Signing Day Upshot: More Domination Coming

Signing day has come and gone, and South Carolina had a pretty good day. Of the 4 recruits who were up in the air going into the day, all 4 chose the Gamecocks. Add to that the fact that every recruit who was committed ended up signing and you have a happy Wednesday in Columbia.

While watching twitter for updates I couldn’t help but wonder what our country cousins were doing in the upstate. They were signing a pretty good class, too. Truth be told most years Clemson has a higher rated class than South Carolina, and in all fairness Dabo and his staff are good recruiters. However, in comparing the two classes, I couldn’t find any reason to be concerned.

For the last half decade Carolina has dominated the rivalry. That domination has been a direct result of South Carolina’s superior line play, particularly on the defensive line. The advantage the Gamecocks have had in the trenches has been stronger some years and closer others, but the advantage has been constant. The Melvin Ingrams, Jadeveon Clowneys, Travian Robertsons and Devin Taylors of the world have made the difference.

This offseason Carolina will lose 3 of its 4 defensive line starters. Who are they bringing in to replace them? These guys:

  • Abu Lamin, 6’3″ 300 lb DT, 4 star [1]
  • Dante Sawyer, 6’2″ 262 lb DE, 4 star
  • Dexter Wideman, 6’4″ 255 lb DT, 4 star
  • Jhaustin Thomas, 6’6″ 255 lb DE, 3 star
  • Blake McClain, 6’4″ 280 lb, DE, 3 star
  • Tyler Stallworth, 6’2″ 285 lb DT, 3 star

The importance of quality defensive line depth cannot be overstated, and South Carolina is continueing to stockpile talent. With that in mind, there’s no reason to think the recent successful seasons shouldn’t continue.

And Clemson, well they have a different philosophy. The Tigers are bringing in 3 three star offensive tackles after bringing in two offensive linemen last year. To go with those players they have nine 4 star RBs and WRs. I’m sure that’ll work out well over the next 3-5 seasons.

[1] All star rankings are from 247 Sports’ composite ranking which averages all the major ranking services.