UPDATE II: South Carolina just put out the official final release on its Class of 2013. It includes 21 players. Defensive end Kendal Vickers, who is expected to attend prep school, was not on there, so he did not officially sign. The rest of the pertinent information about the class is as follows …
UPDATE: 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.
Below, you can find the full list of USC’s 22 recruits for the Class of 2013 and where they were ranked by Rivals.com.
FROM EARLIER: National Signing Day is mostly just a regurgitation of what you already know – recruits who have been committed to a school for months, making their pledges official, while ensuring the fax machine still has a purpose in this world.
But there are always a few guys who wait until Signing Day to make their decisions, and on Wednesday, two of them strongly considered South Carolina in their final hour announcements.
On Wednesday morning, outside linebacker Skai Moore of 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 eighth four-star recruit in the class, according to Rivals’ rankings, which always must be taken with a grain of salt.
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.
(Technically, three-star inside linebacker Jonathan Walton of Daphne, Ala., also picked USC on Signing Day, but he had already strongly hinted that he was going to come to Columbia.)
Moore, who is 6-2 and 210 pounds, is the first recruit delivered to USC by Brown. He 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. (Again, please don’t put too much stock in these stars, though it is worth noting that the Rivals folks work hard to assess these recruits as thoroughly as they can.)
Bryant will announce his decision at 1:30 p.m. on ESPNU.
The 22 recruits who signed with USC on National Signing Day, or earlier …
FOUR STAR PLAYERS …
— ILB Larenz Bryant (6-1, 215, Charlotte, N.C.) – No. 4 at position, No. 4 in state, No. 112 national. Recruited by offensive line coach Shawn Elliott.
— CB Pharoh Cooper (5-11, 190, Havelock, N.C.) – No. 9 in state. Was listed as an “athlete” by Rivals. Recruited by former defensive line coach Brad Lawing
— DT Kelsey Griffin (6-2, 282, Hochston, Ga.) – No. 7 at position, No. 10 in state, No. 120 national. Recruited by quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus.
— *QB Connor Mitch (6-3, 210, Raleigh, N.C.) – No. 13 at position (pro-style), No. 7 in state, No. 248 national. Recruited by Mangus and special teams/tight ends coach Joe Robinson.
— OLB Skai Moore (6-2, 210, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) – No. 19 at position, No. 43 in state. Recruited by secondary coach Grady Brown.
— *OT D.J. Park (6-6, 335, Dillon High) – No. 19 at position, No. 3 in state, No. 220 national. Recruited by offensive line coach Shawn Elliott.
— OT Na’Ty Rodgers (6-5, 278, Pomfret, Md.) – No. 15 at position, No. 6 in state, No. 181 national. Recruited by Mangus.
— RB David Williams (6-1, 192, Philadelphia) – No. 21 at position, No. 8 in state. Recruited by Mangus.
THREE STAR PLAYERS …
— OLB Mohamed Camara (6-2, 187, Cumming, Ga.) – No. 54 at position, No. 69 in state. Recruited by Mangus.
— DE Devan’te Covington (6-4, 220, Rockingham, N.C.) – No. 28 in state. Recruited by Elliott.
— CB Ali Groves (5-10, 181, Stone Mountain, Ga.) – No. 74 at position (athlete). Recruited by defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward.
— C Bryce King (6-4, 300, Dillon High) – No. 3 at position, No. 6 in state. Recruited by Elliott.
— OT Alan Knott (6-5, 275, Tyrone, Ga.) – No. 53 at position, No. 61 in state. Recruited by Elliott and Robinson.
— OLB David Johnson (6-1, 245, Lithonia, Ga.) – No. 29 at position, No. 30 in state. Recruited by Ward.
— **CB Ronnie Martin (5-11, 175, Spartanburg High) – junior college transfer who originally signed with USC for 2011 was No. 46 at position, No. 15 in state out of high school. Recruited by Elliott out of high school, Robinson at junior college.
— S Jasper Sasser (6-1, 189, Jacksonville, Fla.) – No. 59 at position (athlete). Recruited by wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Steve Spurrier Jr.
— RB Jamari Smith (6-0, 200, Neptune Beach, Fla.) – No. 43 at position. Recruited by Spurrier Jr.
— ILB Gerald Turner (6-1, 256, Goose Creek High) – No. 23 at position, No. 8 in state. Recruited by Lawing and Spurrier Jr.
— OT J.P. Vonashek (6-6, 255, Kingsland, Ga.) – No. 54 at position, No. 62 in state. Recruited by Elliott and running backs coach Everette Sands.
— ILB Jonathan Walton (6-1, 228, Daphne, Ala.) – No. 21 at position, No. 20 in state. Recruited by Kirk Botkin.
— DE Devin Washington (6-3, 225, Orlando, Fla.) – No. 20 at position, No. 58 in state. Recruited by Sands.
COMMITTED BUT DID NOT SIGN …
— DE Kendal Vickers (6-3, 230, Havelock, N.C.) – Not ranked. No primary recruiter listed in Rivals database. Expected to prep at Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia this fall.
*Graduated high school early to enroll in January
**Spent two years at junior college before enrolling in January
STATE BREAKDOWN …
Georgia 6, North Carolina 4 (not including Vickers), South Carolina 4, Florida 4, Maryland 1, Pennsylvania 1, Alabama 1
ASSISTANT COACH BREAKDOWN …
Shawn Elliott – 7 … four full (two four-star), three shared
G.A. Mangus – 5 … four full (three four-star), one shared (a four-star)
Joe Robinson – 3 … three shared (one four-star)
Steve Spurrier Jr. – 3 … two full, one shared
Brad Lawing – 2 … one full (a four-star), one shared
Everette Sands – 2 … one full, one shared
Lorenzo Ward – 2 … two full
Kirk Botkin – 1 … one full
Grady Brown – 1 … one full
TEAM RANKINGS HISTORY …
This also includes USC’s record over the following four years (or fewer). The SEC record counts USC’s appearance in the 2010 conference title game, which it lost to Auburn.
2013 … No. 16 national, No. 8 in SEC
2012 … No. 19 national, No. 8 in SEC … 11-2 in one year, 6-2 SEC
2011 … No. 18 national, No. 7 in SEC … 22-4 in two years, 12-4 SEC
2010 … No. 24 national, No. 10 in SEC … 31-9 in three years, 17-8 SEC
2009 … No. 12 national, No. 6 in SEC … 38-15, 20-13 SEC
2008 … No. 22 national, No. 7 in SEC … 34-19, 18-15 SEC
2007 … No. 6 national, No. 4 in SEC … 29-23, 15-18 SEC
2006 … No. 24 national, No. 8 in SEC … 28-23, 13-19 SEC
2005 … No. 23 national, No. 8 in SEC … 28-22, 15-17 SEC
2004 … No. 38 national, No. 9 in SEC … 27-21, 15-17 SEC
2003 … No. 8 national, No. 4 in SEC … 26-22, 14-18 SEC
2002 … No. 11 national, No. 4 in SEC … 23-24, 14-18 SEC