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Old 04-26-2013, 12:51 PM   #1
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Default 2014 Recruiting Impressions

I wanted to take some time out and put out some thoughts about our recruiting so far for the 2014 class.

As of today, USC is sitting with two commitments: instate blue chipper Joe Blue and Georgia's Bryson Allen-Williams. Both players sport solid-to-stellar offer sheets and probably even more important seem to be no threat to look around barring something unforseen happening to the program.

Both players fill a position of need for USC. Joe Blue can play both sides of the ball but it has been reported by various sites that the Gamecocks currently plan on using him as a Fullback/short yardage/H-Back type of player. At 5'11", 235 lbs, Blue is a player that could come in year 1 and take over the fullback role immediately. This position has become somewhat undervalued the past two seasons where USC has been more single back but with a growing stable of above average passers coming along, the offensive staff does plan to start working the 2-back sets back into the offense to create more playaction pass opportunities down the field. Blue could end up being a great blue collar player that clears room for one of the best backfields in the SEC, and becomes a threat in the passing game especially around the goal line.

Bryson Allen-Williams is the current gem of the class sporting a who's-who offer sheet and is considered one of the best players in this year's Georgia crop. BAW appears to be slated for the WILL linebacker spot when he arrives to USC next year. He is a guy that I believe played with his hand on the ground a lot of the time for his high school team but has absolutely blown up since February working at Linebacker in various camp settings. Long term, depending on how well the weight room treats him, I could make a case that he might be put in some situations where he does play a little Defensive End. Everybody knows by now how good of a player he is but it needs to be repeated that this was a huge win for USC in the state of Georgia. For the third year in a row, it appears USC is going to do some damage in the peach state.

So with 2 players in the boat already, lets take a look by position of where USC turns to next.

Quarterback: All you need to know at this time is Drew Barker has the only offer, Drew Barker's basket is where all the eggs are. If you have missed a day or two in the recruiting landscape, Ohio State has now missed on trying to flip Clemson commitment Deshaun Watson. Therefore, the Buckeyes are re-grouping and it appears Drew Barker is now officially on their radar and depending on how you look at it, its either awful timing on their part or awful timing for USC and Kentucky. I've not spoken much on Barker because I'm not completely convinced USC is where he wants to be. I think USC is in his Top 2 because they are his best offer to date (sorry Tennessee fans, its true) and GA Mangus is one hell of a recruiter. I think the reason he hasn't pledged to the instate school yet is because of the uncertainty in the program. Right now, no one knows how Stoops is going to do there. In fact, if Barker did commit to USC and Kentucky ended up having a 8-9 win season (yes, its unlikely), I don't think Barker would stick. But the biggest reason I don't think Barker is completely sold on USC is because he wants that Ohio State offer, even if it is late. This isn't the end of the recruiting process where he would feel rushed into making a decision. He still has until February so he doesn't have to be in a hurry and I think an Ohio State offer pushes his announcement plans back. Right now, I think its 55/45 USC over Kentucky and if the Buckeyes offer, USC will get dropped due to proximity from home. Again, thats my opinion, and no I haven't had anything given to me to support that claim.

If USC does miss on Barker, I expect them to offer bazooka arm Tyler Harris from Georgia, and then start checking in on Jalan McClendon from the Charlotte area, Andrew Ford from Pennsylvania who is coming off a very good camp, and Cole Garvin who is undersized but is a pretty passer from Georgia.


Running Backs - This part of the board seems to be taking shape quickly. Derrell Scott remains a priority but now the Gamecocks have worked their way into the game with Georgia stud, Nick Chubb. It has been reported that USC plans to take only one back this class so it appears we are headed for a who pulls the trigger first type situation. Right now, I think USC is going to come up just short with Chubb and will land Scott in the Summer. That could change though if Sony Michel, the nations #2 back, announces for Georgia. It'll be interesting to see if USC can use the draw of 'be the only back we take' to swing Chubb away from the Dawgs. Another name that could make things interesting, if he chooses to visit this Summer, is Shai McKenzie for Pennsylvania. It has been reported that he is a take as well and you can't rule out GA Mangus after he got David Williams last year.


Wide Receivers / Tight Ends - This has to be the most cloudy and fluid position on the board right now. These spots really drive the numbers in regards to how many players total USC can sign this class. I've been told that USC will take 3 receivers and 1 tight end. Other people believe USC will take 2 receivers 1 tight end, and I've even seen 2 receivers and 2 tight ends mentioned. This is going to be the thing to watch this Summer. Right now USC sits in great position with a handful of players. Shaq Davidson who is an in state stud from Gaffney, and Terry Googer who is an extremely athletic high school quarterback from Georgia appear to be the only sure fire locks at the moment in terms of 'takes' at receiver. Then the next tier appear to be instate Blake Bone, Florida's Isaiah Ford, North Carolina's Braxton Berrios, North Carolina's Jaylen Barbour, and to a lesser extend Florida commitment Ryshene Bronson. It appears right now that Blake Bone is the leader in the clubhouse as far as who would be the 3rd receiver. I think he has become more partial to staying in state and I think the USC coaches see him as a guy they had hoped or are hoping that KJ Brent could turn into. If USC landed Davidson, Googer, and Bone as their 3 receivers, they would fill their 3 receiver positions with Davidson at the Z (slot), Googer at the X, and Bone at the B.

Keep an eye on Isaiah Ford though. He is a guy that Bubba likes A LOT and if USC decides to go full bore on, they should be able to get him. He is probably my favorite receiver of the group.

