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South Carolina football recruiting: Gamecocks in final six for A.J. Terrell

The big-time Atlanta CB has the Gamecocks on the radar!

A.J. Terrell
A.J. Terrell
Student Sports

Gamecocks in Terrell's final group

4-star Atlanta area corner back AJ Terrell released his top six schools on Monday, and South Carolina made the cut.

Terrell is a big-time player at a position of need for the Gamecocks. If the staff is able to go into the state of Georgia and reel in a player of his caliber, it would be a big win for Muschamp and company. South Carolina has staying power here, as Terrell has already visited campus several times and has developed a strong relationship with defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson. He is certainly a name to keep an eye on going forward in the 2017 class.

Belk and Lawson put South Carolina on top

- Josh Belk, the second rated player in South Carolina and the 5th ranked defensive tackle in the nation in the 2018 class, announced after the cookout this past weekend that South Carolina is his leader at this time. While it is still early in the recruiting process for him and he admitted he still has many visits to take, this is phenomenal news for the Gamecocks. Belk has always had high interest in South Carolina and the new staff has made him a priority from the get go, which is obviously paying dividends early on. Belk is one of several nationally ranked in-state prospects that the Gamecocks are in good standing with in the 2018 class (Xavier Thomas, Dakereon Joyner, Derion Kendrick, just to name a few). This is an encouraging sign for South Carolina, who absolutely has to lock down these types of high-caliber players in their own backyard if they want to get back to competing on a national level.

- 2017 North Augusta defensive end Tre Lawson announced over the weekend that the Gamecocks are now his leader. South Carolina had previously been tied on top for Lawson with Florida State.

While the Seminoles are still a factor with him, Lawson to the Gamecocks has gained some traction in the last few days and some now believe he will ultimately end up choosing South Carolina when his recruitment is said and done. Lawson said he hears from the South Carolina staff every day.

Thomas, Urich come away impressed after cookout

- Defensive end Xavier Thomas of Wilson, the top ranked 2018 player in the state, was at the cookout on Saturday as well and again came away with positive vibes about the coaching staff, the city of Columbia and the school itself.

We've already touched on how important landing Thomas is for the Gamecocks several times, so the fact that he continues to connect South Carolina to "home" is a very positive sign. Don't forget, Thomas grew up a South Carolina fan, so there are several factors pointing towards good things down the line in his case.

- Quarterback prospect Jay Urich was at the cookout this weekend and spent a lot of his time with head coach Will Muschamp and offensive coordinator Kurt Roper. Urich came away from the visit knowing that he is the number one quarterback on the Gamecocks' board right now, which made a big impression on him, but he is still not looking to commit right away. He has a Tennessee visit to take and is receiving interest from Duke, so he wants to let the process settle some and weigh all of his options before making a decision. That being said, South Carolina is in a strong position with him and has a very good chance of ultimately landing him as their class of 2017 quarterback.

Or'Tre Smith trending towards Tigers?

There is less good news to report where 2017 4-star Wando receiver Or'Tre Smith is concerned. The Gamecocks were in a strong position with Smith, and still are, but Smith has now become a take at receiver for Clemson -€” where his mother played volleyball -€” and they are expected to put the full-court press on him going forward. It has been known all along that should Clemson press for Smith, they would be difficult to hold off; it was just a matter of if they would or not. It now appears that they will, and given that news, Smith to Clemson has gained a lot of traction in the past few days from national recruiting analysts. This is nothing South Carolina or its staff did wrong, but at this point in the process, it would be a surprise if Smith ended up anywhere but Clemson.

Two Volunteer state corners offered

The Gamecocks extended two offers to Tennessee defensive backs on Tuesday: 3-star Kaleb Oliver of Murfreesboro and 3-star TJ Carter of Nashville.

Oliver currently holds offers from Louisville, Vanderbilt and others, while Carter has offers on the table from Auburn, Kentucky, Mississippi State and Louisville, to name a few. The Gamecocks need serious help in the defensive secondary, as coach Muschamp has touched on several times, and are looking to take five or six defensive backs in the 2017 class. Oliver and Carter are solid, under the radar evaluations by the Gamecocks staff that South Carolina should have a realistic chance with going forward.

Gamecocks contact South Aiken's Richardson

South Carolina reached out to 3-star athlete and former Southern Mississippi commit Tancey Richardson on Monday and he seemed pretty excited about it.

Richardson was recently offered by Mississippi State and holds other offers from Colorado State and Southern Miss. While there is no offer yet from the Gamecocks staff, one could very well be on the way for Richardson.