South Carolina may need to go out of state for some its top targets for the class of 2015, but when has that ever deterred the Gamecocks? They can get talent anywhere if need be. Look for several of the athletes below to end up in Columbia before it’s all over with.
Editor’s note: Saturday Down South’s references to ratings follow the 247Sports.com composite rankings.
UPDATE–Since this piece ran two weeks ago, the Gamecocks did indeed pick up a commitment from the No. 3 guy on this list, Mark Fields.
1. Minkah Fitzpatrick, Jersey City (N.J.), 6-0/185, Cornerback
- National rank: No. 29 overall prospect
- SEC schools: South Carolina, Alabama
- The skinny: Fitzpatrick is a good sized cornerback with outstanding speed. He has no problem following the ball. All kinds of SEC schools have shown serious interest in Fitzpatrick, and if the Gamecocks somehow beat out the national powers and schools closer to his Jersey home, this would be an enormous pickup.
2. D.J. Jones, East Mississippi C.C. (Miss.), 6-2/305, Defensive tackle
- National rank: No. 1 JUCO defensive tackle
- SEC schools: South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama
- The skinny: This bowling ball in the backfield is actually originally from Wren High School in the upstate of South Carolina, and there’s no question the in-state schools would love to land this junior college standout.
3. Mark Fields, Cornelius (N.C.), 5-11/185, Cornerback
- National rank: No. 113 overall
- SEC schools: South Carolina, LSU, Georgia, Tennessee
- The skinny: Fields as picked up offers from Alabama and Ole Miss in recent weeks, and he’s hearing from LSU. The North Carolina native’s stock has risen substantially in recent months. He has elite level speed.
4. Arden Key, Atlanta (Ga.), 6-5/200, Defensive end
- National rank: No. 117 overall
- SEC schools: Georgia, South Carolina
- The skinny: Key was once a part of the South Carolina signing class for 2015, but he backed off and Georgia has had his ear in recent months. However, the Gamecocks hope to get this huge specimen back in the fold. It’ll be tough, but possible.
5. Jalen Christian, Damascus (Md.), 5-10/165, Athlete
- National rank: No. 126 overall
- SEC schools: South Carolina, Kentucky
- The skinny: He’s quick as a waterbug and can play either cornerback or wide receiver. When he gets in the college ranks, watch out for what this playmaker is going to be able to do. Maryland is going to be sad if it loses this talented athlete to the SEC.