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South Carolina football recruiting notebook: Positive vibes from Xavier Thomas, Tre Lawson

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

Xavier Thomas

Thomas stops by #SpursUp Tour in Florence

5-star 2018 defensive end Xavier Thomas surprised everyone and stopped by the Spurs Up tour today in Florence with his family to hear head coach Will Muschamp speak to the public. Thomas came away impressed once again with the program, particularly Gamecock Nation, who had a strong turn out, which is something that stuck out to Thomas in light of last season's 3-9 record.

Thomas continues to give off the impression that the Gamecocks are either close to, or in, the driver's seat with him as it stands today. His recruitment will be a marathon, not a sprint, but South Carolina is in a fabulous position right now to land one of the premier players in the entire 2018 class.

Belk gets big offer

2018 4-star defensive tackle Josh Belk, who recently named South Carolina his leader, got a big offer from Ohio State this week. While the Gamecocks are still the team to beat for his services, Ohio State looks to have staying power with him and could be in his recruitment for the long haul. Most experts believe he will ultimately land in Columbia, but should he choose to leave the state for school, there are some who believe Columbus is his most likely landing spot.

Two new offers

The Gamecocks were the first school to offer 2018 Greenwood, SC wide receiver Sam Pinckney on Wednesday.

Pinckney stands 6'4 and is a rising junior, so there is good upside in his case going forward.

The Gamecocks also offered 3-star 2017 defensive end Chris Whittaker of Hollywood, Florida on Wednesday. Whittaker holds offers from Colorado, Illinois, Purdue, NC State and others.

He is another tall defensive end and has some upside once his frame fills out. South Carolina should have staying power with him should they push and recruit him hard.

Gamecocks make the cut for two 4-star DT's

2018 4-star defensive tackle Robert Cooper of Snellville, Georgia released his top four schools and, not surprisingly, the Gamecocks made the cut.

Cooper has been high on South Carolina for some time and his list of top schools only reinforces the notion that the Gamecocks are in a very strong position for his services.

2018 4-star defensive tackle Rick Sandidge of Concord, North Carolina also released his top ten schools on Twitter Thursday and South Carolina made his cut.

Sandidge is considered a strong Tar Heel lean at this point in time, but the Gamecocks have time to make up some ground and stay in the game with him going forward.

Offer soon for Tancey Richardson?

South Carolina continues to show strong interest in South Aiken athlete Tancey Richardson. Richardson, who, judging from his social media activity, seems very high on the hometown Gamecocks, has updated his followers several times in the last few days on South Carolina coaches contacting him and coming to watch him practice. Thursday was no different, as defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson came by to see Richardson again and apparently plans to return again this afternoon.

Richardson has yet to receive an offer from the South Carolina staff, but the recent spike in activity with him seems to indicate one could be coming, which, for my money, wouldn't be a bad offer. There is something to be said for taking a hometown kid with a chip on his shoulder who wants to be a Gamecock, and that is the impression Richardson has given off since the moment South Carolina showed interest.

Lawson still trending Gamecocks

2017 3-star defensive end Tre Lawson of North Augusta continues to trend in favor of the Gamecocks. Most experts now agree it is very likely that Lawson ends up in the Garnet and Black and a commitment could come at some point this summer or before his senior year. For what it is worth, some believe Lawson to be undervalued at this point and there is some buzz that with a big senior campaign he could climb up the rankings of in-state players. At 6'6", Lawson is tall and long and has drawn early comparisons to Gamecock great Devin Taylor. He has tremendous upside and looks to be a very good get for South Carolina in the near future.