It was a mystery until the end.
Hammond School defensive lineman Jordan Burch, the top-ranked player in the state of South Carolina and a top 10 player nationally in the 2020 recruiting class, picked the hometown Gamecocks Wednesday afternoon during a nationally televised ceremony on ESPNU.
The 6-5, 255-pound defensive end is the nation’s No. 5 overall prospect by ESPN and 24/7 and No. 8 by Rivals.com. He is ranked as the No. 2 defensive end nationally by ESPN.
Burch had conducted no interviews about his recruitment for more than a year, and that had recruiting analysts speculating on his final destination until his announcement Wednesday. Burch picked the Gamecocks over Clemson, Georgia, Alabama and LSU, but has yet to sign a letter of intent.
“There was some thought about going out of state, but then I came to the conclusion that this was the place for me,” Burch said.
Burch joins Hammond School teammate Alex Huntley, a four-star defensive tackle, in the Gamecocks 2020 recruiting class. Hammond quarterback Jackson Muschamp is the son of Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp. The Gamecocks were able to sign the top three players in South Carolina this season in Burch, Huntley and Myrtle Beach quarterback Luke Doty.
“Jackson hasn’t said much to me, he let me decide,” Burch said. “He’s a good friend and I like his dad. He’s a good coach and I see that the program is rebuilding. It’s one reason why I’m going there. He’s got a good plan for me and I respect him.”
Burch’s commitment elevates an already strong recruiting class for the Gamecocks, which jumped two spots to No. 16 nationally after he signed with South Carolina. Burch becomes the second five-star recruit in as many years to sign with South Carolina, joining defensive tackle Zacch Pickens from a year ago.
“They are going to get a hard worker and a kid that doesn’t take a play off,” Burch said. “I’m going to encourage my teammates and I’ll play as hard as they need me to play.”
This story will be updated throughout the day.