Top five realistic 2015 recruiting targets: South Carolina Gamecocks


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 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.


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  • “If the Gamecocks somehow beat out the national powers”… SC has finished in the top-10 3 years in a row. At what point are they considered a nat’l power? C’mon.

    • SC is not a national power. Let’s not kid ourselves. They’ve been to the SECCG one time ever and were throttled. SEC power, maybe, but not national. Win the SEC just one time and then we’ll talk national stuff.

      • SC not a national power? What have you been watching, intramural football? I can’t take your comments seriously because I bet you went to a tech school and not UGA. Your comments are “DAWG” crap.

        • Didn’t go to a “tech school,” but not sure how or why that means I can’t say SC is not a national power. There are only a few schools I would consider a national power, whether due to recent success, tradition, or both. Sure, SC has been successful the past several years, but national power they are not. “Recent success” type national powers win their conference, AT THE VERY LEAST. Hell, it’s not a knock; I don’t think UGA is a national power, either. Does that unwad your panties?

    • Probably could have worded the “above” better …. when you have a kid out of Jersey, South Carolina isn’t a natural destination for said recruit. The more natural landing spot would be Penn State, or Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, maybe even Rutgers. If South Carolina can beat out Ohio State and Notre Dame for a kid who goes to a school called St. Peters in Jersey, that’s beating out national powers for a kid they wouldn’t normally get. Now, if the kid is from Rock Hill (S.C.), I dare Notre Dame to steal a Clowney, Lattimore, Gilmore etc out of the Palmetto State.