As for Berrios, a month or two ago, I didn't see USC making much headway at all for Bone but since then they've been able to shoot into the lead and for what I said would be a sure thing (Berrios being a sure fire take) doesn't seem to be the case anymore. I think USC likes the kid a lot but it comes down to what the receiving corp is lacking and that is size with a jump ball receiver.

As for Tight End, the board is more defined but the numbers maybe aren't. Kevin Crosby appears to be the most wanted with instater Kalan Ritchie right behind him, Georgia's Milan Richard, and to an lesser extent Florida's Moral Stephens and Tennessee's Derek Barnett making up the rest of the board. What you may see here is USC take 2 if Ritchie and Crosby both want to come aboard with the understanding that one of them may get moved to defense down the line. If USC can't get both, I expect them to only end up with 1 TE this class.


Offensive Line - This part of the board seems to be down to North Carolina's Bentley Spain, instater Donnell Stanley, and to a lesser extent Georgia's Orlando Brown and Maryland's 5 star Damian Prince. It looks like only 2 lineman will be needed in this class and I expect the Bentley Spain piece to fall here shortly with the second piece a bit of a mystery now. While USC is still thought to be the leader, it has beeing reported that North Carolina is making a huge run at Donnell Stanley and are now a serious threat to pull him from the state. It would be interesting to see who USC would turn to if that happen as Orlando Brown plans to announce in May and Damian Prince is considered a long shot but has said he will visit this Summer. Someone that may be worth keeping an eye on is instate Nolan Kelleher who has offers from Georgia and Florida State.


Defensive Line - Quite possibly the biggest boom/bust section on the board. USC has positioned itself well with some very good players at the moment and it'll be interesting to see how Deke Adams chooses prioritize the positions. Right now, USC is charging for North Carolina's 5 star defensive tackle Lamont Gaillard, sitting at the top for instate defensive end Dexter Wideman, sitting a close 2nd to instate defensive tackle Poona Ford, and very much in the game for Kansas' Peyton Newell, Oklahoma's Deondre Clark, and Georgia's Andrew Williams. USC is hanging by a thread for the nations #1 player Da'Shawn Hand and Virginia's Andrew Brown. There are a couple of unknowns right now that are worth mentioning and that North Carolina's Lorenzo Featherston, New Jersey's Jesse Aniebonam, and Boston College commitment Harold Landry. Right now, I'm puzzled as to why there are not more pass rushers that have USC towards the top of their lists as it is a major need compared to defensive tackle at the moment for the Gamecocks. Obviously, you don't let guys like Gaillard and Ford slip away but I expect USC to end up with one defensive tackle and two or three defensive ends as of today. An above average or elite pass rusher is critical in this class.

Something to pay attention to is Devante Covington and Kendal Vickers and if they have to go to FUMA, and how the final verdict on Jhaustin Thomas effect the numbers.

I also think USC could end up being a major player for Featherston if they could ever get the guy on campus. He would be an excellent bookend opposite of Wideman. And I think Andrew Williams could end up being a guy they make a serious charge at. A recruitment that could be led by BAW.


Linebackers - For the most part, USC is done here with Bryson Allen-Williams. I think the only exception would be if a guy like Raekwon McMillan decides to take another visit this Summer. You have to remember that USC only plays 2 'linebackers' and the current players are all, I believe, either freshmen or sophomores. It is not a positon of need this year and they already got one of the best in the country in the boat.


Defensive Backs - This, to me, is the most fun position on the board because USC, well Grady Brown and Lorenzo Ward for the most part, have done major work so far. Right now, USC leads for instate stud Darin Smalls, is in the top 3 for Alabama 5 star Marlon Humphrey, Top 5 for New Jersey 4 star Jalen Tabor, Top 5 for Georgia's DJ Smith, Wesley Green, Staton Truitt, and Grant Haley. They are in the top 2 for Florida's Al Harris, are right in the game with Florida's John Battle and Quincy Wilson.

I think the number 1 priority that needs to be addressed is a shutdown corner and it appears Darrin Smalls is going to be the guy. But its worth keeping an eye on the orange crush of Clemson and Tennessee as both schools have really come on hard for him lately. Another guy that needs to be kept a close watch on, as been reported by various sites of the past month, is Wesley Green who fits the Gamecock defensive scheme to the T. I think its very realistic that USC can land both guys which would fill their need at Corner and then be able to focus on bringing in an ELITE safety prospect.

Some will think I'm crazy, but if USC gets Marlon Humphrey on campus and everything goes well and they can lock down an OV, look out. If USC is going to go big at Safety, he would be the guy that fits the bill. I also think John Battle would be an excellent pick up as well and its been reported that he is a very high priority of the Gamecock staff.


So in summary, this is how I feel the USC class will shake out. Note that I am assuming a 15 man class and I am also assuming that Kendal Vickers and Devante Covington WILL NOT qualify this year.

QB - None
RB - Derrell Scott
FB - Joe Blue
WR - Shaq Davidson/Terry Googer/Blake Bone
TE - Kevin Crosby
OL - Bentley Spain
DL - Dexter Wideman/Lamont Gaillard/Devante Covington/Kendal Vickers
LB - Bryson Allen-Williams
DB- Darrin Smalls/Wesley Green/John Battle


I know you all will see that I put Gaillard and not Ford. I know that proximity from home is going to play a big role, but I believe that Robert Gillespie is going to beat out Everette Sands in the end. For various reasons, it is extremely difficult for USC, and Clemson for that matter, to get pipelines started into the coastal part of SC. But with that being said I'm thinking that Deke Adams will continue to lead the charge and use proximity from home against Georgia to grab his first big commitment of his tenure at USC in Gaillard (I know Georgia fans, you guys lead) and even though I didn't include him, I wouldn't be surprised if USC found room for Gaillard's teammate Harold Landry.

