Three-star defensive end signee Kalan Ritchie will enroll at Georgia Military College, according to tweets that the Goose Creek (S.C.) High School product published late Monday night. After two seasons at GMC, Ritchie will be eligible to join South Carolina's 2016 class.
Gotta take a lil detour to GMC but only for 2 seasons , be back in cola before you know it— Kalan Ritchie (@KRitchie_85) May 20, 2014
Carolina has shown to much care into me , can't go back on them will def stick with the commitment throughout school !— Kalan Ritchie (@KRitchie_85) May 20, 2014
Despite the Gamecocks' desperate need for defensive ends, Ritchie was unlikely to see the field in 2014. At 6'5, 210 pounds, it was going to be a long-term project to turn him into an SEC-ready lineman. This may end up working out pretty well for all parties involved because South Carolina needed to offload some scholarships and Ritchie could benefit from some game experience against collegiate competition.
Even though Ritchie seems certain that he'll sign with the Gamecocks again in 2016, nothing in recruiting is guaranteed. South Carolina has had a run of JUCO placements in the past several years that ended up not working out for one reason or another. The Gamecocks don't have very many upperclassmen defensive ends and have a chance to sign a deep and talented class of pass-rushers in 2015. Ritchie might not like the look of the depth chart when it comes time to experience signing his National Letter of Intent for the first time... again.
Assuming that former walk-ons Sidney Rhodes and Connor McLaurin will have their free rides renewed, Ritchie's enrollment in junior college represents South Carolina's break-even point on scholarships promised versus scholarships available. That means the Gamecock football team has officially escaped the NCAA-mandated scholarship reduction stemming from the violations that occurred at The Whitney Hotel and with the recruitment of Damiere Byrd.