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National Signing Day: What to know and what to expect for South Carolina

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The early signing period may have diminished National Signing Day, but it’s still a big event on the recruiting calendar.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

National Signing Day is finally here, and while its significance took a hit with the institution of December’s new early signing period, there are still a few dangling story lines that we’ll see resolved.

The story so far

First, a quick recap of where South Carolina’s 2018 recruiting class currently stands. Similar to most programs, the Gamecocks inked the majority of their prospects a couple months ago, and many of them are already on campus as early enrollees (indicated by an asterisk):

  • Four-star WR Josh Vann
  • Four-star QB Dakereon Joyner*
  • Four-star DB Jaycee Horn
  • Four-star DE Kingsley Enagbare*
  • Four-star OG Jovaughn Gywn
  • Four-star LB Rosendo Louis*
  • Four-star C Hank Manos*
  • Four-star OT Dylan Wonnum
  • Three-star CB Jonathan Gipson
  • Three-star OT Maxwell Iyama*
  • Three-star RB Deshaun Fenwick*
  • 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 S RJ Roderick*
  • Three-star DT Lamarius Benson
  • Three-star WR Darius Rush*

Notable

  • Hank Manos was bumped up to a four-star rating earlier this week by 247Sports.
  • Four-star JUCO DB Marlon Character Jr. was originally intended to be part of this class, but South Carolina pulled back when he was unable to meet the team’s request that he graduate in December. He hasn’t talked to other schools and will return to JUCO for the upcoming season.
  • Dylan Wonnum is the most recent commitment, having pledged to the Gamecocks last week.

Class rankings

  • ESPN: 17th
  • 247Sports: 19th
  • Rivals: 18th

Top remaining targets

  • Four-star defensive tackle Rick Sandidge of Concord, N.C., will choose between the Gamecocks and Georgia this afternoon at 2:30. He’s considered a South Carolina lean, though Kirby Smart has been a recruiting dynamo the past few months and can’t be ruled out.
  • Three-star defensive end John Mincey of Clinch County, Ga., will pick between South Carolina and Tennessee at 10 this morning. He was thought to be all Gamecock, but the Vols have apparently made a late charge.

Other names to watch

  • Three-star WR Ronnie Jamison did not sign in December due to issue with academics, and he’s not currently expected to make it in.
  • Four-star ATH Bryce Thompson out of Dutch Fork is another prospect dealing with academics. We’ll just have to see which way South Carolina chooses to go with this spot in the class: If Thompson signs but fails to qualify, the Gamecocks effectively “lose” that scholarship for 2018. But if they hold that spot open until the picture is more clear with Thompson’s grades, they can either sign him or move on if they have to and try to find a late replacement.