It seems like it was just yesterday when the South Carolina Gamecocks were approaching the upper echelon. One of the things the program was enjoying was a sudden dominance over their longtime rivals the Clemson Tigers. It may seem like that was 10 years ago, but it wasn’t. Part of what shifted the balance of power back in the other direction was what has been going on in recruiting. The Gamecocks used to hold the edge, but over the past few years, the Tigers have been the ones bringing in the top-tier recruiting classes. Their 2016 class is no different.
But cheer up, Gamecock fans.
The moves we’ve seen over the past few weeks have seen this class make a final push towards the top 25. And while they probably aren’t going to get there, the talent they’ve already acquired and still have a shot at securing gives fans an optimistic view of next year. Even though they may not be quite ready to overtake the guys in orange or compete for the SEC title, at least they’ll probably be more competitive.
The Gamecocks have already secured 24 commitments, including 23 kids who rank as three-star prospects or higher. On January 31, Kiel Pollard ended his pledge to the Arkansas Razorbacks by deciding to commit to the Gamecocks, and they could still be on the verge of landing another game changer. Three-star defensive tackle Aaron Thompson hinted he may still sign with the Gamecocks instead of the Maryland Terrapins as he had stated earlier.
This past season, the Gamecocks ended a rough year by coming within a few plays of possibly ruining a National Championship campaign for their rivals. Soon, they may be able to get back to being the best program in the state. If they bring in the right guys and start winning some big games on television again, they could be on the way.