For the first time in recent memory, the success of South Carolina's recruiting class will be largely determined by a handful of uncommitted targets who will announce their decisions on National Signing Day. The Gamecocks gained some momentum with several of these prospects during their big weekend of official visits, but most are still 50/50 propositions at best.
Carolina has 18 players currently committed and can take up to 22 players in this signing class. Those final four spots will likely be filled by some combination of the five players listed below.
Almost four months to the day removed from his decision to decommit from the Gamecocks' 2014 class, Wesley Green named South Carolina his leader coming out of his Jan. 17 official visit to Columbia. Though South Carolina's recruitment of the four-star cornerback may appear to have been a roller coaster ride to this point, stepping back to look at the big picture reveals a much more stable relationship. Even after pumping the brakes on his pledge to South Carolina, Green has kept the Gamecocks at or near the top of his list.
The 5'11, 170 defensive back will visit Georgia on Jan. 31 before announcing his decision on National Signing Day. Ole Miss had been making a late push but Green has reportedly eliminated the Rebels from further consideration. This one is going to come down to the Bulldogs and Gamecocks.
The other four-star cornerback left on South Carolina's board is Chris Lammons of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Lammons decommitted from the Florida Gators on Jan. 9 after the Will Muschamp received a commitment from five-star cornerback Jalen Tabor. The Gamecocks were a finalist for Lammons when he initially committed on Aug. 12, but Carolina appeared pretty set at cornerback at the time and didn't push as hard as they otherwise might have.
Coming out of his official visit to Columbia on Jan. 17, Lammons said that he is 50-50 between South Carolina and Wisconsin, where he visited back in November. However, Wisconsin recently accepted a pair of commitments, suggesting that they don't feel very good about their chances with Lammons.
Wisconsin picked up commitments from two cornerbacks Friday. This may help USC with cornerback Chris Lammons who is down to USC & Wisconsin— SportsTalk (@sportstalksc) January 25, 2014
Lammons is expected to announce his final decision on National Signing Day.
Four-star defensive tackle Dexter Wideman has had one of the more unusual recruitments in the 2014 cycle. Even though the Saluda, S.C. native has been publicly committed to Florida State July 22, Wideman has been considered a lean to South Carolina for a while now. Of course, the longer Wideman goes without going public with that change of heart, the less likely it is to happen. The 6'4, 255 lineman remained coy after his Jan. 17 official visit to Columbia, saying only that he will make a decision some time after he visits Florida State on Jan. 31. Following visits from Jimbo Fisher and Steve Spurrier, Wideman still seems up in the air and will announce his final choice at 2:45 p.m. on National Signing Day.
Derrell Scott (Committed to Tennessee on Jan. 27)
South Carolina was thought to be the leader for Derrell Scott's services for much of the four-star all-purpose back's recruitment, but Tennessee and Florida have come on strong late in recent months, with the Knoxville currently seeming like Scott's most probable destination. The Volunteers have a great story to tell Scott. He would likely see the field immediately in Knoxville and can look at Pig Howard's success in Butch Jones' offense and easily envision himself stepping into that role. Another factor working in Tennessee's favor is that former Havelock teammate and one-time Gamecock commitment Kendal Vickers became a Vol after South Carolina balked at his academics.
Scott visited Florida on Jan. 17 and hosted Steve Spurrier and Butch Jones for in-home visits before announcing his decision on Jan. 27 at 3:15 p.m. Rumors started circulating on Friday that Tennessee will be the choice, but Scott subsequently took to Twitter in an effort to them.
@SBNRecruiting it's even— Derrell Scott (@SilkySm00th24) January 24, 2014
If you ask me, though, that just comes across as nothing more than Scott trying to keep the drama alive until his ceremony.
Gamecock fans aren't accustomed to seeing their team come out of nowhere to be a major factor in the recruitment of a five-star prospect, but that's exactly what has happened with District Heights, Md. offensive lineman Damian Prince. The nation's No. 2 offensive tackle prospect visited South Carolina on Jan. 17 and has the Gamecocks in his top group, along with the hometown Terrapins and the Florida Gators, where friend and fellow five-star beltway prospect Jalen Tabor has already enrolled.
Prince make his official visit to Florida on Jan. 31 and will make his announcement on National Signing Day
Jan. 22 update: Darrius Caldwell is removed from this list after South Carolina accepts his commitment.
Jan. 23 update: Poona Ford is removed from this list after canceling his Jan. 24 official visit.