You probably also notice I put 1 offensive lineman. That is a bit of a guess because I'm not confident at all on predicting Stanley, and there is a lot of smoke right now about North Carolina. You could probably swap John Battle at Safety for him. Maybe even swap Battle for Kelleher or some guy Elliott offers this Summer during camps. But again, its just my guess.


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Last edited by CoverTwo; 04-26-2013 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:06 PM   #2
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Default Re: Recruiting Impressions

I don't know. I think if we miss on Parker, yeah we will offer other guys but it will be too late to get anyone higher up on the list. I think we'll strike out. We're more likely to get Parker than we are #2-5 at this point. Maybe we dig and dig and find some no one is really going after like we did with Clifford. I have to disagree with you that we won't get a QB, though. I think we'll get Barker. Funny how we both seemed to switched our takes Though, I didn't ever think we wouldn't get a QB I thought we'd likely get one, but I was just saying we MIGHT not because it's not a need. We have Orth now and seems pretty good. Most likely imo = 1. We get Barker 2. We miss on Barker and find some diamond in the rough. 3. we don't take a QB. On, Ford... face it, you just don't like Sands as a recruiter I'm just hoping we get Adams more involved there. I also don't think we'll get all those DBs, I think we'll get more OL than that, at least Stanley. I don't see the Tarheels beating us out for him. I also think Hand is more likely to be a Gamecock to Galliard. I don't know, I am not as swayed by all the "recent recruiting developments." They change all the time. We're hanging by a thread with Hand? Not sure about that.

Last edited by ReadR00ster; 04-26-2013 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:30 PM   #3
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Default Re: Recruiting Impressions

Good write up, C2.

Doesn't Spain have a shoulder injury? Hate to worry about that with another OL.

Marlon Humphrey's situation may boil down to one thing. Take the sure bet and follow his legacy to BAMA or go the route less traveled and not follow in his father's footsteps to that school and try to make his own reputation elsewhere. Ain't holding my breath over that one, but that is how I would aim my recruiting for him.

As for Barker? I wouldn't put it past Calipari to offer him a walk on slot for the basketball team. If he does, that's a game ender.
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: Recruiting Impressions

From what I hear from latta.. Stanley is unc bound. What I'm hearing from barker camp is usc May be out of the race soon because of the UM affect. Lamont gaillard is a longshot imo. And wesley green will commit to us in may according to BAW
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:01 PM   #5
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Default Re: Recruiting Impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoverTwo View Post
I wanted to take some time out and put out some thoughts about our recruiting so far for the 2014 class.

As of today, USC is sitting with two commitments: instate blue chipper Joe Blue and Georgia's Bryson Allen-Williams. Both players sport solid to stellar offer sheets and probably even more important seem to be no threat to look around barring something unforseen happening to the program.

Both players fill a position of need for USC. Joe Blue can play both sides of the ball but it has been reported by various sites that the Gamecocks currently plan on using him as a Fullback/short yardage/H-Back type of player. At 5'11", 235 lbs, Blue is a player that could come in year 1 and take over the fullback role immediately. This position has become somewhat undervalued the past two seasons where USC has been more single back but with a growing stable of above average passers coming along, the offensive staff does plan to start working the 2-back sets back into the offense to create more playaction pass opportunities down the field. Blue could end up being a great blue collar player that clears room for one of the best backfields in the SEC, and becomes a threat in the passing game especially around the goal line.

Bryson Allen-Williams is the current gem of the class sporting a who's who offer sheet and considered one of the best players in this year's Georgia crop. BAW appears to be slated for the WILL linebacker spot when he arrives to USC next year. He is a guy that I believe played with his hand on the ground a lot of the time for his high school team but has absolutely blown up since February working at Linebacker in various camp settings. Long term, depending on how well the weight room treats him, I could make a case that he might be put in some situations where he does play a little Defensive End. Everybody knows by now how good of a player he is but it needs to be repeated that this was a huge win for USC in the state of Georgia. For the third year in a row, it appearsUSC is going to do some damage in the peach state.

So with 2 players in the boat already, lets take a look by position of where USC turns to next.

Quarterback: All you need to know at this time is Drew Barker has the only offer, Drew Barker's basket is where all the eggs are. If you have missed a day or two in the recruiting landscape, Ohio State has now missed on trying to flip Clemson commitment Deshaun Watson. Therefore, the Buckeyes are re-grouping and it appears Drew Barker is now officially on their radar and depending on how you look at it, its either awful timing on their part or awful timing for USC and Kentucky. I've not spoken much on Barker because I'm not completely convinced USC is where he wants to be. I think USC is in his Top 2 because they are his best offer to date (sorry Tennessee fans, its true) and GA Mangus is one hell of a recruiter. I think the reason he hasn't pledged to the instate school yet is because of the uncertainty in the program. Right now, no one knows how Stoops is going to do there. In fact, if Barker did commit to USC and Kentucky ended up having a 8-9 win season (yes, its unlikely), I don't think Barker would stick. But the biggest reason I don't think Barker is completely sold on USC is because he wants that Ohio State offer, even if it is late. This isn't the end of the recruiting process where he would feel rushed into making a decision. He still has until February so he doesn't have to be in a hurry and I think an Ohio State offer pushes his announcement plans back. Right now, I think its 55/45 USC over Kentucky and if the Buckeyes offer, USC will get dropped due to proximity from home. Again, thats my opinion, and no I haven't had anything given to me to support that claim.

