Mid-Season Recruiting Projections: Part I

GamecockAnthem.com takes a look at how the 2007 South Carolina recruiting class is currently shaping up, and projects where the top prospects remaining on the Gamecocks board will sign next February. Today we take a look at the offensive skill players that the Gamecocks are recruiting.

On the recruiting trail, the "wagon is fine."

There have been some naysayers and antagonists that think the wheels are falling off of the recruiting wagon in the Gamecocks 2007 recruiting class, but in all actuality, things are going very well. For one, as stated by the head man in charge, when was the last time in recent history that South Carolina has been in the top 2 to 5 schools for so many "big time" 4 and 5 star recruits? The Gamecocks are currently ranked as high as the #3 class in the country according to one recruiting service, and Carolina is in great position with many of the top prospects left on their board. Today we will take a look at the skill position players on the Gamecocks recruiting board and project where they will sign next February.

First at quarterback, Mr. Everything Stephen Garcia has stated several times that the Gamecocks are his current leader. NC State, Auburn, and Oklahoma have made strong pushes here in the last few weeks, but fortunately for the Gamecocks, recruiting is the last thing on Mr. Garcia's mind right now. He will take a visit or two, but when all is said and done, expect Mr. Garcia to be in the Garnet and Black.

Projection: South Carolina

At running back, committed already is 4-star prospect Brian Maddox, who is a perfect fit for Spurrier's Cock-n-Fire. South Carolina is still in the fold for the services of Enrique Davis and Caleb King, albeit long shots. Look for the Davis battle to come down to Auburn and Florida. However, in a recent interview with GamecockAnthem.com, Caleb King stated, "I am genuinely interested in South Carolina, I could see myself contributing right away here."

Enrique Davis Projection: Auburn

Caleb King Projection: Auburn/Georgia

The Gamecocks are not totally out of it yet for these two targets, but it's an up hill battle.

One key to Spurrier's success at Florida was his ability to recruit and sign elite talent at the wide receiver position. In the past, most of the big time wide receivers would not have even given the Gamecocks a look, but with the Ole Ball Coach at the helm, they know his track record speaks for itself. There are some big carrots still dangling out there, and the Gamecocks will look to land three, if not more of those.

Wide receiver Michael Bowman has already made his pledge to the Gamecocks and may very well turn out to be the surprise of the 2007 class. This kid will do special things on Saturday afternoons.

One of the top overall prospects for the Gamecocks in this class is 5-star wide receiver Mark Barnes out of Columbia, SC. The hometown hero is on the top of everyone's list, and he has been informed that he will have the opportunity to play both ways when he steps foot on the South Carolina campus. Likewise, Louisville has informed Barnes of the same. In an interview after the Georgia game Barnes stated, "Man did you see the five wides, did you see them? Wow. I just get excited thinking about it." Barnes is still looking to take a few more official visits before making his final decision, and he is considering trips to Virginia Tech, LSU, Southern Cal, Notre Dame, and South Carolina. Shortly after those trips a decision will be made. Barnes is Coach David Reeves personal project, and he hates to lose at anything. Look for Reaves to close the deal on this one and for Barnes to be a Gamecock in the end.

Projection: South Carolina

Dion Lecorn is another prize jewel on South Carolina's radar, and Coach Steve Spurrier Jr. has done a wonderful job of keeping the Gamecocks in the mix. This will be a Florida - South Carolina battle to the end.

Projection: South Carolina

Golden Tate has come on with South Carolina as of late and come on hard. The 4-star prospect has the Gamecocks in his top three along with Vadnerbilt and Alabama. Look for this battle to come down the the wire as well.

Projection: Too close to call

Jason Barnes is a reciever prospect that South Carolina has been recruiting before he was a known commodity, but the battle has become intense as both North and South Carolina are fighting for his services. It is no big secret that Barnes mother wants him at South Carolina. However, he has former teammates at North Carolina, which gives them the edge. If Coach John Bunting survives the gauntlet, look for mom to allow Barnes his wishes.

Projection: North Carolina

The Gamecocks are still very much in the mix with Matt Clements, but there is a three team race between South Carolina, Pittsburgh, and Ohio State. Follow this roller coaster closely. It's going to be a ride filled with twists and turns. The air waves have been cleared at school and look for Clements to rejoin his high school team within the next few days to a week. Coach Robert Gillespie has done an excellent job of putting South Carolina out front with Clements, and in the end, Clements will don the garnet and black.

Projection: South Carolina

Two more top prospects on Coach Gillespie's radar are Deonte Thompson and his teammate, Tarus Mckinley. Thompson has a genuine interest in Coach Spurrier's offense, but the in state schools will not let this one get out of their backyard easily. South Carolina will receive official visits from both of these receivers, but look for the dynamic receiving duo to ultimately stay in the Sunshine State.

Projections for Thompson and McKinley: If Larry Coker survives as head coach, Miami. If not, Florida.

Tomorrow we will take a look a the "big uglies" that the Gamecocks are recruiting on both sides of the ball.

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