I mean…recapping Wednesday wouldn’t be right if we didn’t start with the news all Carolina football fans were hoping and praying for.
The 247 No. 5 overall prospect, and No. 3 DE in the country, Jordan Burch, decided to stay home and play for the Gamecocks.
I mean, talk about a must-get for Will Muschamp and company.
After a four win season that was, to be frank, pitiful, we needed this. The fans needed something positive to come out of this 2019 year, and boy did we get it in Jordan Burch.
The kid is an absolute freak, gets off the ball lightning quick, built like a freight train, and has every skill move in the book to be able to get in the backfield as quick as possible.
Joining his high school teammate Alex Huntley that had previously committed to Carolina, Will Muschamp continues his dominance of Hammond School and the Columbia area by getting a kid that not many people expected him to.
With the Burch news, it becomes easy to forget the caliber of players that we had actually signing their letters of intent today.
To kick things off, early in the morning at around 7:00 AM, 4-star running back MarShawn Lloyd finally put pen to paper and became a Gamecock.
Obviously, Lloyd had been committed for a long time, but damn it feels good to have him locked in.
He’s a big back, tough runner, and has excellent leverage in short-down situations.
Don’t be fooled by his size, MarShawn can engage the burners when he sees open field, and when that happens, well…it’s game over.
This kid is an all-around stud and a game-changer for Thomas Brown in the running backs room.
Shortly after Lloyd at 7:20 AM, 4-star wideouts Mike Wyman and Rico Powers Jr. inked their papers to join the 2020 class.
Both Wyman and Powers Jr. have similar builds, at around six foot two inches and weighing around the 185 pounds mark.
These were my two favorite singings of the day. At receiver, we have some massive shoes to fill after Bryan Edwards departed, and these two guys bring a lot to the table.
Both are lightning quick, and Wyman can flat out jump out of the stadium.
The biggest thing that sticks out to me, is that whoever is at quarterback next year (we’ll get to that later), needs to feel comfortable in the new offense Mike Bobo wants to implement.
That means short, high volume passes.
These two provide more than enough athletic ability to be able to break tackles, make people miss, and create space on their own.
Translation: a three yard screen can turn into a 40 yard house call with the shiftiness of Powers and the wheels on Wyman.
Bryan McClendon certainly added talent to his receiver room.
The defense added some nice pieces to go along with Burch and Huntley as well.
4-star linebacker Mohamed Kaba had been a target for the Gamecocks for some time now and finally made things official Wednesday morning.
Add to that another 4-star DT in Tonka Hemmingway and Will Muschamp has to like his freshman class of defensive playmakers.
Obviously, the secondary is a SERIOUS issue for this football team, and to be honest, I would have liked to have seen a little more emphasis on that this recruiting class.
However, 3-star O’Donnell Fortune has been a guy that T-Rob has sought for quite some time.
ODonnell Fortune with a PBU pic.twitter.com/QoYKQB1HIW— Charles Power (@CharlesPower) December 16, 2019
Just after glancing at his film, this seems like a guy that could easily be a four-star. Fortune was an animal for Sumter HS, and fielded offers from Colorado and UCF amongst others.
He stands at six foot one inch, around 170 lbs and has a long reach and great awareness.
Fortune has a set of wheels on him, and sees routes developing before they…well …develop.
If he adds some weight and bulks up a little, O’Donnell Fortune can be a stud in that limping secondary.
The last guy I want to highlight is 4-star quarterback Luke Doty.
Obviously, you guys have heard it all about this kid. He’s about as calm, cool, and collected as it gets.
What excites me so much about Doty is that in this kid we’re getting something Carolina football hasn’t seen much of since 2013: a true dual-threat quarterback.
Let’s be clear: Doty isn’t just a guy you can have some packages for and bring in on 3rd downs.
No. Luke Doty is a starting quarterback.
He shattered records at Myrtle Beach HS and took home the South Carolina Mr. Football 2019 award while doing it.
From what I’ve heard, Doty was meant to be the man here all along. However, with Ryan Hilinski playing the way he did prior to his injuries, I think Mike Bobo is in for a true quarterback battle come year one.
Make no mistake about it folks, Doty can play.
We know what a healthy Hilinksi can do. I haven’t even mentioned Dakereon Joyner yet. There’s 3 potential starters in that QB room come spring ball, and it’s going to be real interesting to see how that plays out.
There’s tons of recruits I left out in this, but I just wanted to convey my excitement to you all about these key pieces we locked down.
After an awful four win 2019 campaign, Muschamp needed a day like today to get some excitement flowing throughout campus.
The Gamecocks finished no. 16 (or 17, depending where you look) in the nation with the 2020 class. As exciting as this is, recruiting is only half the battle.
Not to mention SEC East rivals Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee (what a job by Jeremy Pruitt and his staff, good lord) all finished ranked above us with their own 2020 classes.
Here’s to hoping the talent we’ve accumulated over the last few years can get coached up to competing in the East for years to come.