If USC does miss on Barker, I expect them to offer bazooka arm Tyler Harris from Georgia, and then start checking in on Jalan McClendon from the Charlotte area, Andrew Ford from Pennsylvania who is coming off a very good camp, and Cole Garvin who is undersized but is a pretty passer from Georgia.


Running Backs - This part of the board seems to be taking shape quickly. Derrell Scott remains a priority but now the Gamecocks have worked their way into the game with Georgia stud, Nick Chubb. It has been reported that USC plans to take only one back this class so it appears we are headed for a who pulls the trigger first type situation. Right now, I think USC is going to come up just short with Chubb and will land Scott in the Summer. That could change though if Sony Michel, the nations #2 back, announces for Georgia. It'll be interesting to see if USC can use the draw of 'be the only back we take' to swing Chubb away from the Dawgs. Another name that could make things interesting, if he chooses to visit this Summer, is Shai McKenzie for Pennsylvania. It has been reported that he is a take as well and you can't rule out GA Mangus after he got David Williams last year.


Wide Receivers / Tight Ends - This has to be the most cloudy and fluid position on the board right now. These spots really drive the numbers in regards to how many players total USC can sign this class. I've been told that USC will take 3 receivers and 1 tight end. Other people believe USC will take 2 receivers 1 tight end, and I've even seen 2 receivers and 2 tight ends mentioned. This is going to be the thing to watch this Summer. Right now USC sits in great position with a handful of players. Shaq Davidson who is an in state stud from Gaffney, and Terry Googer who is an extremely athletic high school quarterback from Georgia appear to be the only sure fire locks at the moment in terms of 'takes' at receiver. Then the next tier appear to be instate Blake Bone, Florida's Isaiah Ford, North Carolina's Braxton Berrios, North Carolina's Jaylen Barbour, and to a lesser extend Florida commitment Ryshene Bronson. It appears right now that Blake Bone is the leader in the clubhouse as far as who would be the 3rd receiver. I think he has become more partial to staying in state and I think the USC coaches see him as a guy they had hoped or are hoping that KJ Brent could turn into. If USC landed Davidson, Googer, and Bone as their 3 receivers, they would fill their 3 receiver positions with Davidson at the Z (slot), Googer at the X, and Bone at the B.

Keep an eye on Isaiah Ford though. He is a guy that Bubba likes A LOT and if USC decides to go full bore on, they should be able to get him. He is probably my favorite receiver of the group.

As for Berrios, a month or two ago, I didn't see USC making much headway at all for Bone but since then they've been able to shoot into the lead and for what I said would be a sure thing (Berrios being a sure fire take) doesn't seem to be the case anymore. I think USC likes the kid a lot but it comes down to what the receiving corp is lacking and that is size with a jump ball receiver.

As for Tight End, the board is more defined but the numbers maybe aren't. Kevin Crosby appears to be the most wanted with instater Kalan Ritchie right behind him, Georgia's Milan Richard, and to an lesser extent Florida's Moral Stephens and Tennessee's Derek Barnett making up the rest of the board. What you may see here is USC take 2 if Ritchie and Crosby both want to come aboard with the understanding that one of them may get moved to defense down the line. If USC can't get both, I expect them to only end up with 1 TE this class.


Offensive Line - This part of the board seems to be down to North Carolina's Bentley Spain, instater Donnell Stanley, and to a lesser extent Georgia's Orlando Brown and Maryland's 5 star Damian Prince. It looks like only 2 lineman will be needed in this class and I expect the Bentley Spain peice to fall here shortly with the second peice a bit of a mystery now. While USC is still thought to be the leader, it has beeing reported that North Carolina is making a huge run at Donnell Stanley and are now a serious threat to pull him from the state. It would be interesting to see who USC would turn to if that happen as Orlando Brown plans to announce in May and Damian Prince is considered a long shot but has said he will visit this Summer. Someone that may be worth keeping an eye on is instate Nolan Kelleher who has offers from Georgia and Florida State.


Defensive Line - Quite possibly the biggest boom/bust section on the board. USC has positioned itself well with some very good players at the moment and it'll be interesting to see how Deke Adams chooses prioritize the positions. Right now, USC is charging for North Carolina's 5 star defensive tackle Lamont Gaillard, sitting at the top for instate defensive end Dexter Wideman, sitting a close 2nd to instate defensive tackle Poona Ford, and very much in the game for Kansas' Peyton Newell, Oklahoma's Deondre Clark, and Georgia's Andrew Williams. USC is hanging by a thread for the nations #1 player Da'Shawn Hand and Virginia's Andrew Brown. There are a couple of unknowns right now that are worth mentioning and that North Carolina's Lorenzo Featherston, New Jersey's Jesse Aniebonam, and Boston College commitment Harold Landry. Right now, I'm puzzled as to why there are not more pass rushers that have USC towards the top of their lists as it is a major need compared to defensive tackle at the moment for the Gamecocks. Obviously, you don't let guys like Gaillard and Ford slip away but I expect USC to end up with one defensive tackle and two for three defensive ends as of today. An above average or elite pass rusher is critical in this class.

Something to pay attention to how Devante Covington and Kendal Vickers if they have to go to FUMA, and what the final verdict on Jhaustin Thomas effect the numbers.

