With the COVID-19 pandemic still going strong and the fate of fall’s football season still largely up in the air, you would be forgiven for letting college recruiting drop off your radar — especially since the Gamecocks had not been particularly active on that front, sporting a sad 69th national ranking from 247Sports as recently as a couple weeks ago.
Fortunately, things are starting to thaw, and South Carolina is moving on up after a flurry of recent recruiting activity. Here’s a brief recounting of the future Gamecocks who have entered the fold and boosted South Carolina’s class, which now stands at 40th nationally with 13 commitments.
Jayden Johnson, ATH
This three-star Swiss Army knife of a prospect hailing from Cedartown, Ga., dabbles in a little bit of everything for his high school team: defensive back, wide receiver, and even quarterback, though it seems likely the Gamecocks will try him out on defense. He chose South Carolina over Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma, Kansas State, and others.
Simeon Price, WR
Among the most recent of South Carolina’s pledges, Price is a three-star product out of Pensacola, Fla. Much like Johnson, he’s a versatile athlete and will likely spend most of his time on offense, but could moonlight at defensive back as well. He chose South Carolina over Arkansas, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, and others.
O’Mega Blake, WR
First of all, let me just state the obvious: O’Mega is the current clubhouse leader for best name in the class, and it’d take quite a bit to unseat him from that throne. He hails from Rock Hill’s South Pointe, a program that has been very good to the Gamecocks, and is a three-star receiver ranked fourth in the state. He also put out a pretty cool commitment video that’s worth a watch. Blake had a slew of offers, including Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Texas Tech, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan State, and N.C. State.
Derwin Burgess Jr., WR
South Carolina’s newest commitment, Burgess is another three-star offensive prospect out of Riverdale, Ga. Florida State and Tennessee were his other major offers, though his small school offers were highlighted by Appalachian State and East Carolina.
Jordan Davis, OT
This 6-foot-5, 288-pound tackle comes to Columbia from Fairburn, Ga., where he’s rated a three-star recruit. He got interest primarily from small schools, choosing the Gamecocks over Georgia Tech and Kansas when it came to his Power 5 offers.
JonDarius Morgan, OT
At 6-4 and 308, Morgan is currently an unranked prospect via Birmingham, Ala. He picked South Carolina over Arizona State, Louisville, Georgia Tech, and Syracuse.
It’s obvious there are a couple trends with these recent commits: South Carolina seems to be focusing on versatile playmakers able to suit up on offense or defense, with a tilt toward receivers, and some more big boys along the offensive line, which you can never have too many of. (Also, sure seems like we’re butting heads against Arkansas and Georgia Tech a lot, which...well, I don’t know if there are particularly flattering conclusions to draw from that, but it’s worth mentioning.) We’ll see how this class continues to progress, now that it’s starting to finally pick up a bit of steam.