Legacy can be a powerful recruiting tool. Jordan Diggs, Kelcy Quarles, and both Dixons represent their family's second generation of South Carolina football player. So it's reasonable to get a little giddy when you see that Greg Little, the top overall prospect in the 2016 cycle according to 247's recently announced rankings, is the son of a former player.
Unfortunately, empirical evidence suggests that landing the monstrous offensive tackle—who was 6'5", 282 lbs. as a freshman—will prove difficult for the Gamecocks coaching staff.
Little plays high school football in
Arlen Allen, TX, a state into which South Carolina doesn't have much of a pipeline. There is reason to believe the Gamecocks are making efforts to establish one, as the impending rivalry with Texas A&M will expose the Gamecock football to the region every other year. Additionally, Kirk Botkin has offered a few Texas players, and let's not forget Elliot Freisman (AKA Elliott Fry, for SEO purposes) is a son of the Lone Star State. Still, poaching Texans is an uphill battle for a program without physical proximity or a lack of major recruiting inroads.
Want some more bad news? This article from February, 1988 suggests that Little's father transferred from South Carolina on less than pleasant terms. But wait! I checked with noted South Carolina football historians The Rubber Chickens, who don't seem to recall Little actually transferring. The USA Today College Football Encyclopedia lists him as a member of the 1988 team, and according to Pro Football Reference, Little was drafted in the spring of 1989 by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with South Carolina listed as his college. All this suggests that Little ultimately reneged on his plans to transfer. Unfortunately, I spent most of 1988 babbling incoherently on a tricycle, so we encourage any of our more tenured fans to offer insight on Derrick Little's time at South Carolina.
No matter the current state of Derrick's relationship with South Carolina, his son doesn't consider himself a Gamecock fan, adding that he grew up watching the Longhorns but doesn't identify as a UT fan nor watch much college football in general.
There's one thing upon which we can all agree: if South Carolina wants Greg Little, they'll have to offer him first, which it seems as though they've yet to do. While it'll likely come at some point, it's worth noting that legacies aren't guaranteed roster spots, as evidenced by South Carolina's lack of interest in legacy blue chip (and Columbia resident) Christian Miller, who signed with Alabama in February. The coaching staff chose not to pursue Miller for schematic reasons.
If empirical evidence is to be trusted, South Carolina probably won't land Greg Little. But should coaches choose to leverage the program connection and pique the monster prospect's interest, I wouldn't sleep on Shawn Elliott's persuasive powers.
Hey, remember the last time we landed a #1 overall recruit? That was cool.