South Carolina Football Recruiting: Gamecocks gunning for Brandon Wimbush and Minkah Fitzpatrick

Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE

Recruiting the state of New Jersey has yielded mixed results for South Carolina in recent years. Still, G.A. Mangus and the coaching staff continue to recruit the Garden State and are in the race for two of the state's best.

South Carolina quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus has successfully lured some of the Northeast's best players to Columbia in recent years. Mangus has had particular success in the state of New Jersey, having convinced current starters Kaiwan Lewis and Damiere Byrd, along with former Gamecocks Sheldon Royster and Tanner McEvoy, to head south for warmer weather and SEC competition. While the state has produced mixed results for the Gamecocks, Mangus has his eyes set on a pair of teammates from Jersey City, NJ.

Mangus has quarterback Brandon Wimbush of St. Peters Prep at the top of his board at that position in the 2015 recruiting cycle. Wimbush is a four-star prospect according 247 Sports Composite recruiting index and is fifth-best dual-threat quarterback in the nation. As a junior, he passed for over 1,700 yards and accounted for 24 touchdowns. At 6'2 205 pounds, Wimbush possesses an extremely strong arm and is a very accurate passer. He is also very mobile outside the pocket as he has been clocked at a 4.65 in the 40 yard dash.

Wimbush has indicated his excitement about his offer from the Gamecocks and is planning a visit to Columbia in the near future. Academics and early playing time are two of his main factors when rendering a decision. He currently holds 20 Division I offers and is planning to cut his list to 10 in the coming weeks. He plans to make his decision sometime this summer.

South Carolina is also making a heavy push for Wimbush's five-star teammate Minkah Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick is one of the best defensive backs in the nation in 2015. Ranked by 247Sports' composite as the 29th best player in the country, Fitzpatrick is also listed as the fourth-best cornerback, as well as the best player in New Jersey.

Fitzpatrick stands 6'0 185 pounds and has the length and size that defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward likes in his corners. He possesses great balance and body control, and while not the fastest defensive back, he has good enough speed to earn a five-star rating. Boasting 30 Division I offers, Fitzpatrick is wanted by every major college program in the nation. Alabama and Ohio State seem to have an edge right now, but G.A. Mangus and the South Carolina staff will continue to push hard for the New Jersey product. He and Wimbush will be taking several visits together and it will be important to get both of them on campus in Columbia to have a shot. They have discussed playing together in college.

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