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South Carolina Recruiting: Gamecocks 2015 Class Taking Off

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USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 class has been fairly quiet over the last couple of weeks, but the Gamecocks are off to an early start on the 2015 class. Last week, Carolina garnered a commitment from Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson WR Dexter Neal. Neal had many good offers, including from Tennessee and Clemson. The Gamecocks have landed several prospects from this school over the last couple of years, including likely starting RB Mike Davis, and Neal was excited to have the opportunity to rejoin his former teammates. Neal has the look of some of the wide receivers we've had success with in recent years. He's big, strong, and does a good job of coming down with the ball. He should be a good fit for our offense.

Today, Carolina continued to carry forward the momentum by landing an even bigger-name prospect, Bluffton/Bluffton WDE Shamiek Blackshear. Blackshear had offers from basically every big-time program in the nation, including Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Florida St. Blackshear is going to be one of the nation's top prospects in 2015, a likely five-star guy with a good chance at being projected as the state's top player. Blackshear is a long, athletic pass rusher who should continue the tradition of elite Carolina defensive ends. He doesn't project as high as Jadeveon Clowney, but that's true of everyone. Blackshear is still an elite player. He also plays at a position of need for us, and comes out of a region of the state that we've had trouble recruiting at times.

Having big-time commitments a year in advance like this says a couple of things about the program moving forward. First of all, we're becoming more of a destination program where big-time recruits want to get on board quickly and help move the program forward. Second of all, momentum is huge in recruiting, and having these guys on board will get the attention of other prospects who are considering us.