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Crootin’ Notebook: Numbers are getting tight for South Carolina

Who will fill the remaining spots in the Gamecocks’ 2018 class?

Tennessee v South Carolina Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The South Carolina Gamecocks enjoyed a fruitful summer, accruing twelve verbal commitments over a two-month span. With the recruiting “dead period” (crootin never sleeps) now upon us, Will Muschamp’s 2018 class now boasts 18 members.

Added to that figure are undergrad transfer Ty’Son Williams and 2017 grayshirt commit Tyreek Johnson, who will both be receiving scholarships for the first time in 2018. With the NCAA capping classes at 25, the Gamecocks have quietly found themselves facing a legitimate numbers issue.

That being said, Muschamp and staff are certainly prepared to wait it out on several remaining big-name prospects, and there will undoubtedly be some turnover before signing day arrives.

Here’s the latest look at a few names South Carolina would like to get into the fold before it’s all said and done:

Rick Sandidge

The four-star defensive tackle out of North Carolina has been linked to the Gamecocks heavily for several months now, and with good reason. Sandidge’s mother is an alum who has been anything but shy about her preference for her son to attend South Carolina, all the while making it clear it’s very much his decision.

Sandidge released a list of seven schools he is still considering Monday evening, but this one is shaping up to be a Georgia - South Carolina affair. Michigan is heavy in the mix as well if he decides to stray from home. Regardless, this is one the Gamecocks will have to pursue at least through December.

Dorian Gerald

The coaching staff has maintained contact with Gerald since he committed to Tennessee in early July, but it’s still too early to tell whether he is a legitimate flip candidate.

However, the No. 1 ranked JUCO strongside defensive end did tell that he is in the process of scheduling an official visit to South Carolina. He has already schedule visits to Louisville and Tennesee and plans to take at least one more to LSU.

Channing Tindall

Tindall is a prime example of an under-recruited prospect that Muschamp jumped the boat on and has since rose to national stardom. A mid-tier 3-star recruit when the Gamecocks offered, Tindall is now ranked by 247Sports as the top outside linebacker in the country.

Luckily for South Carolina, they appear to be in the best position to land Tindall when he does decide to commit, which could be as early as mid-September. He would immediately become the crown-jewel of the defensive haul for 2018.

Tindall currently has a top five of South Carolina, Auburn, Georgia, Florida and Florida State.

Israel Mukuamu

The 6-foot-4 safety may not be a highly-touted four star recruit like some of these other guys, but he’s someone the coaching staff is high on and is continuing to pursue as they try to restock the shelves at defensive back.

Communication has not dropped off between the Gamecocks and Mukuamu since he committed to Florida State at the end of July - Phil Kornblut reported on Tuesday that the staff is still on him hard, and he plans to take an official visit to South Carolina.

Mukuamu did not sound very firm in his commitment, either, telling Kornblut, “Anything can happen.”

Josh Vann

The seesaw battle between Georgia and South Carolina for Vann has been one of the summer’s most interesting recruiting storylines to watch, and it seems to be coming to a close. Vann told recently that he hopes to commit in September, within the first two games of his regular season. More importantly, the four-star receiver said, “I feel like South Carolina has the edge.”

However, Vann has notoriously changed his mind about his leading school throughout the summer, so it’s no guarantee that he chooses the Gamecocks when he does commit in a few weeks.

Jaycee Horn

We are closing in on a month since the four-star cornerback originally planned to commit on July 15th, and there is almost nothing new to report. Horn continues to place Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee equally in his top three and has yet to specify a new decision date. He doesn’t seem to be in any rush, so expect this one to play out past official visits.

To be continued...