Mid-Season Recruiting Projections: Part II

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 "big uglies" on both sides of the ball that the Gamecocks are in the mix with.

Today we take a look at the "big uglies" and give our mid-season projections. In this report you may see some surprises, but there is a madness to our projections. As we have all noticed, the interior line is essential to the success of the South Carolina football program. First we look on the offensive side of the ball.

Mr. Class of '07 himself, Quintin Richardson, affectionately know as "Q-Rich," is one of the top offensive tackle prospects in the nation this year. The 4-star prospect has given his pledge to coach Spurrier and coach Hunt, and he is determined to help the South Carolina program get to the next level. Richardson is your prototypical tackle for the ole ball coach's offense, and with his athletic ability, he will definitely get to the edge to help on some of those sweeps.

Projection: South Carolina

Another offensive tackle on the Gamecocks radar is Jacksonville, FL product Thomas Edenfield. This 3-star lineman is currently sitting out his senior season rehabbing an ACL injury, but look for him to be at full strength come next summer. Edenfield currently favors the Gamecocks, and after a recent visit to Columbia, he stated, "The visit was a 10. I like everything about the program and the city." Bobby Bowden will get his turn to try and sway this athletic tackle to the Seminoles, but It's going to take a lot to close the gap of Carolina's current lead.

Projection: South Carolina

The Gamecocks are only looking to take 2 to 3 offensive linemen in this class. Kyle Nunn of Sumter, SC has been offered, but he appears firm in his commitment to Virginia Tech. The will card here could be Kyle Fischer, who is Richardson's teammate at Spring Valley (Columbia, SC). He has been offered by several schools, but the one he is looking for is in the garnet and black. Stay tuned.

On the defensive side of the ball, there are some HUGE diamonds and must have prospects that are still out there. Already committed of course is Travian "T-Rob" Robertson, who is ranked by Scout.com as the #19 defensive end in the country, and his teammate Byron McKnight. Both were at the South Carolina - Georgia game in September, and Robertson told GamecockAnthem.com, "I cant wait to get here." Robertson is off to a great senior season, and he is fully recovered from a knee injury that he suffered last year.

Projection for Travian Robertson and Byron McKnight: South Carolina

One of the biggest prizes still out there is the 14th rated defensive end in America, Cliff Matthews. Matthews is statistically one of the top defensive linemen in the Palmetto State in both tackles and sacks, and he isn't looking to slow down anytime soon. South Carolina has the full court press on for this prize recruit, and the Gamecocks have made it no secret that he is one of their top priorities. Back in the early part of the summer, Matthews was going to go on record with a commitment to the University of Georgia, but he decided to postpone that decision. Matthews took an official visit to Georgia this past weekend and came away impressed, but the good news for the Gamecocks is that he did not commit. Matthews is taking his time with this process and getting "his" own answers, instead of relying on other sources and persons. This will come as a surprise to many, but I'm going on record to say that this recruiting battle will come down to the in state schools of South Carolina and Clemson. This will be a race to the finish.

Projection: South Carolina

D'Angelo McCray is another highly touted defensive line recruit that South Carolina is in the mix with, and there is some genuine interest in the USC program from the McCray camp. McCray's desire is to play college football with his friend and high school teammate Troy Pollard. I do not see all of the schools, if any, that will be offering Pollard a scholarships. However, look for this decision to come late due to the fact Pollard may be offered by several schools if their first tier running back targets commit elsewhere. McCray is considered by many as a man child on the gridiron, and he would be a great addition to any defense in need of pass rushers.

Projection: Too close to call

Wesley Saunders is yet another highly touted prospect on the Gamecocks board, and while Saunders would prefer to play tight end at the college level, he could also have a bright future along the defensive line. Saunders currently claims South Carolina and Penn State as his top two schools. There are some family members that would like to see Saunders end up at Penn State, and others that would prefer he play in Columbia where they can make the short drive to see him play. This will be a tough "family" decision, so do not expect one anytime soon. Saunders has visited Louisville as well, but the main players in the battle for his services are definitely Penn State and South Carolina.

Projection: Too close to call.

Carlos Dunlap, whose father is a former athlete and student at South Carolina, is off to a stellar senior season. Several analysts are projecting Dunlap to move to the interior defensive line at the college level, which would make him an unstoppable force with his size and athletic ability. Both in state schools appear to have the edge over the other suitors, but when it is all said and done, I expect Dunlap to give his pledge to Coach Spurrier.

Projection: South Carolina

Georgia Military star defensive lineman Jarius Wynn is another prospect that was below the radar for quite some time last year when he was offered by Coach Ron Cooper. Well, the secret is now out on this highly regarded JC prospect . Expect him to follow his buddies, the Brinkley twins, to South Carolina.

Projection: South Carolina

The defensive line is a position that needs a serious upgrade, and the South Carolina coaching staff has done a great job to get the Gamecocks in position to land some of these pass rushing and run stopping specialist. When it's all said and done, this could turn out to be the Gamecocks best class ever as far as lineman are concerned. The "big uglies" are truly going to be the heart and soul of this class.

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