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‘They’re all difference makers’: Loaded recruiting weekend on deck for Gamecocks

·3 min read

South Carolina is set for its biggest recruiting weekend of the season — and perhaps of the Shane Beamer era — with Saturday’s night game at Williams-Brice Stadium being the prime attraction for the recruits.

Beamer pointed his staff’s recruiting efforts toward this weekend knowing the game will be against Kentucky, a quality SEC opponent, and that Williams-Brice Stadium will be full and loud. And it’s a game they can win.

The list is long and loaded with top prospects for 2022 and beyond.

“We were reading the list. It took 30 minutes to go through and they’re all difference makers,” Beamer said Thursday night on his weekly call-in show on 107.5 FM in Columbia.

How much of a difference could they make?

”If a lot of those guys decided to be Gamecocks, we’d be competing for SEC championships really soon,” Beamer told Louisville radio station ESPN 680 in a Thursday interview.

Top quarterbacks, in-state prospects to visit

A large number of top prospects from the state of South Carolina this week announced their intention via social media to be in Columbia on Saturday night.

That includes class of quarterback Jadyn Davis of Catawba Ridge, the No. 1 recruit in the country in 247Sports’ recently released rankings of the 2024 class.

Others include 2023 QB Raheim Jeter of Spartanburg; 2023 defensive tackle Eamon Smalls of Beaufort; 2024 receiver Cortez Lane of Camden; 2024 offensive tackle Kim Pringle of Woodland; 2023 running back Jshawn Anderson of Hartsville; 2024 QB Jayden Bradford of Chapin; and 2024 QB Taiden Mines of Lexington.

Also expected to visit: Class of 2022 quarterback and USC commit Braden Davis of Middletown, Delaware; Class of 2022 QB Prometheus Franklin of Greenville; and Class of 2023 offensive lineman Xzavier Mcleod of Camden.

Official visits

There will be three official visitors this weekend for the 2022 class:

Wide receiver Antonio Williams of nearby Dutch Fork High School will make the short drive over to campus sometime Friday night following his team’s game against Spartanburg. The four-star prospect is one of the most coveted players left on the Gamecocks’ recruiting board. Beamer and receivers coach Josh Stepp have worked him diligently over the months and have the Gamecocks locked in a battle with Ole Miss.

Williams (6-0, 180) will take an official visit there in October. He is also planning an official visit to Auburn for the Alabama game in November. Clemson also remains a factor, but the Tigers have not yet offered.

Defensive tackle Jamari Lyons of Melbourne, Florida also will be in Columbia this weekend for his official visit. Defensive line coach Jimmy Lindsey has been the front man for the Gamecocks here. Lyons (6-4 277) will choose either USC or Florida when he makes his commitment announcement on Oct. 6. The four-star prospect took an official visit to Florida in June, and he’s made multiple unofficial visits to Gainesville. He also visited USC unofficially in June.

The third official visitor for USC this weekend will be three-star linebacker Jaishawn Barham of Baltimore. He visited USC unofficially in June and the interest between the two has remained strong. He took an official visit to Penn State last weekend. Barham (6-3 230) named a top 12 in June of USC, Penn State, Maryland, West Virginia, Ole Miss, Southern Cal, Tennessee, Georgia, Michigan, Kentucky, Notre Dame and Florida. He’s not publicly narrowed his list from those 12.

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