I also think USC could end up being a major player for Featherston if they could ever get the guy on campus. He would be an excellent bookend opposite of Wideman. And I think Andrew Williams could end up being a guy they make a serious charge at. A recruitment that could be led by BAW.


Linebackers - For the most part, USC is done here with Bryson Allen-Williams. I think the only exception would be if a guy like Raekwon McMillan decides to take another visit this Summer. You have to remember that USC only plays 2 'linebacker' and the current players are all, I believe, either freshmen or sophomores. It is not a positon of need this year and they already got one of the best in the country in the boat.


Defensive Backs - This, to me, is the most fun positon on the board because USC, well Grady Brown and Lorenzo Ward for the most part, have done major work so far. Right now, USC leads for instate stud Darin Smalls, is in the top 3 for Alabama 5 star Marlon Humphrey, Top 5 for New Jersey 4 star Jalen Tabor, Top 5 for Georgia's DJ Smith, Wesley Green, Staton Truitt, and Grant Haley. They are in the top 2 for Florida's Al Harris, are right in the game with Florida's John Battle and Quincy Wilson.

I think the number 1 priority that needs to be addressed is a shutdown corner and it appears Darrin Smalls is going to be the guy. But its worth keeping an eye on the orange crush of Clemson and Tennessee as both schools have really come on hard for him lately. Another guy that needs to be kept a close watch on, as been reported by various sites of the past month is Wesley Green who fits the Gamecock defensive scheme to the T. I think its very realistic that USC can land both guys which would fill their need at Corner and then be able to focus on bringing in an ELITE safety prospect.

Some will think I'm crazy, but if USC gets Marlon Humphrey on campus and everything goes well and they can lock down an OV, look out. If USC is going to go big at Safety, he would be the guy that fits the bill. I also think John Battle would be an excellent pick up as well and its been reported that he is a very high priority of the Gamecock staff.


So in summary, this is how I feel the USC class will shake out. Note that I am assuming a 15 man class and I am also assuming that Kendal Vickers and Devante Covington WILL NOT qualify this year.

QB - None
RB - Derrell Scott
FB - Joe Blue
WR - Shaq Davidson/Terry Googer/Blake Bone
TE - Kevin Crosby
OL - Bentley Spain
DL - Dexter Wideman/Lamont Gaillard/Devante Covington/Kendal Vickers
LB - Bryson Allen-Williams
DB- Darrin Smalls/Wesley Green/John Battle


I know you all will see that I put Gaillard and not Ford. I know that proximity from home is going to play a big role, but I believe that Robert Gillespie is going to beat out Everette Sands in the end. For various reasons, it is extremely difficult for USC, and Clemson for that matter, to get pipelines started into the coastal part of SC. But with that being said I'm thinking that Deke Adams will continue to lead the charge and use proximity from home against Georgia to grab his first big commitment of his tenure at USC in Gaillard (I know Georgia fans, you guys lead) and even though I didn't include him, I wouldn't be surprised if USC found room for Gaillard's teammate Harold Landry.

You probably also notice I put 1 offensive lineman. That is a bit of a guess because I'm not confident at all on predicting Stanley, and there is a lot of smoke right now about North Carolina. You could probably swap John Battle at Safety for him. Maybe even swap Battle for Kelleher or some guy Elliott offers this Summer during camps. But again, its just my guess.


Can't believe it is only April.

I agree 100% on everything you said, but I agree 110% about the value of the fullback position we have missed the last two seasons.. I know Latti's first knee injury was somewhat of a fluke, but I feel he would of never suffered either of his major knee injuries if we had a solidified FB... Most of us really didn't understand the magnitude Dimarco was for this team in 2010 to how much he contributed to Marcus's breakout freshman season.. Including me
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: Recruiting Impressions

Could you please elaborate on this point:

"For various reasons, it is extremely difficult for USC, and Clemson for that matter, to get pipelines started into the coastal part of SC."
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:32 PM   #7
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From what I hear from latta.. Stanley is unc bound. What I'm hearing from barker camp is usc May be out of the race soon because of the UM affect. Lamont gaillard is a longshot imo. And wesley green will commit to us in may according to BAW
Did we pass on him? If not, this is a head-scratcher.
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:38 PM   #8
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Could you plea elaborate on this point:

"For various reasons, it is extremely difficult for USC, and Clemson for that matter, to get pipelines started into the coastal part of SC."

My guess is that it is the mindset of Low Country folk. It is just different. For example, I was born in Columbia and both of my parents ancestors settled in Lexington County in 1755 and many descendants still live there. However, I was raised in Charleston from 3 years old until the family moved back to the Midlands 11 years later.

When I lived down there, I and everyone else I knew never talked about Carolina or Clempson and any media coverage was meager. They might as well didn't exist. I grew up a Citadel fan. It wasn't until we moved back to Columbia that I even knew my folks were lifetime Carolina fans, especially on my Dad's side of the family.

I guess it might be the distance involved between the Low Country and the two schools, but it just seems anything outside the Low Country seems foreign, so to speak, not on the radar. The pace of life seemed a tad slower and relaxed, too. Granted, I grew up down there in the late 1950's through the late 1960's, but I would be surprised if that line of thought has altered much. Even though I have not lived down there in well over 40 years, I still consider myself to be a Low Country boy at heart.
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:59 PM   #9
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Would be a disappointment if we missed on Stanley. It does seem we're getting deeper in the OL, and signing five during the last cycle was big, but I feel like we still need one or two bodies there to feel safe. Missing on Barker would suck too, but I think we will be ok at QB IF no one transfers out.

