Four-star junior college prospects Marquavius Lewis and Davon Durant committed to South Carolina on Sunday morning, becoming the 23rd and 24th players to join the Gamecocks' 2015 class. Lewis, the top JUCO defensive end in the country, will likely end up being the most highly-rated commitment in the entire class. Durant isn't quite the jaw-dropping talent that Lewis is, but the 6'2, 240-pound inside linebacker is nevertheless tops at his position among junior college prospects.
Lewis will almost assuredly step in immediately and compete for playing time. If he doesn't win a starting job outright, the 6'4, 271-pound blue-chipper will doubtless be involved in South Carolina's defensive line rotation in some capacity. Not only is he physically ready to compete in the SEC, but the fact that he's on track to enroll this winter will give him an extra semester of practice to get acclimated to the Gamecocks' defense. Though Darius English and Gerald Dixon will have plenty of opportunity to prove themselves in 2014, many of the current occupants of the defensive end two-deepare likely to be overtaken by 2015 signees.
Though not for lack of talent, Durant's path to immediate playing time is less clear. Kaiwan Lewis will be a senior and the incumbent starting middle linebacker. Behind Lewis, TJ Holloman and Marcquis Roberts will be rising juniors. But if there's reason to think that Durant might be able to overcome the Gamecocks' depth at linebacker to make an instant impact, it's his high school's recent history of producing college-ready prospects. Both Durant and Lewis came out of Greenwood High School, which Gamecocks fans immediately recognize as the the alma mater of Kelcy Quarles, D.J. Swearinger, and Sam Montgomery. All three of those players stepped into talented defenses and contributed right away.
In late June we discussed how South Carolina could have its best-ever recruiting class if it picked up commitments from a handful of its top targets. Just over a month later, all but one of the prospects we identified has committed to the Gamecocks. The Gamecocks' 2015 recruiting class is now ranked No. 3 in the country according to the 247Sports Composite team rankings.