The Big Board (1/19 Update)

With exactly two weeks until National Signing Day 2011, Gamecock Anthem breaks down the final prospects on the South Carolina board. Who ends up a Gamecock? Look inside for the big board to see where the Gamecocks stand.

The Final Big Board
Jadeveon Clowney – No. 1 DE – 6-5/235 - South Pointe (RH, SC)
Quick Hitter: The nation's top overall prospect according to all three major recruiting services, Clowney took his official visit to Alabama this past weekend and sources say the visit did go extremely well for the Tide. Still, South Carolina has thought to be the front-runner for much of the process. Clowney has already taken his official visit to South Carolina and has already hosted head coach Steve Spurrier and Alabama head coach Nick Saban for in-home visits. While Clowney has official visits scheduled to Florida State this weekend and Clemson the next, this is still believed to be a South Carolina-Alabama battle and it remains to be seen if Clowney will actually take those trips. While there are several reports that Clowney could wait until his Birthday (2/14) to make a decision, Gamecock Anthem's opinion is that a decisions is much more likely to come on Signing Day.

Still in it: South Carolina*, Alabama*, FSU, Clemson
Public leaders: None, but USC and Alabama are top two
Visits:FSU: 1/21, Clemson: 1/28
Decision Date: National Signing Day (2/2) or Clowney's birthday (2/14)
Projection: South Carolina
Sheldon Royster – No. 7 S – 5-11/190 - St. Peter's Prep (N.J.)
While it originally looked like Royster, who is very close with his mother, was a lock to stay home and go to Rutgers, Mangus and South Carolina have been gaining steam for some time and looks as if they could gain a pledge from one of the most underrated prospects in the northeast. The Gamecocks have been in it from the beginning but really started to look like a major player when Mangus left a vacation to come back to campus and meet with Royster and his mother on an unofficial visit during the summer. This has been a South Carolina/Rutgers battle for some time now with the major question being, will Royster leave home? If he does, the Gamecocks will be getting someone who should play right away in the secondary and on special teams.

Still in it: South Carolina*, Rutgers*
Public leaders: None
Decision Date: Thursday (1/20)
Current Projection: South Carolina
Phillip Dukes – No. 12 DT – 6-2/275 - Manning (S.C.)
Quick Hitter: Dukes' recruitment has been an interesting one with the two in-state programs being in control throughout. Dukes publicly went back and forth between the two programs early on, but isn't big on doing recruiting interviews and has made it a point not to name any leaders for some time now. This should end the way it started: as an in-state battle. The Gamecocks are believed to currently hold the edge, but this one will come down to the official visits. Dukes took officials to Clemson and Alabama this past weekend and will officially visit South Carolina this weekend.

Still in it: South Carolina, Clemson*, Alabama*, North Carolina (?)
Public leaders: None, but USC and Clemson are top two
Visits: South Carolina: 1/21, North Carolina: 1/28 (tentative)
Decision Date: National Signing Day (2/2)
Current Projection: South Carolina
Jacoby Brissett – No. 9 QB – 6-4/225 - Dwyer (Fla.)
Quick Hitter: South Carolina has remained in the game for the top quarterback but likely trails Florida State and Wisconsin at this time. The Gamecocks like Brissett, who is a natural passer and was a standout at the recent U.S. Army All-American game. Florida State appears to feel good about ultimately landing the quarterback, but how will a potential visit to South Carolina affect things and how will the potential commitment of McEvoy to USC affect things as well?

Still in it: Florida State, Wisconsin*, South Carolina, LSU*
Public leaders: None
Visits: South Carolina: 1/28 (tentative)
Decision Date: National Signing Day (2/2) or later
Current Projection: Florida State
Jerell Adams – No. 28 TE – 6-5/220 - Scotts Branch (S.C.)
Quick Hitter: South Carolina has been thought to be in the lead for the talented do-it-all athlete for some time now, and despite his most recent comments about South Carolina and Clemson being tied at the top, the Gamecocks appear to be in excellent shape here. Adams had a visit to Arkansas scheduled, but it didn't take place and I doubt it will be rescheduled. He took an official visit to Clemson this past weekend and will be at South Carolina for the Big Recruiting Weekend this weekend. Adams could shine at tight end or defensive end at the next level, but looked great at tight end at the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.

Still in it: South Carolina, Clemson*, Arkansas (?)
Public leaders: South Carolina, Clemson
Visits:South Carolina: 1/21
Decision Date: National Signing Day (2/2)
Current Projection: South Carolina
Rory Anderson – No. 29 TE – 6-5/205 - McEachern (Ga.)
Quick Hitter: Both Tennessee and Virginia were thought to have the lead at varying points in the process but Mangus has done a great job with Anderson and teammate Marcquis Roberts. The two had a great official visit to South Carolina during the season and the Gamecocks have been front-runners for some time now. Anderson and Roberts want to play together at the next level and while it has looked very likely that will be at South Carolina for some time, Anderson has put off going public with a decision multiple times. Anderson still has to be considered the favorite but it remains to be seen if Anderson will commit today as Roberts plans to.

