It’s an eventful Tuesday in all three major sports at South Carolina.
The Gamecocks’ rebuilding men’s basketball team travels to No. 22 Missouri – its first game against a ranked opponent all season.
The football team made official the hiring of North Carolina’s Deke Adams as the replacement for defensive line coach Brad Lawing, who is off to Florida to coach defensive ends. He will also have the title of assistant head coach.
And the baseball team opened at No. 11 in Perfect Game USA’s preseason poll, which placed the Gamecocks second in the final 2012 poll, after they lost to Arizona in the College World Series finals and fell just short of their third straight national championship. Arizona, by the way, will start this season at No. 22. North Carolina is No. 1. USC’s opener is Feb. 15 versus Liberty.
But before the basketball team can try to break its four-year streak of one-and-done trips to the Southeastern Conference tournament, before spring football begins and even before the start of baseball season comes football national signing day on Feb. 6.
On Tuesday, Rivals.com released its final list of its top 250 players in the Class of 2013. Before we get to where USC’s recruits wound up, some basics on the Gamecocks’ class …
** It includes 20 commitments, three of whom enrolled this month: junior college cornerback Ronnie Martin, quarterback Connor Mitch and offensive tackle D.J. Park.
** Because of USC’s NCAA violations, its 2013 and 2014 will only be allowed to include 22 players rather than the usual NCAA maximum of 25.
** USC is ranked No. 15 nationally in Rivals’ team rankings and seventh in the SEC, behind No. 1 Florida, No. 3 Alabama, No. 5 LSU, No. 8 Texas A&M, No. 9 Georgia, No. 11 Mississippi. The Gamecocks were No. 19 last year.
** USC has six four-star recruits, including Park and Mitch, and the Gamecocks’ two most recent commitments have come from four-star guys: running back David Williams and offensive tackle Na’Ty Rodgers. Williams committed on Jan. 4, Rodgers on Monday.
Here now, a look at the USC recruits who made the Rivals top 250. They are all four-star guys. Williams is USC’s only four-star recruit who wasn’t in the top 250 …
No. 112 – ILB Larenz Bryant (6-1, 215, Charlotte, N.C./Vance) … No. 2 at position, No. 2 in state
No. 120 – DT Kelsey Griffin (6-2, 282, Hoschton, Ga./Mill Creek) … No. 8 at position, No. 8 in state
No. 181 – OT Na’Ty Rodgers (6-5, 278, Pomfret, Md./McDonough) … No. 21 at position, No. 6 in state
No. 220 – OT D.J. Park (6-6, 335, Dillon/Dillon) … No. 25 at position, No. 4 in state
No. 248 – QB Connor Mitch (6-3, 210, Raleigh, N.C./Wakefield) … No. 14 at position (pro-style), No. 7 in state