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Stephon Taylor chooses South Carolina Gamecocks over Texas, Florida State on National Signing Day

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The Gamecocks beat the Longhorns and Seminoles for the stud DT's services.

It's clear that Will Muschamp has made it a priority to add key pieces to the South Carolina Gamecocks defense. He was able to pick up another huge piece of that puzzle today, as New Orleans defensive tackle Stephon Taylor spurned overtures from Texas and Florida State and committed to Muschamp on National Signing Day. He announced at a signing ceremony at his high school, McDonough 35, just after 9:40 AM Eastern Time.

Taylor, a consensus top 30-35 on all the major recruiting services, will hopefully boost a pass rush that has struggled for the Gamecocks. And the fact that the staff was able to make such a late charge is a surprise. As recently as January 25, Taylor was down to Texas and Florida State. That all changed when he took an official visit to South Carolina, where he met with Muschamp and his primary recruiters, Travaris Robinson and Lance Thompson. It appears that the visit and conversations were enough for Taylor to reconsider his standing with the Longhorns and Seminoles and to agree to join the Carolina program.

Taylor is a major recruiting win for the program, and shows the difference in approach between Steve Spurrier's staff and the Will Muschamp staff. While Spurrer took a very passive, hands-off approach to recruiting later in his tenure, Muschamp and his coaches have been much more proactive in selling the program, not just around the state (leaning on Bobby Bentley and his years of experience as one of South Carolina's most successful high school coaches), but around the Southeast as well.