Still in it: South Carolina, Tennessee
Public leaders: South Carolina
Decision Date: Possibly today (1/19)
Current Projection: South Carolina, though Tennessee may be a bigger factor than it once was
Cedrick Cooper – No. 44 OLB – 6-2/207 - Lithonia (Ga.)
Quick Hitter: South Carolina has hung around with Cooper for some time now, though for a while it remained to be seen how strong the interest was on either side Cooper is also very highly valued by Ole Miss and ran a 4.48 40-yard dash while on that campus. Cooper will take an official visit to South Carolina this weekend and it appears that the Gamecocks may be a real factor here now.

Still in it: Clemson, Ole Miss, Arkansas, N.C. State*, South Carolina
Public leaders: None
Visits: South Carolina: 1/21, Ole Miss: 1/28
Decision Date: Not known
Current Projection: ?
Ahmad Christian – No. 47 CB – 5-10/190 - Trinity Catholic (Jax.)
Quick Hitter: South Carolina was in the conversation with the talented cornerback for some time but it remained to be seen if things would work out on either side. South Carolina was likely done at his position and Christian was more interested in in-state programs Florida and Miami. However with coaching changes at both schools and the decommitment of Thomas Finnie South Carolina has been back on the market for another corner and Christian just may be the guy. Christian will officially visit South Carolina this weekend and the Gamecocks could be his choice.

Still in it: South Carolina, Tennessee, Auburn, Miami, Louisville
Public leaders: None
Visits:USC: 1/21
Decision Date:?
Current Projection: South Carolina
Tanner McEvoy – QB (No. 48 WR) – 6-5/210 - Bergen Catholic (N.J.)
Quick Hitter: Though he wasn't offered until he visited the South Carolina campus, McEvoy is the quarterback that quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus honed in on way back in the spring as a potential top target for this class at the position. McEvoy played wide receiver his junior season, but excelled at quarterback in his senior under the direction of well-known quarterback tutor and Bergen Catholic head coach Nunzio Campanile. McEvoy is rated as a wide receiver on Scout and has a great skillset for the position but has a very high upside at QB. McEvoy has family ties to South Carolina and the Columbia area. His brother played at Rutgers, but this looks to be a South Carolina/North Carolina final battle with the Gamecocks likely winning out.

Still in it: South Carolina*, North Carolina*
Public leaders: None
Visits: Complete
Decision Date: Thursday (1/20)
Current Projection: South Carolina
Roderick Byers – No. 63 DT – 6-3/262 - Northwestern (RH, SC)
Quick Hitter: South Carolina offered Byers early and looked to be the front runner for his services for some time, but for whatever reason the Northwestern defensive lineman never pulled the trigger on a commitment. Multiple scheduled official visits have been pushed back. Clemson has yet to officially offer Byers but if it does on an upcoming official visit, that could be his destination.

Still in it: South Carolina, Clemson, Oregon
Public leaders: None
Visits:Clemson, South Carolina, Oregon
Decision Date: Not known
Current Projection: ?
Marcquis Roberts – No. 99 OLB – 6-0/206 - McEachern (Ga.)
Quick Hitter: South Carolina narrowed in on Roberts very early in his recruiting process and the talented striker has been a lean behind the scenes since way back in the spring. It took his teammate Rory Anderson a little bit longer to come around to Carolina's recruiting pitches but both looked poised to join the Gamecocks' recruiting class at some point. Roberts isn't as highly recruited as some of the other players USC is after down the stretch but he's at a position of need and is someone Carolina likes a lot.

Still in it: South Carolina*, Cincinnati*
Public leaders: South Carolina, Cincinnati*
Visits: None
Decision Date: Today (1/19)
Current Projection: South Carolina
Leon Mackey – JC DL – 6-5/260 - Hinds CC (Miss.)
Quick Hitter: Mackey signed with South Carolina out of Hargrave as part of the 2009 class but did not qualify again and has been on the market again after a year and a half at Hinds CC in Mississippi. South Carolina has hung in there with Mackey throughout the process but overall numbers and other issues may keep Mackey from landing in Columbia this time around.

Still in it: South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi State
Public leaders: Tennessee
Visits: Completed
Decision Date: Soon
Current Projection: Mississippi State

- * denotes prospect has already officially visited the school
- Current South Carolina commitment Mason Harris is scheduled to take an official visit to Miami on 1/28
- As always, recruiting is fluid and new names could pop up.

Gamecock Anthem will update The Big Board periodically leading up to National Signing Day.

South Carolina Commitment List

1/19 Updates:

- Clowney visits scheduled and visits taken plus possibility of making decision after Signing Day.
- Dukes visits taken.
- Removed DT Kevin McReynolds from the board.
- McEvoy visits and decision date.
- Changed potential Brissett visit to 1/28 as Gamecock Anthem reported over the weekend. Upgraded Brissett to four-star prospect.
- Adams visits taken.
- Anderson visits taken and decision date.
- Royster decision date and pared down to final two of South Carolina and Rutgers publicly. Added fourth star.
- Added Cincinnati to Roberts' list as those are the two schools he publicly says he is choosing between today.
- Mackey visits taken and projection to Mississippi State.
- Added CB Ahmad Christian

Follow Wes Mitchell on Twitter @WesMitchellSC.
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