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South Carolina Football Recruiting: Dakereon Joyner, OrTre Smith among visits; big-time targets return to campus

All of the day's recruiting news in one place.

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Visits Galore

- 2017 3-star tight end Drake Deiuliis of Charlotte stopped by the Gamecocks' practice on Thursday and said that a decision date may not be too far in the future. As it stands, South Carolina is very high on his offer sheet, which also includes North Carolina, Wake Forest, Duke and Virginia Tech. Deiuliis is a Clemson legacy, but they have not offered. He is rated as the 8th best tight end in the class of 2017. Nothing is set in stone, but don't be surprised if he ends up in Columbia at the end of the day.

- 4-star 2017 JUCO defensive lineman Josiah Coatney of Holmes C.C. has the Gamecocks high on his list after a recent run of visits, which included Ole Miss and Texas A&M. Coatney, who has family in South Carolina, will also take visits to Florida and Alabama before making his decision in early May. Many people believe he will ultimately sign with South Carolina when all is said and done.

- Big-time 2018 quarterback prospect Dakereon Joyner of Fort Dorchester High School in Charleston visited campus again on Thursday to check out the Gamecocks' last practice before the spring game. Joyner was on campus earlier in the week, and the more exposure he can get to the program, the better. Joyner is a versatile athlete behind center who was somewhat turned off by the old staff's lack of recruiting efforts. The new staff, however, has done a fantastic job of making him a big priority for 2018 and also sold him on the new era and vibe of the program. Joyner has been on campus a handful of times now unofficially just in the past few months, which could pay huge dividends at the end of the day with him.

- 4-star 2017 cornerback AJ Terrell was on campus Tuesday to check out the program and came away impressed with what he saw. The staff sold him hard on early playing time, which comes as no surprise given Will Muschamp's comments about the state of the secondary throughout spring ball. Terrell has an unofficial top group that includes South Carolina, Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Florida and Auburn in no order.

- One of the Gamecocks' biggest targets in the 2017 class, Wando wide receiver OrTre Smith, drove up to Columbia with a buddy on Tuesday and watched South Carolina practice, while also getting a chance to further engage with the new staff. Smith could be back on campus again on Saturday to watch the spring game, but no official word yet. Smith is an enormous in-state prospect for the Gamecocks at a position of need. Muschamp and the staff have made him a priority and have found their way into his top group. Although his mother went to Clemson, the Gamecocks have staying power here and should be in it until the very end.

- 2017 4-star defensive end Brad Johnson of Pendleton visited South Carolina unofficially on Wednesday and had a good time talking to the coaches and getting a chance to view the academic side of the school. Johnson, who many consider a Gamecock lean at this point, plans to be back in Columbia on Saturday for the spring game.


The Gamecocks offered 2017 3-star defensive end Matthew Butler of Garner, North Carolina on Tuesday.

Garner holds offers from Duke, Penn State, Georgia Tech and Arkansas.

- The Gamecocks also got into the game very early on Thursday with class of 2020 quarterback Drew Pyne of New Caanan, Connecticut.

While Pyne is just now going into his freshman year of high school, it never hurts to build relationships with prospects early on. He has drawn interest from Florida, Miami, Michigan, Nebraska, Southern Cal and Texas already, so the Gamecocks seem to be smart here in offering this early.

Bright Outlook

It's important for us as fans to appreciate what the new staff is doing right now on the recruiting trail. This long list of visits, most of them just in the last few days, should go as yet another example of our new staff doing a tremendous job of understanding what it takes to win at South Carolina. This kind of work being put into recruiting has already paid off for the Gamecocks and will continue to pay off in the future. Obviously everything will come down to the product these new coaches put onto the field at the end of the day, but Gamecock fans everywhere should feel very confident in how much work the new staff is putting into this end of the equation.