DL is another intriguing position. It seems like we're in the mix for a lot of names, but not at the top for very many of them. Gaillard and Wideman would be great additions, as well as Andrew Williams if we can get some help from BAW.

DB should, in my opinion, be our best unit this cycle.
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Old 04-26-2013, 03:19 PM   #10
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I wanted to take some time out and put out some thoughts about our recruiting so far for the 2014 class.

As of today, USC is sitting with two commitments: instate blue chipper Joe Blue and Georgia's Bryson Allen-Williams. Both players sport solid-to-stellar offer sheets and probably even more important seem to be no threat to look around barring something unforseen happening to the program.

Both players fill a position of need for USC. Joe Blue can play both sides of the ball but it has been reported by various sites that the Gamecocks currently plan on using him as a Fullback/short yardage/H-Back type of player. At 5'11", 235 lbs, Blue is a player that could come in year 1 and take over the fullback role immediately. This position has become somewhat undervalued the past two seasons where USC has been more single back but with a growing stable of above average passers coming along, the offensive staff does plan to start working the 2-back sets back into the offense to create more playaction pass opportunities down the field. Blue could end up being a great blue collar player that clears room for one of the best backfields in the SEC, and becomes a threat in the passing game especially around the goal line.

Bryson Allen-Williams is the current gem of the class sporting a who's-who offer sheet and is considered one of the best players in this year's Georgia crop. BAW appears to be slated for the WILL linebacker spot when he arrives to USC next year. He is a guy that I believe played with his hand on the ground a lot of the time for his high school team but has absolutely blown up since February working at Linebacker in various camp settings. Long term, depending on how well the weight room treats him, I could make a case that he might be put in some situations where he does play a little Defensive End. Everybody knows by now how good of a player he is but it needs to be repeated that this was a huge win for USC in the state of Georgia. For the third year in a row, it appears USC is going to do some damage in the peach state.

So with 2 players in the boat already, lets take a look by position of where USC turns to next.

Quarterback: All you need to know at this time is Drew Barker has the only offer, Drew Barker's basket is where all the eggs are. If you have missed a day or two in the recruiting landscape, Ohio State has now missed on trying to flip Clemson commitment Deshaun Watson. Therefore, the Buckeyes are re-grouping and it appears Drew Barker is now officially on their radar and depending on how you look at it, its either awful timing on their part or awful timing for USC and Kentucky. I've not spoken much on Barker because I'm not completely convinced USC is where he wants to be. I think USC is in his Top 2 because they are his best offer to date (sorry Tennessee fans, its true) and GA Mangus is one hell of a recruiter. I think the reason he hasn't pledged to the instate school yet is because of the uncertainty in the program. Right now, no one knows how Stoops is going to do there. In fact, if Barker did commit to USC and Kentucky ended up having a 8-9 win season (yes, its unlikely), I don't think Barker would stick. But the biggest reason I don't think Barker is completely sold on USC is because he wants that Ohio State offer, even if it is late. This isn't the end of the recruiting process where he would feel rushed into making a decision. He still has until February so he doesn't have to be in a hurry and I think an Ohio State offer pushes his announcement plans back. Right now, I think its 55/45 USC over Kentucky and if the Buckeyes offer, USC will get dropped due to proximity from home. Again, thats my opinion, and no I haven't had anything given to me to support that claim.

If USC does miss on Barker, I expect them to offer bazooka arm Tyler Harris from Georgia, and then start checking in on Jalan McClendon from the Charlotte area, Andrew Ford from Pennsylvania who is coming off a very good camp, and Cole Garvin who is undersized but is a pretty passer from Georgia.


Running Backs - This part of the board seems to be taking shape quickly. Derrell Scott remains a priority but now the Gamecocks have worked their way into the game with Georgia stud, Nick Chubb. It has been reported that USC plans to take only one back this class so it appears we are headed for a who pulls the trigger first type situation. Right now, I think USC is going to come up just short with Chubb and will land Scott in the Summer. That could change though if Sony Michel, the nations #2 back, announces for Georgia. It'll be interesting to see if USC can use the draw of 'be the only back we take' to swing Chubb away from the Dawgs. Another name that could make things interesting, if he chooses to visit this Summer, is Shai McKenzie for Pennsylvania. It has been reported that he is a take as well and you can't rule out GA Mangus after he got David Williams last year.


Wide Receivers / Tight Ends - This has to be the most cloudy and fluid position on the board right now. These spots really drive the numbers in regards to how many players total USC can sign this class. I've been told that USC will take 3 receivers and 1 tight end. Other people believe USC will take 2 receivers 1 tight end, and I've even seen 2 receivers and 2 tight ends mentioned. This is going to be the thing to watch this Summer. Right now USC sits in great position with a handful of players. Shaq Davidson who is an in state stud from Gaffney, and Terry Googer who is an extremely athletic high school quarterback from Georgia appear to be the only sure fire locks at the moment in terms of 'takes' at receiver. Then the next tier appear to be instate Blake Bone, Florida's Isaiah Ford, North Carolina's Braxton Berrios, North Carolina's Jaylen Barbour, and to a lesser extend Florida commitment Ryshene Bronson. It appears right now that Blake Bone is the leader in the clubhouse as far as who would be the 3rd receiver. I think he has become more partial to staying in state and I think the USC coaches see him as a guy they had hoped or are hoping that KJ Brent could turn into. If USC landed Davidson, Googer, and Bone as their 3 receivers, they would fill their 3 receiver positions with Davidson at the Z (slot), Googer at the X, and Bone at the B.

