All-Star Recruiting Class Will Be At USC-UGA

Football prospects from the classes of 2007, 2008, and 2009 will take in the contest between South Carolina and Georgia Saturday night at Williams-Brice stadium. The list of visitors includes some of the highest ranked prospects ever to consider donning the garnet and black. Read inside for a full list of prospects who will be in Columbia, SC this weekend.

Each Division I football program is limited to signing 25 players per class, but if Carolina only signed those from the class of 2007 who are taking in Saturday night's nationally televised game on ESPN, they would have one of the nation's highest ranked classes next February.

Three players who are ranked as 5-Star players by Scout.com will be in attendance. A 5-Star player is regarded as one of the Top 50 players in nation, regardless of the position they play. Those players are Caleb King, D'Angelo McCray, and Mark Barnes. South Carolina, whose recruiting class was considered a Top 25 class in 2006, did not sign any players ranked in the Top 50 last season.

King is the #3 running back in the country, according to Scout. The 5'11" 195 pound back transferred this year to Greater Atlanta Christian School. He is noted for his "uncanny balance, ability to accelerate at full speed out of a cut, excellent vision, and the ability to make people miss." King is also a dangerous receiver. King was known to be in contact with the USC coaching staff, but the Gamecocks had not been listed among the top schools he was looking at, so his visit this weekend is a pleasant surprise to some. The strength and conditioning program at USC under Coach Mark Smith is a major attraction to King, as it was to the Gamecock's first commitment at running back, Brian Maddox.

Defensive tackle McCray is also ranked #3 nationally at his position by Scout. The 6'3" 280 pound player from Andrew Jackson HS in Jacksonville Florida had been a commitment to Florida, but has decided against signing with the Gators. When GamecockAnthem broke the story of McCray's decommitment from Florida on July 28th, he had a top 4 schools he was looking at. Those schools have changed, then changed again in the six weeks since then, but South Carolina has remained in strong contention for McCray's services, who currently lists Illinois, Florida State, Ole Miss, Southern Cal, and Georgia Tech as the other schools he's considering.

McCray is accompanied by his high school teammate, running back Troy Pollard. The two would like to attend the same college together. Pollard is attracting major attention himself, including Georgia, Auburn, Illinois, Tennessee, and South Carolina.

Barnes is currently favoring South Carolina, and the race for his services includes Louisville, Virginia Tech and LSU, but it is perceived to really be a two team race between the Gamecocks and the Cardinals. The 6-3, 190 pound wide receiver/safety from Richland Northeast HS (Columbia SC) is ranked by Scout as the #4 safety in the nation, but could play strictly wide receiver or both ways in college.

Gary Gray, Travian Robertson, Cliff Matthews, Brian Maddox, DJ Stafford, and Quinton Richardson are players attending the game who are 4-Star players by Scout, placing them in the top 300 players in the nation.

Gray was the first player this season to commit to the Gamecocks, but has now backed off his commitment and will decide between USC and Notre Dame, whom he currently favors. Also from Richland Northeast in Columbia, the 5'11' 165 pound Gray is ranked as the #6 cornerback in the nation by Scout.

Robertson is ranked as the #14 best defensive end by Scout. The 6'4" 230 pound is already a Gamecock commitment, and is accompanied by his current and future teammate, fellow Gamecock commitment defensive end Byron McKnight. They both attend Scotland HS in Laurinburg, NC, and have brought along a third teammate from Scotland, who is a close friend of both players, junior linebacker Terrell Manning. Robertson's younger brother Eric, a junior offensive lineman for Scotland HS and a self-proclaimed Gamecock fan, will also be at the game. He told GamecockAnthem he would love to join his brother at USC if offered.

Matthews is another defensive end visiting whom the Gamecocks would very much like to have, but he is currently favoring Georgia, the visiting team. Though he also lists Clemson and UNC as possible schools for him, the 6'5" 230 pound player, who is ranked as one of the nation's best defensive ends by Scout, is widely expected to choose between the two schools competing Saturday night. One source close to Matthews stated flatly that USC would have to win to overtake Georgia for Matthews's services.

Maddox may be the Gamecock's steal of this class, according to some analysts. Already ranked highly, the running back from TL Hanna (Anderson SC) is a firm commitment to the Gamecocks, and is actively helping to recruit others, like Richardson, to join them at USC. An explosive back with great speed and endurance, the 5'11' 215 pound Maddox is having a great senior season at Hanna. The USC staff is reportedly elated to have him. Maddox will be joined by T.L. Hanna teammate and tight end prospect Cameron Ford at the game.

Stafford is another player who has Georgia and South Carolina on his mind. He has narrowed his list to Virginia Tech, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Alabama, Kentucky, Clemson, Arkansas, South Carolina and Florida, but Carolina's staff would love to see a win Saturday night help the 6'3.5" 258 pound defensive end narrow his list to one. He is from Lagrange HS in Georgia, the same high school as current Gamecock starting quarterback Blake Mitchell.

Richardson has turned out to be USC's recruiting captain for this year's class, working other top players in the class of 2007 to join him on the Gamecock's sideline next year. The 6'4' 269 pound offensive lineman from Spring Valley (Columbia SC) recently injured a knee ligament, and will be easy to spot on crutches on the sidelines. His infectious grin and winning attitude will also be hard to miss.

Carlos Dunlap, Michael Bowman, and Addison Williams are the top-rated 3-Star players who will be attending the game, Bowman and Williams are already Gamecock commitments, and Dunlap, whose father played basketball at USC, also has USC high on his list.

Other 3-Star players attending the game will be cornerback Jamire Williams, wide receiver Markish Jones, offensive linemen Thomas Edenfield, linebacker Melvin Ingram, and defensive tackle Shane McCord.

Other players who will attend are safety Arkee Smith, who is likely to commit if offered by USC this weekend; wide receiver Jason Barnes, who is high on the USC staff's board; wide receiver Deshon Lawrence, wide receiver Dontrelle Inman, defensive lineman Kyle Linney, who is down to NC State or USC; and defensive end Sacoby Carter.

Also attending the game will be some commitments to other schools that have left a door open to USC. They include Kyle Nunn, a 3-Star offensive lineman from Sumter HS (Sumter SC) who is currently committed to Virginia Tech; and Scotty Cooper, a linebacker from Lake City HS (Lake City SC) who is a Clemson commitment.

Players from the class of 2008 who will be in attendance are DE Robert Quinn, LB Chaz Washington, who favors USC by a large margin; WR Jaron Brown, Eric Robertson, Terrell Manning, and cornerback JT Floyd.

Players from the class of 2009 who will be attending include Chris Bonds, who received all-state votes last year as a freshman defensive end; and running back Travis Small.

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