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Gamecocks football recruiting: JUCO OL Akeem Cooperwood commits

USC's recruiting class becomes a little (or a lot) bigger.

Milledgeville (Ga.) Union-Recorder

Tack on another for the South Carolina Gamecocks: big JUCO OL Akeem Cooperwood has committed to the program after a weekend spent in Columbia. Cooperwood was here for the cookout yesterday, but stuck around an extra day to camp with the team and made his pledge this afternoon. It's the second for the Gamecocks this weekend after in-state WR/DE Chris Smith verbaled yesterday.

If anything, Cooperwood, who played his high school ball at Knoxville (Tenn.) Fulton before going the JUCO route after graduating in 2014, adds size: 340 pounds of it up front, in fact. He was named to the NJCAA all-offensive second team after his freshman season at GMC.

Cooperwood will enroll at USC January 2016 after completing his studies at Georgia Military College and should be able to fight for playing time immediately, if not start right away: three of the four projected starters on the front five, Mike Matulis, Brandon Shell and Will Sport, are done after this year. We predicted after high school senior Will Putnam committed a few weeks back that the team would be adding some depth and age to their line to fill what will be one of their biggest needs in 2016, and getting Cooperwood into the fold certainly fits into that plan. Expect them to work Ashton Julious hard as the equally-stout JUCO prospect (listed as 341 lbs.) mulls his FBS prospects. If they land him, as well as Asheville (N.C.) senior Pete Leota, who came away from this weekend impressed and with USC in the lead, they should be good to go with two potential starters (Cooperwood and Julious) on board and Putnam and Leota as redshirt candidates next season.