South Carolina’s 2022 class is growing in number.
Now just over two weeks into the newly opened recruiting cycle, the Gamecocks have five pledges in Shane Beamer’s first class in Columbia. But as the dead period that begins June 28 creeps closer, expect there to be some additions to that group over the next few weeks as camps and visits continue.
With that, here’s a look at where South Carolina’s 2022 class stands:
South Carolina football commitments
QB Braden Davis — Four-star (Middletown, Delaware)
Securing four-star passer Braden Davis early in the process gives South Carolina the foundation for any class it signs — a dynamic signal-caller.
Davis, originally from Delaware, went down to Florida to play his fall season after COVID-19 moved the season in Delaware to the fall, but lasted just three games when an ankle injury stymied his stint down south.
Rated the No. 208 player and No. 13 quarterback in the 2022 class according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Davis boasts a strong arm and speed that’s seen him clocked at 4.64 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
With Luke Doty presumably still in the fold for at least the 2021 and 2022 seasons and Colten Gauthier having just arrived on campus, there will be some competition once Davis arrives. But a couple years lower on the depth chart might be just what’s needed to groom Davis over time.
LB Donovan Westmoreland — Three-star (Griffin, Georgia)
Flipping a commit from Georgia is a big deal these days. Doing it within the Southeastern Conference is an even bigger deal.
Slotted as the No. 398 player and No. 41 linebacker in the 2022 class by the 247Sports composite rankings, Donovan Westmoreland changed his pledge from the Bulldogs to Gamecocks in May in an early coup by Beamer and his recruiting staff.
The Georgia native has spent time at both defensive end and linebacker during his time at Griffin High School just south of Atlanta, but projects as a linebacker at the next level.
With four redshirt-senior linebackers on its 2021 roster, South Carolina has needs at the position. Westmoreland certainly fills that and is a likely candidate to see his recruiting ranking jump as the 2022 cycle heads into the fall (247Sports has him ranked a four-star prospect and the No. 224 player in the class per its in-house rankings).
S Jy’Vonte McClendon — Three-star (Lakeland, Florida)
South Carolina has already seen one player decommit in its 2022 class in three-star safety Anthony Rose. Re-filling that slot didn’t take much time.
After Rose decommitted on May 12, the Gamecocks added McClendon just a month later as one of two safety commits in the class. McClendon currently sits as the No. 35 safety in the 2022 class according to the 247Sports Composite and picked South Carolina over offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Miami and Cincinnati, among others.
USC’s secondary is in the midst of a makeover and McClendon will likely be a valuable piece on the back end once in Columbia. With R.J. Roderick and Jaylan Foster set to conclude their careers this fall, the Gamecocks are in need of added depth at safety heading into the 2022 season.
McClendon saw time on both sides of the ball during his junior season at Lake Gibson High School and his athleticism should help him thrive once on campus at South Carolina.
OT Grayson Mains — three-star (Suwanee, Georgia)
Grayson Mains was the second player to commit to the Gamecocks after Beamer’s hiring and he’s been heavily involved in recruiting other players to join him.
Mains should be the first pledge in a bulkier offensive line class as South Carolina stands to lose at least four players from its 2021 contingent in the trenches.
Currently rated the No. 599 player in the 2022 class per the 247Sports Composite, Mains has a projectable frame at 6-foot-5, 265 pounds. Assuming he adds the necessary weight to play at the SEC level, he looks the part of a nice project for offensive line coach Greg Adkins and the South Carolina strength staff.
S Kajuan Banks — Three-star (Tallahassee, Florida)
Kajuan Banks is South Carolina’s second-most recent commitment in its 2022 class and the second safety to join the Gamecocks.
Banks is the lowest-rated player of the class so far at No. 771 nationally according to the 247Sports Composite, but marks the second player from Florida the Gamecocks have nabbed this cycle.
The Tallahassee native’s offer sheet leans heavier on Group of Five programs than Power Five, though West Virginia, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Louisville and Kentucky have all extended offers.
Banks is a bit smaller at 5-foot-10, 170 pounds, but his track background should help make up for his lack of size. Last month he was clocked at 11.04 seconds in the 100-meter dash and he was previously a member of the Amos. P Godby High School 4x100 team that qualified for the 2A state track meet his sophomore year.
Other Gamecock targets to know
OL Ryan Brubaker — Four-star (No. 247 nationally)
LB Stone Blanton — Four-star (No. 298 nationally)
WR Peter Kikwata — Four-star (No. 305 nationally)
ATH Antonio Kite — Three-star (No. 343 nationally)
WR Chandler Smith — Three-star (No. 364 nationally)
RB Jaylon Glover — Three-star (No. 417 nationally)
DL Jamaal Whyce — Three-star (No. 700 nationally)
DL Tomiwa Durojaiye — Three-star (No. 953 nationally)