In my Quick Slant on the State of Gamecock recruiting I give some random thoughts on the 2012 class and how things have changed on the recruiting front in Columbia.
You get the feel from listening to some of the kids who inked with the Gamecocks on National Signing Day that the program is starting to sell itself, something the coaches in Columbia didn’t have in their arsenal three or four years ago. Spurrier mentioned in his Signing Day press conference that South Carolina has more to offer prospects than ever before. Steve Spurrier Jr. added that the team’s record, accomplishments and facilities have also contributed to Signing Day success as of late.
Landing Mike Davis out of Georgia’s backyard after he decommitted from the Gators is one thing. Doing so with Lattimore and a wealth of other tailbacks on the current roster is another. Oh yeah, don’t forget his brother was a pretty good running back at Clemson, and with all that entailed his opinion of South Carolina still couldn’t be poisoned. Davis said this about choosing the Gamecocks:
“I felt at home there. Once I visited, I knew I could be at home, really. It’s close to home, my family can see me play, and I know I can do big things there.”
You don’t get the feeling South Carolina coaches had to twist his arm to sign with the Gamecocks despite his arm being twisted to go anywhere but Columbia during the recruiting process.
Speaking of playing close to home Lexington WR Shaq Roland became the fourth South Carolina Mr. Football to sign with the Gamecocks in as many years. Alshon Jeffery spurned the other USC three years ago to sign with Carolina, he should have won Mr Football.
Their decisions helped in getting the ball rolling for the Gamecocks in keeping the really good talent home.
Lattimore took notice of the decisions of past elite Palmetto State talent when he was making his decision on where to attend college. I think it’s safe to say Roland will be turning NFL scouts heads the same as Gilmore, Lattimore, Clowney and Jeffery have turned the heads of South Carolina high school players toward Columbia.
“The success they’ve had the past couple of years and the great recruiting classes, I just wanted to be a part of it,” Roland said. “They are a team on the rise. They are going to do great things next year. It’s a place where I can go and play early as a freshman. And all my family and friends can come see me play.”
Spurrier said shortly after arriving in Columbia he wanted to make South Carolina “cool place to play”.
It seems he’s done that – probably his most important accomplishment since arriving in Columbia.
One of the things used against South Carolina by Clemson, Georgia and other SEC coaches on the recruiting trails is that you can’t win there. I’ve heard stories of even the most respected coaches (cough cough Mark Richt) looking at kids with raised eyebrows asking them, “are you sure you want to go there”. Coaches trying to use the ole “they can’t win in Columbia” pitch will have to get more creative in their mud slinging.
Brendan Nosovitch is an interesting prospect who didn’t garner a huge list of offers from the elite programs, but did garner the Gatorade Player of the Year his junior year, a Mini Maxwell Award winner and a Parade All-American. Spurrier likes him and he has the rare combination skill set of being mobile while also having a good pocket presence.
Needs were met especially at the defensive back position.
I counted eleven players added to the roster from the State of Georgia.
Seems a better quality of person is being targeted by the staff or maybe a better quality of person is seeking to play for the Gamecocks.