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What to expect for Gamecocks as early signing period begins

Recruiting season is going to be a bit different from now on.

Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Welcome to the new National Signing Day, sort of! The NCAA changed college football’s recruiting calendar with the institution of an early signing period, debuting this year. Spanning from Dec. 20 through the 22nd, it allows committed recruits to go ahead and sign on the dotted line without needing to wait until February. While that traditional Feb. 1 signing day will continue to exist, this early period is when most of the action is expected to happen.

The (current) Class of 2018

Here’s a list of South Carolina’s 21 commitments, per 247Sports (asterisk indicates early enrollees who will join the Gamecocks on campus in January):

  • Four-star WR Josh Vann
  • Four-star QB Dakereon Joyner*
  • Four-star DB Jaycee Horn
  • Four-star DE Kingsley Enagbare*
  • Four-star JUCO prospect Marlon Character Jr.
  • Three-star CB Jonathan Gipson
  • Three-star OT Maxwell Iyama*
  • Three-star RB Deshaun Fenwick*
  • Three-star C Hank Manos*
  • Three-star RB Lavonte Valentine*
  • Three-star WR Tyquan Johnson*
  • Three-star DT Jabari Ellis
  • Three-star S Israel Mukuamu*
  • Three-star ATH Bryce Thompson
  • Three-star OT Jesus Gibbs
  • Three-star LB Ernest Jones*
  • Three-star OT Wyatt Campbell*
  • Three-star WR Ronnie Jamison
  • Three-star S RJ Roderick*
  • Three-star DT Lamarius Benson
  • Three-star WR Darius Rush*

Notable: Horn and Manos will be playing in the Under Armour All-American Game next month.

South Carolina’s class currently sits at 16th in 247’s composite team rankings and is fifth in the SEC.

Who isn’t signing

While the majority of South Carolina’s class will sign this week, a handful of prospects won’t, possibly to see where the dust settles with their academics.

  • Lamarius Benson
  • Marlon Character
  • Jonathan Gipson
  • Ronnie Jamison
  • Bryce Thompson

Names to watch for

We covered this a bit earlier in the week, but here some targets the Gamecocks are still in the mix for.

  • Five-star DE K.J. Henry: Considered a Clemson lean, but claims the recruiting battle is “very close” between the Tigers and Virginia Tech, Alabama, Georgia, and the Gamecocks.
  • Four-star linebacker Channing Tindall: It’s unclear whether Tindall will announce his choice during the early signing period, and seems unlikely at this juncture. Georgia looks like the favorite here.
  • Three-star LB Rosendo Louis: Currently a Florida State pledge, but 257’s Crystal Ball has been forecasting a flip to South Carolina in the wake of the Seminoles’ coaching changes.
  • Three-star OG Jovaughn Gwyn: A North Carolina product, Gwyn is choosing between the Gamecocks and N.C. State, and appears to be leaning in South Carolina’s direction.
  • Three-star DE Jarrett Jackson: Currently committed to Louisville, Jackson officially visited South Carolina earlier this season and has kept the Gamecocks under consideration.