COLUMBIA – South Carolina has now finalized its Class of 2013, which comprises 22 recruits (or maybe 21). The Southeastern Conference does not let teams sign over the NCAA maximum of 25, but because USC is under NCAA sanctions for violations, the Gamecocks are limited to 22 players enrolling in the classes of 2013 and 2014.
USC missed on defensive tackle Keith Bryant, who picked Florida State. He said at his signing ceremony in Delray Beach, Fla., that he picked the Seminoles in part because he wanted to remain close to his one-year-old daughter. So the Gamecocks went one for two on recruits who waited until National Signing Day to decide, as they picked up outside linebacker Skai Moore of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
It initially appeared, after Bryant picked FSU, that USC would wind up with 21 signees in this class, because defensive end Kendal Vickers was not expected to sign. But Vickers did apparently sign, even though USC has yet to officially announce him as a signee.
It doesn’t really matter because Vickers is expected to attend Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia this fall, as many recruits do to improve their grades. The fact that Vickers signed isn’t incredibly significant, though, because when recruits go to prep school, they can be re-recruited and sign elsewhere, regardless of whether they have signed.
So Vickers will be able to sign with another school next year and immediately play there in the fall of 2014, if he so chooses. Or he can stick with his previous verbal commitment and letter of intent to USC.
FROM EARLIER ...
South Carolina fans received some pleasant news on Wednesday morning when highly regarded recruit Skai Moore picked the Gamecocks on National Signing Day.
Moore, a 6-2, 210-pound outside linebacker from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., picked USC over Rutgers and Vanderbilt. Moore became the first USC recruit in the Class of 2013 to choose the Gamecocks on Signing Day. He is now their seventh four-star recruit in the class, according to Rivals’ rankings.
Moore is rated the No. 19 outside linebacker in the country by Rivals and the No. 43 recruit in the state of Florida. He took his official visit to USC on Jan. 18 and was recruited by Grady Brown, who debuted last season as the Gamecocks’ secondary coach.
Brown is also the primary recruiter for another high-profile Florida kid who will announce his decision on Signing Day – defensive tackle Keith Bryant, a 6-2, 306-pounder from Delray Beach.
Bryant visited USC on Jan. 25 and also visited Florida State and Miami. He is the No. 17 defensive tackle in the country, according to Rivals, and the No. 42 recruit in Florida. Like Moore, he is a four-star player. Bryant will announce his decision at 1:30 p.m. on ESPNU.
As of 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, USC had signed 19 recruits, including Moore. All had previously committed except Moore and Jonathan Walton, the No. 21 inside linebacker, who had strongly hinted before Signing Day that he would pick USC.
The Gamecocks have yet to officially announce the signing of three remaining players who had previously committed. Technically, they also haven’t announced Moore yet, but he is obviously on his way to Columbia this summer.
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