National Signing Day is less than a week away and South Carolina looks to be putting together a solid class, most of which signed during the Early Signing Period.
The Gamecocks’ 16th ranked recruiting class, according to the 247Sports Team Rankings, added an instate wide receiver on Thursday when wide receiver Elijah Caldwell out of Northwestern High School made his commitment to head coach Shane Beamer and his staff.
Later in the day, Josh Pate, host of ‘Late Kick Live’ was combing through the 247Sports Team Rankings and he took a look at South Carolina’s class and called it one of his ‘sleeper classes.’
“South Carolina currently has the 16th class in the 247Sports Team Rankings and you are seeing the second full cycle now for Shane Beamer and company,” Pate said. “If you are a casual fan who doesn’t follow recruiting, let me help you out here for just a second. You may look at this and you may say, ‘Oh man, that doesn’t compare to the Georgia’s of the world.’ That is true, no one else does next to Alabama this cycle. No one else does. You don’t compare South Carolina to Georgia.
“What you should be doing is comparing South Carolina to South Carolina. 2021, they finished 80th. That is a real number. 2022, they finished 24th. Now they are 16th. I think we call that an upward trajectory. That is what we call that.”
One area that Pate pointed out was what South Carolina was able to do on the line of scrimmage. The top three commitments in the Gamecocks’ class are all on the line of scrimmage in EDGE Desmond Umeozulu, offensive lineman Markee Anderson and defensive lineman Xzavier McLeod. All three have already enrolled at South Carolina. Pate detailed why it is important for teams to recruit well on the offensive and defensive line.
“Also, they are getting bigger and more athletic on the defensive and offensive lines which I know gets tired,” Pate said. “Everyone says ‘We have to get bigger, faster and stronger on the line of scrimmage.’ There is a reason why everyone says that and it is because you have to be that along the lines of scrimmage. It doesn’t really matter if you have some impressive pieces out wide. If you have a running back in the backfield that did a lot in high school. If you can’t open holes and you can’t give your quarterback time to deliver it, it just looks ugly.”
Pate wrapped up the segment on South Carolina’s 2023 recruiting class talking about a five-star from Washington, D.C. that the Gamecocks are heavily pursuing.
“South Carolina also is a favorite, we are talking now like it is a final product, Nyckoles Harbor is another guy that if you pay attention on Signing Day coming up, you may very well see a Gamecock hat be thrown on there,” Pate said. “I am not privy to how the celebration or the announcement is going to go, but Nyckoles Harbor, let’s keep an eye on that name for South Carolina.”