Recruiting notebook

Ah, the frost is on the pumpkin, and the long, lazy days of summer have been replaced by the ambers and browns of ... recruiting season. Things are starting to really heat up, with prospects lining up their all-important five official visits. For the next few weeks, we'll break down our prospect list position by position, highlighting who we think we've got the best shot at signing come February. This week, we're looking...

...into the trenches, along the defensive line, where two young players, Marque Hall and Stanley Doughty, anchor the middle. The ends are far more in flux, but with young players like Shea McKeen, Kerry Bonds, and Nathan Pepper having a year to grow and learn, the cupboard is far from bare. Another wildcard in this mix is Jarriel King, scheduled to join the team this spring, who could end up on either side of the line. So who are we looking at? Let's start at the ends and work our way inside.

DE

Adam Patterson - Listed on most services as a DT, Patterson projects as, and would prefer, to play DE. He's tops on our list, and right in our back yard at Richland NE. Losing him would be a heartbreaker, especially since he was 90% in the bag at the start of the season. A stout second half of the season, by our defense at least, will do wonders to keep Adam at home. Patterson is a true beast who is still learning the game. Bottom line: I still think we get him, but it's going to be a nail-biter.

John Graves- This 6-foot 4-inch, 250-pound Richmond, VA product is being courted by just about every major program on the East Coast, and we're still in the running. The key, as always, will be to get a visit and let SOS work his magic. Much harder to put a peg on where we stand with him.

Aiken product Dekoda Watson is moving up our board. We haven't offered yet, but that could (and probably will) happen in the near future. If offered, we have quite a good shot at landing him.

Wild cards:   Tavares Brown,   Audie Augustine,   Rodney Gnat,   Jayson Ayers.


DT

At the top of our wish list is massive 318-pound Kenrick Ellis of Lake Worth, FL. A true force inside. We're in his top group of eight or so teams -- will we get a visit? Stay tuned. Scout.com says he's the best Florida DT prospect in years.

Byron Isom - We have led for much of the summer for Isom, who now says Auburn has pulled even. Byron, a Lovejoy, GA product, has visited unofficially once, and has also set an official visit with us as well.

Samuel Chester - Another recruit from the Peach State, Chester (6-3/263), has also said that we currently lead for his services. Would be a great pickup; would not be surprised to see him commit during his official visit (no date announced yet).

Olufemi Abiboye- The third of our trio of Georgia DT prospects, and the newest to our board. Abiboye (6-2/275) is a former teammate of Carlos Thomas, which should help keep us in the hunt.

Wild cards:   Quencey Patrick,    Johnny Troutman.




Gamecock Stock Exchange

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   OL Clifton Geathers

  DT Adam Patterson

  DT Samuel Chester

  DT Byron Isom

  LB Emmanuel Cook

  LB Matt Wright

  OL Lee Tilley

  WR Lattarius Thomas

unranked JUCO OL Willie Barton (projects as a 4-star)




Swayin's Top 5

We'll adjust this list of uncommitted prospects periodically as the recruiting season continues; remains unchanged from last week.

1.   RB DeMarco Murray: Yes, we just spent the majority of this column talking about our needs at OL, but any time you have a shot at the #1 RB prospect in the country, you take it. We are fighting for his fifth visit right now; I'd give us an outside shot at it.

2.    OL Clifton Geathers: Time keep one of the Geathers clan in-state. Why not start with a massive, bruising, 5-star stud you can build your OL around for the next 4 years? He's been very tight-lipped about his recruiting thus far; hard to get a read on where he stands at this point.

3.   DE Adam Patterson: He was ours to lose early on, but has opened up his recruiting. We still have an excellent shot, and hopefully his teammate and Gamecock LB commit Rodney Paulk can help show him the way to SOS' house.

4.   OL Lou Eliades: We need big, nasty, talented OL who fire off the ball and arrive with an attitude, and Lou fits that bill to a T. He has taken his official visit here, and rated it as perfect. We'll just have to wait and see how his other visits go. Think of this New Jersey product as Tony Soprano in the trenches -- not a bad guy to have on your side.

5.   OL Daron Rose: See above, regarding big, nasty and talented. Daron is one of the most coveted linemen in Florida, and it will not be easy to pry him out of the Sunshine State, but he's narrowing his list down, and we've made every cut thus far. Just got to get him here for a visit.

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