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Signing Day In Review: 2022 edition

It’s a new era for Gamecock football.

Syndication: The Greenville News JESSICA GALLAGHER/ Staff / USA TODAY NETWORK

Head coach Shane Beamer wanted to bring in a recruiting class that increased the competition level and improved the roster’s overall talent. For 2022, the NCAA granted up to 7 additional scholarships to the standard 25 allotment, as long as 7 or more players transferred out during the year. Two scholarships in the 2022 class were used on Karon Prunty and Zeb Noland, leaving South Carolina with 30 scholarships to offer instead of the full 32. Some numbers on the 2022 class are listed below:

29 recruits total:

  • 22 high school recruits
  • Note: 1 blueshirt that counts toward 2023
  • 7 Transfers

Rivals Team Ranking = 24th Overall

  • Note: Rivals does not currently calculate incoming transfers in their team rankings.

Star Power:

  • 1 recruit rated as 5 star
  • 8 recruits rated as 4 star
  • 15 recruits rated as 3 star
  • 4 recruits rated as 2 star
  • 1 recruit not ranked
  • Note: Incoming transfers high school rankings are included in the numbers above.

By State:

South Carolina = 5

  • Kylic Horton WR)
  • Zavier Short (WR)
  • Nick Emmanwori (LB)
  • Demetrius Watson (DT)
  • DeQuandre Smith (DB) (Blueshirt)

Georgia = 5

  • Grayson Mains (OL)
  • Cason Henry (OL)
  • Donovan Westmoreland (DE)
  • Felix Hixon (DT)
  • Emory Floyd (DB)

Florida = 5

  • Jamaal Whyce (DT)
  • Bryan Thomas (DE)
  • Kajuan Banks (DB)
  • Anthony Rose (DB)
  • Lovasea Carroll (RB) (Georgia)

Texas = 3

  • Landon Samson (WR)
  • Peyton Williams (DB)
  • Austin Stogner (TE) (Oklahoma)

Pennsylvania = 2

  • Ryan Brubaker (OL)
  • Keenan Nelson Jr. (DB)

Virginia = 2

  • D’Andre Martin (DT)
  • Antwane Wells (WR) (James Madison)

North Carolina = 2

  • Christian Beal-Smith (RB) (Wake Forest)
  • Terrell Dawkins (DE) (North Carolina State)

Mississippi = 1

  • Stone Blanton (LB)

Michigan = 1

  • Devonni Reed (DB) (Central Michigan)

Arizona = 1

  • Spencer Rattler (QB) (Oklahoma)

Delaware = 1

  • Braden Davis (QB)

Alabama = 1

  • Tanner Bailey (QB)

The blue print for future South Carolina classes has been set. Coaches like Shane Beamer who prioritize culture realize that the best way to build a roster is to recruit a mostly dominant high school class and then supplement with talented upperclassmen from the transfer portal. Not only did Beamer land loads of talent from the high school ranks, he also brilliantly mined the transfer portal - arguably bringing in the top transfer class for 2022.

When coach Beamer was hired, he inherited a small recruiting class and worked to keep those players committed to South Carolina. The 2021 class that was signed consisted of ten players that Beamer’s predecessor initially offered. He then added one high school recruit in Kolbe Fields and two junior college (JUCO) recruits in Bam Martin-Scott and Isaiah Norris. From there, coach Beamer went full bore into the transfer portal, attempting to add depth and fill holes as best as possible, bringing in nine players - or ten if Zeb Noland is counted amongst that number.

Fast forward to present day and the depth issues are no longer a major concern. Upgrading and developing talent across the program is where the staff can now pivot their efforts. The 2022 class is Beamer’s first in which he can focus on solely upgrading the roster instead of filling the glaring holes.

South Carolina is currently twelve players over the 85 scholarship limit and they still have two scholarships to give - if the staff chooses to do so. What that means is before the 2022 season arrives, twelve players will need to transfer out. If the last two scholarships are offered, fourteen players will need to transfer out. It’s likely there will be a trickling of transfers over the next few months, followed by a larger wave after spring practice, once it becomes clear where players stand on the depth chart.

South Carolina fans have good reason to be excited and should enter the 2022 season with high expectations. Coach Beamer has quickly flipped the roster and made major wholesale talent upgrades across the board. He’s won back the trust of high school coaches in the state of South Carolina and is firmly in the mix for many high profile prospects in coming years. The 2022 class set the foundation and the best is yet to come.