Thursday did not exactly start well for the South Carolina Gamecocks, as they received crushing news in the morning that ballyhooed freshman MarShawn Lloyd would miss 2020 with an ACL tear.
However, five-star quarterback recruit Gunner Stockton came to the rescue, pulling the trigger and becoming South Carolina’s first 2022 commitment later that evening and salvaging what had been a rough day.
(I’m not sure if he specifically intended his decision to uplift a thoroughly demoralized fanbase, but that’s what I’m going with because that’s what it accomplished.)
This is, to put it simply folks, a Big Deal. Stockton, a dual-threat prospect out of Rabun County, Georgia, picked the Gamecocks over Georgia, and becomes the highest-rated quarterback recruit ever to join the program. A member of ESPN’s Junior 300, he’s the 54th-ranked recruit nationally, No. 6 in the state of Georgia, and rated the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in his class.
Last season, as a sophomore, Stockton threw for 3,473 yards, 43 touchdowns against six interceptions, and also ran for 1,126 yards and 19 touchdowns.
According to 247Sports, Stockton’s close, lengthy relationships with South Carolina offensive coordinator Mike Bobo and the Shaw family — his current coach is Jaybo, Connor’s brother — were key factors in his commitment. (Stockton even wears Connor Shaw’s No. 14.)
Whatever the case, this is absolutely a huge get for the Gamecocks and for coach Will Muschamp, who continues his surprising trend of luring highly-touted quarterbacks to Columbia.