South Carolina graduated its entire two deep at middle and weakside linebacker after the 2012 season. Then, during bowl practice, Cedrick Cooper went down with a torn knee ligament that could keep him out through fall practice, leaving rising true sophomore Kaiwan Lewis and redshirt freshman T.J. Holloman as the only scholarship linebackers on the roster.
Luckily, South Carolina was set to reload with blue chippers Larenz Bryant and Matt Rolin coming in with the 2013 class. But then, days before he was set to enroll early at USC, Rolin - who would have been a third generation Gamecock legacy - enrolls at intradivision rival Florida instead.
I recount all of this - which many of you remember all to well - to set up just how huge it is that Skai Moore decided to sign with the Gamecocks. He's got the combination of talent and opportunity to come in and make an immediate impact at the outside linebacker position in South Carolina's 4-2-5 base defense.
South Carolina is going to get a steal in Skai Moore, I think. At least the 4th-best LB recruit in Florida. Big senior year. @gridironstuds— SB Nation Recruiting (@SBNRecruiting) February 5, 2013
Because of how good he is in coverage, a lot of people think Larenz Bryant could ultimately end up being an ideal fit for the SPUR position (where 2013 signee Mohamed Camara is also projected), but the depth chart at that position is already populated by Sharrod Golightly, Marcquis Roberts, and Jordan Diggs. As a result, the more likely scenario is that - at least for now - he'll be competing with Moore at OLB.
Check out this fascinating interview that The Big Spur's John Whittle got with Moore, who details, among other things, why he didn't have more interest in the nearby Miami Hurricanes, a program he grew up admiring: