The South Carolina Gamecocks closed out with a solid recruiting class for 2012 that fulfilled many of their needs and added key depth in places for the immediate future.
The Gamecocks class was rated the nation’s 11th-best by CBSSports.com, behind only Alabama and Florida in the SEC. Scout.com rated the class No. 12 (behind Alabama, Florida and LSU in the league). ESPN put the Gamecocks at No. 16. Rivals.com had the lowest opinion of the class, slotting it No. 19 in the country.
We already looked at the defensive side of the ball so let’s take a look at the offensive signees:
These three are already enrolled:
Brock Stadnik (6-5,287) (4-stars Scout / 4-stars Rivals / 247 4-stars)
Brock has a strong chance to start at one of the tackle spots in 2012 or at least be on the depth chart. He was a 2012 UnderArmour All-American Game selection and 2011 Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas selection… named to the PARADE All-America team… was an all-conference and all-state selection as a junior… is a four-star prospect, the seventh-best player in the state, and the 36th-best offensive tackle in the country according to Rivals.com… was a four-star recruit, the 18th-best tackle in the country and the 129th-best player overall according to Scout.com.
Clayton Stadnik (6-2,265) (3-stars Scout / 3-stars Rivals / 247 2-stars)
Clayton Stadnik has the potential to be good, and it was likely best for him to enroll early to get a head start on conditioning and take part in spring drills with his brother Brock. The offensive line is deep—nice to think about for USC fans—and Clayton Stadnik will need to shine to avoid a red shirt. The Gamecocks signed another center, Cody Waldrop, so there is competition in the future, and that could be a good thing depending on the response. Clayton was a 2-star recruit. But stars do not matter, right? If he can learn the system and get stronger, then he could see playing time. If not, then he could get lost in the mix.
Kelvin Rainey (6-3, 210) (3-stars Scout / 3-stars Rivals / 247 3-stars)
An athletic tight end that rushed 59 times for 506 yards and four touchdowns and caught six passes for 85 yards in a run-oriented offense as a senior at Yulee (Fla.) High School in 2011. He has all the tools necessary to make an impact in 2012 and avoid a redshirt.
Shaq Roland (6-1, 173) (4-stars Scout / 4-stars Rivals / 247 4-stars)
Shaq Roland is every bit as good as advertised, and Carolina has not had a wide receiver like him sign in many years. He is silky smooth with the ball in his hands, he has good enough speed to be a big play threat in the SEC, and he can be utilized in many ways on offense and special teams at Carolina. The only concern with him is his history of shoulder problems, but he plans to strengthen the shoulder through weight training this offseason. Hopefully that will help keep his shoulder healthy. Roland has the tools necessary to be a starter at wide receiver due to the departure of Alshon Jeffery to the NFL. The Gamecocks need playmakers, and he is the right guy.
Mike Davis (5-9, 216) (4-stars Scout / 4-stars Rivals / 247 4-stars)
Stud. Can easily be the No.2 back in 2012. Mike Davis rushed for 1,923 yards and 21 touchdowns on 213 carries as a senior at Stephenson High School in Stone Mountain, Ga.
Jody Fuller (5-11, 201) (3-stars Scout / 4-stars Rivals / 247 4-stars)
Jody Fuller hauled in 68 passes for 825 yards and 11 touchdowns in his senior season at Sun Valley High School in Monroe, N.C… was a 2011 Shrine Bowl selection and also played in the 2011 Offense-Defense All-Star Game… logged 77 catches for 850 yards and 16 touchdowns as a junior… collected 175 receptions for 2,175 yards and 33 scores in his final three prep seasons… was a four-star prospect, the 230th-best player in the country, the eighth-best player in the state and the 37th-best wide receiver by Rivals.com… rated a three-star prospect and the nation’s 71st-best wide receiver by Scout.com He is likely a slot receiver and could be in the mix in 2012.
Jerell Adams (6-6, 224) (4-stars Scout / 4-stars Rivals / 247 4-stars)
Jerell Adams is considered one of the top overall prep school prospects in the country this year. Adams, 6’6″, 224 pounds, signed last year but didn’t qualify academically and may be the best athlete in the class. He played five positions in football, played basketball and dominated the Shrine Bowl two years ago. It’s an absolute shame that his paperwork couldn’t get cleared in time for him to enroll in January; this young man is a touchdown machine at the tight end position.
Kwinton Smith (6-4, 206) (3-stars Scout / 3-stars Rivals / 247 4-stars)
Kwinton Smith logged 34 receptions for 564 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior and 42 catches for 809 yards and 15 scores as a junior at Dillon (S.C.) High School. Likely redshirt as he needs a year to grow but has all the weapons to be a very good wide out for USC in the future.
Joe Harris (6-4, 309) (4-stars Scout / 4-stars Rivals / 247 4-stars)
Big boy that should fight for playing time and make his way on the depth chart. He was a four-star prospect, the 13th-best guard and the 16th-best player in Georgia by Rivals.com… rated a four-star prospect and the nation’s 14th-best offensive guard and the 263rd-best player overall by Scout.com… a four-star recruit, the 18th-best guard and the 24th-best player in the state according to ESPN.com.
Cody Waldrop (6-2, 300) (3-stars Scout / 3-stars Rivals / 247 4-stars)
Cody Waldrop is an interior offensive lineman who could play either guard or center. Go ahead and pencil him in for No.2 behind T.J. Johnson as he is that good.
Brendan Nosovitch (6-1, 210) (3-stars Scout / 3-stars Rivals / 247 3-stars)
This what we wrote about him already.
Kendric Salley (5-9, 205) (3-stars Scout / 3-stars Rivals / 247 3-stars)
Kendric Salley tore his ACL late in 2011, and just knowing this means this young player will have to work twice as hard going forward to get to full strength. Despite the injury that caused him to miss four games while limiting him in three others, Salley still rushed for more than 1,200 yards and 20 touchdowns during his senior year. He has the talent, but a challenge in front of him. The running back slot is at USC is loaded with talent with the likes of Marcus Lattimore, Brandon Wilds, Shon Carson and incoming recruit Mike Davis.
Mason Zandi (6-9, 266) (3-stars Scout / 2-stars Rivals / 247 2-stars)
He is a project but has huge upside. Only played football for one year. He has the potential to be really good in 2 years.
Nick St. Germain (5-9, 182) (2-stars Scout / 2-stars Rivals / 247 3-stars)
Nick St. Germain could have the biggest early impact of any true freshman in this class. Carolina is in need of a kickoff specialist and placekicker heading into next season, and Germain has the best leg that Carolina has featured since Ryan Succop. This kid can boom the ball, and he will be a weapon the day that he steps foot on campus. It was a great move by the USC staff to add him to this class, as the Gamecocks need a solid kicker going forward and he is just the man for the job.