I’m starting to realize that I may have made a misstatement when I previewed The Opening last weekend. I said that Jamyest Williams, a borderline five-star and a consensus top 10-11 corner on all of the major recruiting services, wasn’t likely to commit to South Carolina when it was all said and done.
Well, things just might be trending the Gamecocks’ way. The recent Crystal Ball prediction by 247Sports Southeast analyst Barton Simmons has Williams eventually setting up camp at South Carolina. Simmons explains his pick here ($), and if it does indeed come to pass - especially for a player right near Kirby Smart and Georgia’s backyard - that’s quite a get for Will Muschamp and the staff and could set the ball rolling for a number of players to start giving the Gamecocks a closer look. whether it’s in the 2017 or 2018 cycle.
Along with Simmons, other sources inside the Gamecocks program seem to see the smoke from the proverbial rooftop signaling that things might be working in South Carolina’s favor when it comes to the star high schooler from the eastern edge of the Atlanta metropolitan area.
Williams is set to unveil a Top 5 at some point during The Opening.
Now to another big target - this from the class of 2018. It’s not a stretch to think that South Carolina might hold the inside track for Xavier Thomas (also at The Opening). That’s not to say that they’re a lock to get him, but the high regard he holds them in - especially Will Muschamp - is a huge plus.
"I grew up watching coach Spurrier and I also imagined myself as (Jadeveon) Clowney, being him," he said. "Now that coach (Will) Muschamp is there, he’s telling me that I’m going to be the face of their program. That’s something that I’ve dreamed of since I was little."
It’s going to be a dogfight with (it looks like) Clemson to get this kid. As far as a decision date, Thomas told SEC Country’s Hale McGranahan that he would trim his list to four after the weekend is up, then possibly commit at the end of his junior year. The Gamecocks and Tigers shouldn’t sweat as they’re basically a lock to end up there. As for the other two? Florida State, Tennessee and Georgia were in his top five last year, but Ohio State has been making a charge, Thomas told McGranahan.
We’ll leave you with this tweet Thomas sent out of him working with a former B1G great.