Keep an eye on Isaiah Ford though. He is a guy that Bubba likes A LOT and if USC decides to go full bore on, they should be able to get him. He is probably my favorite receiver of the group.

As for Berrios, a month or two ago, I didn't see USC making much headway at all for Bone but since then they've been able to shoot into the lead and for what I said would be a sure thing (Berrios being a sure fire take) doesn't seem to be the case anymore. I think USC likes the kid a lot but it comes down to what the receiving corp is lacking and that is size with a jump ball receiver.

As for Tight End, the board is more defined but the numbers maybe aren't. Kevin Crosby appears to be the most wanted with instater Kalan Ritchie right behind him, Georgia's Milan Richard, and to an lesser extent Florida's Moral Stephens and Tennessee's Derek Barnett making up the rest of the board. What you may see here is USC take 2 if Ritchie and Crosby both want to come aboard with the understanding that one of them may get moved to defense down the line. If USC can't get both, I expect them to only end up with 1 TE this class.


Offensive Line - This part of the board seems to be down to North Carolina's Bentley Spain, instater Donnell Stanley, and to a lesser extent Georgia's Orlando Brown and Maryland's 5 star Damian Prince. It looks like only 2 lineman will be needed in this class and I expect the Bentley Spain piece to fall here shortly with the second piece a bit of a mystery now. While USC is still thought to be the leader, it has beeing reported that North Carolina is making a huge run at Donnell Stanley and are now a serious threat to pull him from the state. It would be interesting to see who USC would turn to if that happen as Orlando Brown plans to announce in May and Damian Prince is considered a long shot but has said he will visit this Summer. Someone that may be worth keeping an eye on is instate Nolan Kelleher who has offers from Georgia and Florida State.


Defensive Line - Quite possibly the biggest boom/bust section on the board. USC has positioned itself well with some very good players at the moment and it'll be interesting to see how Deke Adams chooses prioritize the positions. Right now, USC is charging for North Carolina's 5 star defensive tackle Lamont Gaillard, sitting at the top for instate defensive end Dexter Wideman, sitting a close 2nd to instate defensive tackle Poona Ford, and very much in the game for Kansas' Peyton Newell, Oklahoma's Deondre Clark, and Georgia's Andrew Williams. USC is hanging by a thread for the nations #1 player Da'Shawn Hand and Virginia's Andrew Brown. There are a couple of unknowns right now that are worth mentioning and that North Carolina's Lorenzo Featherston, New Jersey's Jesse Aniebonam, and Boston College commitment Harold Landry. Right now, I'm puzzled as to why there are not more pass rushers that have USC towards the top of their lists as it is a major need compared to defensive tackle at the moment for the Gamecocks. Obviously, you don't let guys like Gaillard and Ford slip away but I expect USC to end up with one defensive tackle and two or three defensive ends as of today. An above average or elite pass rusher is critical in this class.

Something to pay attention to is Devante Covington and Kendal Vickers and if they have to go to FUMA, and how the final verdict on Jhaustin Thomas effect the numbers.

I also think USC could end up being a major player for Featherston if they could ever get the guy on campus. He would be an excellent bookend opposite of Wideman. And I think Andrew Williams could end up being a guy they make a serious charge at. A recruitment that could be led by BAW.


Linebackers - For the most part, USC is done here with Bryson Allen-Williams. I think the only exception would be if a guy like Raekwon McMillan decides to take another visit this Summer. You have to remember that USC only plays 2 'linebackers' and the current players are all, I believe, either freshmen or sophomores. It is not a positon of need this year and they already got one of the best in the country in the boat.


Defensive Backs - This, to me, is the most fun position on the board because USC, well Grady Brown and Lorenzo Ward for the most part, have done major work so far. Right now, USC leads for instate stud Darin Smalls, is in the top 3 for Alabama 5 star Marlon Humphrey, Top 5 for New Jersey 4 star Jalen Tabor, Top 5 for Georgia's DJ Smith, Wesley Green, Staton Truitt, and Grant Haley. They are in the top 2 for Florida's Al Harris, are right in the game with Florida's John Battle and Quincy Wilson.

I think the number 1 priority that needs to be addressed is a shutdown corner and it appears Darrin Smalls is going to be the guy. But its worth keeping an eye on the orange crush of Clemson and Tennessee as both schools have really come on hard for him lately. Another guy that needs to be kept a close watch on, as been reported by various sites of the past month, is Wesley Green who fits the Gamecock defensive scheme to the T. I think its very realistic that USC can land both guys which would fill their need at Corner and then be able to focus on bringing in an ELITE safety prospect.

Some will think I'm crazy, but if USC gets Marlon Humphrey on campus and everything goes well and they can lock down an OV, look out. If USC is going to go big at Safety, he would be the guy that fits the bill. I also think John Battle would be an excellent pick up as well and its been reported that he is a very high priority of the Gamecock staff.


So in summary, this is how I feel the USC class will shake out. Note that I am assuming a 15 man class and I am also assuming that Kendal Vickers and Devante Covington WILL NOT qualify this year.

