What you need to know about South Carolina's 2020 recruiting class
Coach Will Muschamp will likely need an infusion of talent to get off the hot seat in 2020, and the Gamecocks’ recruiting situation makes that a possibility.
Running back and defensive line are the 2 biggest areas to focus on, both from a talent and a production standpoint with the Gamecocks facing a similar schedule in 2020 as 2019 (They swap Alabama for a road trip to LSU). A couple of key recruits could put them over the top and turn the corner from a 4-8 campaign to clinch a bowl berth again, something Muschamp desperately needs after he was under fire this past season.
In his last press conference during the season in 2019, Muschamp shared why he’s optimistic for 2020.
“It’s the good young talent we’ve recruited and the good young talent we have coming,” Muschamp said. “I see a lot of positive things at key positions that we are going to be very good. I feel very confident in that.”
Here’s what you need to know about South Carolina’s recruiting class.
- National rank: 18
- SEC rank: 7
- 5-stars: 0
- 4-stars: 7
- 3-stars: 12
Best player: 4-star RB MarShawn Lloyd
Lloyd is the No. 39 player in the country, and his high school team, DeMatha Catholic, lost in the semifinals of the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference. Lloyd had an 82-yard touchdown in that game. He’s one of the more sought-after running backs around, with offers from Alabama, Georgia, Clemson and Florida. With Rico Dowdle, Tavien Feaster and Mon Denson graduating, Lloyd has a golden opportunity to get top playing time. Throughout the turmoil around Muschamp, Lloyd has remained consistent with his commitment and even tweeted last month that he looked to transfer and find new beginnings after DeMatha wouldn’t let him graduate early.
— MarShawn Lloyd (@m_lloyd_2) November 19, 2019
Assessing the QBs: Luke Doty
Doty is a 4-star dual-threat QB from Myrtle Beach who has a reported 19 offers, including 3 other SEC teams outside of the Gamecocks. South Carolina beat out North Carolina for Doty, who committed in July 2018. He’s the No. 3 dual-threat QB in the country in this class. He’s dealt with an injury to his throwing hand suffered early in the playoffs, but his team reached the state championship. The opposing coach in that game outlined what makes Doty special, according to The Big Spur.
“I have seen Luke Doty play and I don’t need to see him play on Saturday to confirm that he’s a good football player, because a lot of guys out there smarter than I am can tell you that he’s a great football player,” Wren coach Jeff Tate said. “He’s special. He’s got exceptional speed. He’s strong. He’s got the ability to see the field and react and make all the right decisions. He’s very competitive. Obviously, he has the ability to throw the ball and run the ball. That makes him extremely dangerous.”
Biggest need filled: Offensive line
The Gamecocks had a relatively young offensive line in 2019, though they had a couple of veteran players. The big loss from 2019 will be Donell Stanley, a redshirt senior. In this class, they have 4 commitments, though they’re all 3-stars. With this group, and 4 or 5 players with at least a season of experience under their belt, this unit should have plenty of options to find a core group to play well.
This group includes an offensive guard prospect ranked in the No. 25, Tyshawn Wannamaker, in the country at that position. There’s also Jazston Turnetine, a JUCO offensive tackle, who checks in at 6-7 and 340 pounds.
Biggest needs that need to be filled: Defensive line
Javon Kinlaw and D.J. Wonnum are 2 massive departures because they could play on most other SEC teams, and start on several. Kobe Smith is another departure from a d-line that was one of the few bright spots for the Gamecocks in 2019.
The Gamecocks have 3 commitments including 2 of their 7 4-star prospects are d-linemen.
Best position group: Wide receivers
South Carolina is losing an all-time player in Bryan Edwards, who is expected to be a productive NFL player like his former teammate Deebo Samuel. But help is on the way in the form of 3 receiver commits, including 2 4-star players who are ranked in the top 52 in the country at their position.
Mike Wyman is the No. 12 player in North Carolina in this class, and Rico Powers is the No. 32 player in Georgia. Wyman has 38 offers, including 10 from the SEC. Powers has 18 offers, but 6 from the SEC.
Here are Wyman’s junior year highlights from Hudl:
Best player still chasing: Jordan Burch
Burch has said he’ll announce his decision on Dec. 19, and the Gamecocks are competing for him against LSU, Alabama, Clemson and Georgia. He’s a 5-star, the No. 1 strong-side defensive end, and the nation’s No. 2 player in this class. Kirby Smart and Will Muschamp showed up to watch one of his games in September. The Gamecocks have another commit from Burch’s school, Alex Huntley, a defensive tackle, and Muschamp’s son, Jackson, is the quarterback on that team.
.@CoachWMuschamp and @KirbySmartUGA had front row seats to @HammondFootball‘s 55-7 smothering of First Baptist Friday night. @abc_columbia @JacksonMuschamp @alexhuntley_ @JordanB1505 pic.twitter.com/72ZYLYrEXH
— Mike Gillespie (@MikeABCColumbia) September 28, 2019