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National Signing Day 2014: Kalan Ritchie signs with South Carolina

The top rated tight end prospect in South Carolina signs with the Gamecocks, who aim to move him to defensive end.

Goose Creek (S.C.) tight end Kalan Ritchie inked his National Letter of Intent Wednesday morning, finalizing his longtime commitment to South Carolina. The 6'5 210-pound three-star prospect is the No. 28 tight end in the nation and the 20th-ranked overall player in South Carolina. Even though the recruiting services seem to like him more as a tight end, the Gamecock coaching staff has decided to start Ritchie out at defensive end when he gets to Columbia.

Ritchie favored the Gamecocks during most of the recruiting process and committed in April of last year. The Shrine Bowl selection had offers on the table from Clemson, Connecticut, NC State, and Virginia Tech but South Carolina ended up offering the Goose Creek product something that he couldn't pass up. Steve Spurrier was the primary recruiter of record for Ritchie with Joe Robinson assisting in his recruitment.

Ritchie comes from a very good program in Goose Creek High School. South Carolina currently has two Goose Creek Gator alums in junior right tackle Brandon Shell and redshirt freshman defensive end Gerald Turner. The Gamecocks are adding a player with a lot of potential and the room for growth at the Division I level. At 210 pounds, he's got a lot of muscle mass to put on before he's prepared to be a defensive lineman in the SEC, but he's a prospect that can add additional weight to his 6'5 frame without losing quickness and athleticism.

South Carolina enters 2014 extremely thing at defensive end and there are other signees who might have a shot to contribute as true freshman. Ritchie, though, doesn't seem like one of them. He might be a good one somewhere down the line, but the position change combined with the disparity between his current size and where he needs to be suggest that he's still a year or two off.