QB - None
RB - Derrell Scott
FB - Joe Blue
WR - Shaq Davidson/Terry Googer/Blake Bone
TE - Kevin Crosby
OL - Bentley Spain
DL - Dexter Wideman/Lamont Gaillard/Devante Covington/Kendal Vickers
LB - Bryson Allen-Williams
DB- Darrin Smalls/Wesley Green/John Battle


I know you all will see that I put Gaillard and not Ford. I know that proximity from home is going to play a big role, but I believe that Robert Gillespie is going to beat out Everette Sands in the end. For various reasons, it is extremely difficult for USC, and Clemson for that matter, to get pipelines started into the coastal part of SC. But with that being said I'm thinking that Deke Adams will continue to lead the charge and use proximity from home against Georgia to grab his first big commitment of his tenure at USC in Gaillard (I know Georgia fans, you guys lead) and even though I didn't include him, I wouldn't be surprised if USC found room for Gaillard's teammate Harold Landry.

You probably also notice I put 1 offensive lineman. That is a bit of a guess because I'm not confident at all on predicting Stanley, and there is a lot of smoke right now about North Carolina. You could probably swap John Battle at Safety for him. Maybe even swap Battle for Kelleher or some guy Elliott offers this Summer during camps. But again, its just my guess.


Can't believe it is only April.
Personally I'd like to see maybe one or two more names added to that list of potential commits, but that's still a pretty solid class.
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Old 04-26-2013, 03:28 PM   #11
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Default Re: Recruiting Impressions

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Personally I'd like to see maybe one or two more names added to that list of potential commits, but that's still a pretty solid class.
If we actually did finish this recruiting cycle with that exact list C2 posted, then I would be kind of upset. Don't get me wrong, all of those guys are solid players, but to miss out on Stanley, Ford, and Barker would be disappointing. Plus, I'm not sold on Vickers. However though, I still feel we land Barker and Ford.
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Old 04-26-2013, 03:45 PM   #12
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C2, Are we in good position with DB John Battle, 247 has FSU and LSU as his top 2. Just curious because I have never heard anything on him regarding USC.
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Old 04-26-2013, 03:54 PM   #13
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Good write up, C2.

Doesn't Spain have a shoulder injury? Hate to worry about that with another OL.

Marlon Humphrey's situation may boil down to one thing. Take the sure bet and follow his legacy to BAMA or go the route less traveled and not follow in his father's footsteps to that school and try to make his own reputation elsewhere. Ain't holding my breath over that one, but that is how I would aim my recruiting for him.

As for Barker? I wouldn't put it past Calipari to offer him a walk on slot for the basketball team. If he does, that's a game ender.
Think Spain's injury was to his knee but I'm not 100% sure.

Humphrey is a guy that we have to get to campus and go from there. The fact that USC is in his top 3 and he hasn't been to campus (to my knowledge) leads me to believe that IF they got him there, they would make a big impression.

Barker just makes me uneasy. As much as he has wanted that OSU offer, I just can't see him telling Urban 'sorry, its too late'. Typically, harsh feelings like that are ironed over during a visit. Also Urban can recruit circles around most schools not named Alabama.
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Old 04-26-2013, 03:58 PM   #14
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Could you plea elaborate on this point:

"For various reasons, it is extremely difficult for USC, and Clemson for that matter, to get pipelines started into the coastal part of SC."
Too add on to what brat said, a low country coach told me that one of the biggest problems is that the kids in these areas (particularly the Charleston area) are military brats so they aren't brought up watching USC/Clemson football. Its usually some out of state team that they grow up fans of, for example, Georgia.
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Old 04-26-2013, 03:59 PM   #15
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Did we pass on him? If not, this is a head-scratcher.
Latta is a very pro UNC area apparently. Not 100% sure but I think they may let him play baseball too but again, I don't know for sure.
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Old 04-26-2013, 04:03 PM   #16
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C2, Are we in good position with DB John Battle, 247 has FSU and LSU as his top 2. Just curious because I have never heard anything on him regarding USC.
I'll have to go dig, but I read an ESPN article a month or so ago where Battle had a lot of positive things to say about USC and the pay sites have said he is a big priority for USC. With Grady Brown recruiting him, I think he is a guy they can get once he visits. There are those that say he is another one of these guys that just fits perfectly in our system.

Whether its Battle or Smith or someone else not mentioned .. I fully expect USC to get a big time Safety prospect this cycle.
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Old 04-26-2013, 04:12 PM   #17
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I'll have to go dig, but I read an ESPN article a month or so ago where Battle had a lot of positive things to say about USC and the pay sites have said he is a big priority for USC. With Grady Brown recruiting him, I think he is a guy they can get once he visits. There are those that say he is another one of these guys that just fits perfectly in our system.

Whether its Battle or Smith or someone else not mentioned .. I fully expect USC to get a big time Safety prospect this cycle.
Nice, thanks for the information. I would be very happy with the class you posted and it is a very realistic class at this point. Hopefully we can get some of these Elite players players on campus and see where we can go from there. I didnt know Covington was in academic trouble, I thought he signed.
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Old 04-26-2013, 04:13 PM   #18
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I'd love to bring in at least 4 OL a year, but with our numbers this year that might be hard.
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Old 04-26-2013, 04:13 PM   #19
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Default Re: Recruiting Impressions

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Originally Posted by CoverTwo View Post
Latta is a very pro UNC area apparently. Not 100% sure but I think they may let him play baseball too but again, I don't know for sure.
Thanks to Raymond Felton.
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Old 04-26-2013, 04:15 PM   #20
CoverTwo
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Default Re: Recruiting Impressions

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Originally Posted by Acockolypse Now View Post
I'd love to bring in at least 4 OL a year, but with our numbers this year that might be hard.
Going to have 16 on the roster this year I believe. Thats more than enough to go light one cycle. With the numbers moving back to 25/85 next class, I'm sure they'll make up for any shortage.
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