The South Carolina Gamecocks signed the majority of their 2018 recruiting class Wednesday as college football’s new early signing period started. Of the 23 prospects currently committed, 20 of them put pen to paper, and 13 will be on campus next month. The breakdown, with asterisks indicating early enrollees:
Class of 2018
- Four-star WR Josh Vann
- Four-star QB Dakereon Joyner*
- Four-star DB Jaycee Horn
- Four-star DE Kingsley Enagbare*
- 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 DL Tyreek Johnson*
- Three-star DT Jabari Ellis
- Three-star S Israel Mukuamu*
- Three-star OT Jesus Gibbs
- Three-star LB Ernest Jones*
- Three-star OT Wyatt Campbell*
- Three-star WR Tyquan Johnson
- Three-star S RJ Roderick*
- Three-star WR Darius Rush*
- Three-star OG Jovaughn Gwyn*
- Three-star LB Rosendo Louis
Not signing this week
The following recruits held off, possibly because of academic reasons.
- Three-star DT Lamarius Benson
- Three-star WR Ronnie Jamison
- Three-star ATH Bryce Thompson
- Four-star JUCO prospect Marlon Character Jr.
Signing Day surprises
A couple undecided prospects had the Gamecocks in the mix and made it official. Rosendo Louis flipped from Florida State after the Seminoles’ coaching staff changes, and North Carolina product Jovaughn Gwyn chose South Carolina over the in-state Wolfpack.
Currently, South Carolina’s class is listed at 16th nationally in 247Sports’ composite team rankings. The Gamecocks’ class isn’t quite full, so we’ll see what happens in the final push before Feb. 1.
Muschamp gives a few updates
Coach Will Muschamp met with the media on Wednesday afternoon, welcoming the signees and also bringing us up to speed after what has been a quiet few weeks after the end of the regular season.
- The NCAA announced that South Carolina committed recruiting violations when two assistant coaches tried to form advantageous relationships with a high school’s coaches. The infractions were deemed minor, and Muschamp is unconcerned.
- Freshman defensive back Jamyest Williams will be unavailable for the bowl game after undergoing shoulder surgery. Reserve defensive back Kaleb Chalmers, who transferred to South Carolina by way of junior college after originally attending Clemson, will be moving on from the Gamecocks.
The offensive coordinator search, and other staffing details
Most importantly, Muschamp shared the Gamecocks’ plan to fill out their staff. Under new NCAA rules, South Carolina can add a 10th coach and will do so by Jan. 9. Muschamp is angling for some more help on special teams.
Will Muschamp indicated that he's looking for some help for Coleman Hutzler for special teams, to go along with some recruiting assistance, when asked about the 10th assistant coach, which he'll hire on Jan. 9.— Hale McGranahan (@Hale_SECcountry) December 20, 2017
Muschamp also confirmed that former receivers coach Bryan McClendon will be getting a true audition during the bowl game for the offensive coordinator position. He also indicated that Bobby Bentley is not a factor, despite some fans clamoring for the Byrnes High mastermind to get a stab at it:
Muschamp: Shakes his head no when asked if Bobby Bentley would be OC. Certainly capable, but at this time, it's McClendon or an outside candidate.— David Cloninger (@DCPandC) December 20, 2017
Instead, Bentley has been reassigned from coaching running backs to quarterbacks. Additionally, tight ends coach Pat Washington will now coach running backs, and former Gamecock quarterback Seth Strickland will assume Washington’s old responsibilities.
A decision on South Carolina’s next offensive coordinator won’t be made until after the Outback Bowl against Michigan. We’ll see which names start popping up in the rumor mill over the coming weeks.