I know that normally people start off with the "The Good", but I'd rather get the bad news out of the way first and end on a good note.
As reported by ChickenHoops, 247Composite four star defensive end Arden Key has decided to decommit from South Carolina and is eyeing visits to Auburn, Miami, LSU and Georgia along with USC for the big Jan. 23 recruiting weekend. Key originally committed to USC back in June, 2013 and then decommitted a few months later. He then recommitted in June, 2014 and had been committed until yesterday. To be honest, it was looking like Key would decommit, it was just a matter of time before he decided to make it official. Key has made it apparent all through this process that he was going to take visits and it's not known why Key chose to decommit. Key was also the eighth decommit overall, joining Paris Palmer, Austin Clark, Jaire Alexander, and Mark Fields just to name a few.
The bad news is that the 2015 class could suffer more decommits. Four star Christian Pellage has scheduled a visit to the Florida Gators, but there isn't a feeling that Pellage will leave the class just yet, but we will have to see how new head coach Jim McElwain impacts Pellage. Three star Damon Arnette has picked up an offer from the Michigan Wolverines, and will officially visit USC, Michigan, and Ohio State. Arnette has been committed to USC for a long time, so I am not too worried about him taking these visits, but it will be hard to fend off both Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh. Three star Quandeski Whitlow is also going to officially visit Florida, but is also going to visit Lousiville on the 17th.
It would also appear that Mark Fields has eliminated USC entirely from his recruitment. After getting an offer from LSU earlier in the week, Fields decided to shuffle his visits, and as of now will only be visiting Texas, LSU, and Clemson. This is a strange development considering that he stated that instability was a factor in decommitting, but with the coaching staff staying the same, there is something else going on with Fields.
Now that we got all that bad news out of the way, here is some good news. The 2016 class got a huge pickup last week in quarterback Brandon McIlwain. Despite losing Key, the Gamecocks did return an old face to the 2015 class. Defensive end Devante Covington has been added to the 2015 class. After not qualifying back in 2013, Covington has spent the time at Georgia Military College and is set to enroll this fall. There was also a slight scare from former five star Shamiek Blackshear stating that he was interested in FSU, but he quickly stated that it was a joke and that he would sign with USC in February.
While several schools are trying to flip Gamecock recruits, the Gamecocks are also in position to flip a few of their own. One of them is former UGA commit and offensive lineman Patrick Allen. Another possibility is cornerback and Mississippi State commit Maurice Smitherman is scheduled to officially visit on the 30th. The Gamecocks will also get a visit from three star offensive guard Trey Derouen from Georgia.
The final bit of good news is that the Gamecocks will bring in eight early enrollees, with nearly all of them being on the defensive line. With Ulric Jones, Dexter Wideman, Sherrod Pittman, Jerad Washington, Marquavious Lewis, Dante Sawyer, Ernest Hawkins and Jalen Henry are all set to join the football program this spring. Also, while this is a football article, both basketball teams are performing very well right now, and the men's team will play Florida tonight to open SEC play. Go Gamecocks!