COLUMBIA – It was a relatively uneventful signing day for South Carolina, and that was just fine with coach Steve Spurrier. Nobody bailed on USC and there were no last-minute additions to the class.
Last year, the Gamecocks had to wait until Valentine’s Day to sign the nation’s top-ranked recruit, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. On Wednesday, the Gamecocks signed 25 recruits, all of whom had already given verbal commitments.
“It was neat that they all stuck with us from the beginning,” Spurrier said.
The class is highlighted by two offensive players: running back Mike Davis from powerhouse Stephenson High in Stone Mountain, Ga., and wide receiver Shaq Roland from Lexington High, just down Interstate 20 from USC.
Davis is rated the No. 63 overall recruit by Rivals.com, while Roland is rated No. 66. Roland is the fourth consecutive Mr. Football from the state of South Carolina to pick the Gamecocks, joining Clowney, running back Marcus Lattimore and cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
The Gamecocks were limited to signing 25 players by a new Southeastern Conference rule that took effect for this class.
In terms of filling USC’s needs, Roland, who is 6-1, could have a chance to play immediately at Alshon Jeffery’s old spot. USC’s leading returning receiver is Ace Sanders, a 5-7 slot receiver. The other receivers USC signed were 6-4 Kwinton Smith and 5-11 Jody Fuller.
The Gamecocks also signed three cornerbacks and two safeties. Jordan Diggs of Fort Myers, Fla., is listed by Rivals as a safety, but USC currently has him listed at the spur linebacker position. Recruiting coordinator Steve Spurrier Jr. said the secondary was an area he knew the staff would have to focus on for this class.
Spurrier Sr. said two players to keep an eye on for immediate playing time next season are tight ends Jerell Adams and Kelvin Rainey. Adams originally signed with the Class of 2011, then went to prep school to improve his grades. Rainey graduated high school early to enroll at USC in January.