 2013. Something to watch as he transitions to college: Ritchie played mostly at defensive end his senior season, and that could be where he ends up at USC.

Offensive line: 1 more, or none

... Committed: Four-star Donell Stanley, Latta High, Latta; three-star Malik Young, Woodmont High, Piedmont

The Gamecocks were believed to be done with two linemen in the fold. However, class of 2012 signee J.P. Vonashek decided to leave the team. The Gamecocks now could add one more lineman to fill that void.

... Targets: Three-star guard Kareem Are (Fort Scott JC) had an official visit to USC for the Clemson game. He has also visited Penn State and Florida State. Are is a teammate of USC defensive line commit Abu Lamin.

Five-star tackle Damian Prince of Forestville, Md., is giving South Carolina consideration along with Maryland, Florida State, Florida, and Miami. An official visit is planned for the weekend of Jan. 17.

Defensive line: 1 or 2 more

... Committed: Three-star tackle Taylor Stallworth (Murphy High, Mobile, Ala.); three-star end Jhaustin Thomas (Trinity Valley CC, Texas); three-star tackle Abu Lamin (Fort Scott CC, Kansas)

Coaches are always looking to sign quality players on the defensive line, so it's possible the Gamecocks could take more than one player here.

... Targets: Four-star defensive end Dante Sawyer of Suwanne, Ga., will announce Dec. 17 between South Carolina, Missouri and Tennessee.

Four-star defensive end Andrew Williams of McDonough, Ga., visited Columbia unofficially for the USC-Clemson game and says he will set official visits with Clemson, USC, Auburn and Ole Miss.

Four-star defensive tackle Dexter Wideman of Saluda surprised many by committing to Florida State earlier this year. He been considered a strong USC lean having grown up a Gamecock fan. Wideman has not closed the door on USC and will likely take an official visit with the Gamecocks before cementing his decision.

Linebackers: Done

... Committed: Four-star Bryson Allen-Williams, Cedar Grove High, Ellenwood, Ga.

Allen-Williams was a priority in this class and became the second to commit to the Gamecocks for 2014. He continues to help recruit the rest of this class, which is not expected to include another linebacker.

Secondary: 1 or 2 more

... Committed: Three-star Darin Smalls (Summerville High, Summerville); three-star Al Harris Jr. (St. Thomas Aquinas High, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

The Gamecocks were expected to sign as many as three in the secondary and already have two commitments. Smalls is recovering from an ACL tear. This is a position of need with Jimmy Legree a senior and Victor Hampton likely to turn pro. Brison Williams also will be a senior in 2014.

... Targets: Four-star cornerback Wesley Green of Atlanta backed off his pledge to USC but remains a big factor with the Gamecocks. USC recruiters Lorenzo Ward and Grady Brown visited with Green at his school Monday morning. He is on track to take an official visit to USC in January. He also will visit Tennessee, Ole Miss and Georgia. Green's coach said the decision could be made on or close to signing day.

Four-star cornerback D.J. Smith of Marietta, Ga., took an unofficial visit to USC over the Florida game weekend. He is expected to visit officially in January along with seeing Clemson, Georgia and Tennessee. He is expected to wait until signing day to announce his choice.

Three-star athlete/safety Ra'shaun Croney of Pahokee, Fla., likes South Carolina and Arkansas but says he is waiting on a qualifying test score before he can commit to either school.

Four-star cornerback Chris Lammons of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is committed to Florida but hasn't ruled out an official visit to South Carolina.

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