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Crootin’ Notebook: Recruiting tidbits from South Carolina’s SEC Media Days session

The latest football recruiting scoop for the South Carolina Gamecocks, including notes from Muschamp’s SEC Media days session and updates on a few top prospects.

Western Carolina v South Carolina Photo by Todd Bennett/GettyImages

The South Carolina Gamecocks held their SEC Media Days session on Thursday, and the contingent of Will Muschamp, Deebo Samuel, Jake Bentley and Hayden Hurst was a surprise highlight of the four day event in Hoover, Ala.

Muschamp was an instant hit among the media, quipping with Florida writers and making jokes at his own expense with the SEC Network crew. If you have yet to catch up on what was said, Chris compiled all the highlights from the day in this post.

Recruiting was by no means the focus of Muschamp’s time at the podium, but he did touch on the subject on occasion. Here are a few notable questions and answers from yesterday’s session:

Q. How does having a -- identifying a quarterback put the long-range rebuilding plan ahead of schedule and provide a foundation?

COACH MUSCHAMP: Well, I don't think there's any question that, if you have an established guy at that position, it helps your skill recruiting offensively and helps your offensive line recruiting, and then it helps you on defense, because guys want to understand that having a guy at that position that can excel, you're going to win games. And that's part of the process in recruiting is saying we're going to win some football games. Which we are at South Carolina. No doubt.

Q. You talk a lot about facilities. It seems everybody's upgrading their facilities in the SEC. When you were at Florida, were you aware that your facilities had lagged behind? And how much of a detriment was that to you building that program?

COACH MUSCHAMP: Well, I don't think there's any question. You know, there's a plan to move forward. I mean, the indoor that they finished was done. Jeremy and I, we had done that about a year and a half before. We agreed to get the indoor done. I think we had a plan moving forward to continue to enhance our situation there. But that's part of it.

At the end of the day, we don't believe in bells and whistles, but recruits do. That's a fact. And they want to see new. They want to see shiny. They want to see progress. And there's no doubt that helps you in the program.

In this last question, RPO refers to the run/pass option schemes that have become so prevalent in college offenses.

Q. Will, how has the implementation of RPOs changed how you recruit at linebacker and safety and defensive back?

COACH MUSCHAMP: I don't know that it's changed the type of athletes you recruit. Certainly schematically, it creates some issues for you. As far as your pattern match coverages with the run game, you get canceling gaps, being able to carry people down the field. It creates a lot of run pass conflicts for a linebacker and a safety.

It's also really difficult when the offensive guard releases 15 yards down field, too, on a slant. That kind of poses an issue and that's got nothing to do with athleticism. I think more than anything, it has more to do with scheme than it does the type of young man you're going to recruit.

You can view Muschamp’s full podium session here.

South Carolina makes top-4 of instate DB

Rock Hill (SC) cornerback Steven Gilmore Jr., the younger brother of former Gamecock Stephon Gilmore, announced his top-4 schools via Twitter Wednesday afternoon. South Carolina, Georgia, Louisville and North Carolina were the colleges to make the cut.

Gilmore plans to commit on his birthday, September 17th.

More plan changes

I mentioned this on Tuesday as a strong possibility, but four-star DB Jaycee Horn officially pushed back his commitment timeline on Thursday.

Horn is waiting to decide until he visits Tennessee on July 22, who has been making a late push. The Vols are in it with USC and Bama.

Dylan Wonnum was slated to wrap up his recruitment this summer, but the four-star offensive tackle has decided to prolong his decision.

“It’s going to be after the season,” he told AuburnUndercover. “I’m really just focusing on my team right now. So I really didn’t have time. I’m not ready.”

Wonnum’s older brother Dennis is projected to be a starting defensive end for the Gamecocks this fall. As of right now, he is being predicted heavily to South Carolina, but Auburn and several other SEC teams are recruiting him hard.

Dax Hollifield, the nation’s No. 5 inside linebacker, confirmed to 247Sports that he will take official visits before coming to a decision.

Hollifield is primarily considering South Carolina, UNC, Virginia Tech, Florida State and Stanford. He has plans to to visit Columbia on July 21st.

Israel Mukuamu, a three-star safety originally from Moncks Corner, SC told Phil Kornblut Thursday that he will attend the Gamecocks’ July 21 camp before he makes his final decision on the 24th. USC, Florida State, Oklahoma and Indiana are the programs he is considering.

And I’ll leave you with this

Because it’s Friday afternoon and you all deserve a chuckle after the week you’ve been through.