The Gamecocks actually signed more four-stars in this recruiting cycle than Tennessee did, but the Vols had three more commitments and landed five-star tackle Trey Smith, boosting their class just a touch above South Carolina’s No. 21 class. The Gamecocks had an player star rating of 87.02, while the Vols edged them out at 87.14, according to the 247Sports Composite. That’s a negligible difference.
The schools have similar geographic challenges, given the fact that they don’t have lots of talent in state and have to fight with just about everyone in the conference and outside of it to get the best players.
But on the flip side, because of that location, it’ll be a bit easier for South Carolina to get prospects than the bottom-tier recruiting teams in the division, Kentucky and Missouri. The Wildcats traffic consistently in the low 20s and 30s. Mizzou’s 50th-ranked class follows up a No. 43 ranking in 2016, and the days of Gary Pinkel seem far gone.
Both those teams fight battles on different fronts in different regions though: Missouri in the Midwest and Kentucky in the Ohio River Valley. Vanderbilt remains a bit of a recruiting outlier unto itself because of the academic standards of the program and how much the administration cares about sports. The key for South Carolina is figuring out where it best fits, then executing.
But none of that is what’s critical now. Best wishes to Key on getting through whatever has sidelined him.
Renner notes that nearly half of Pryor’s receiving yards came in just four starts. Cleveland didn’t have much continuity at the quarterback position last season, which could be a contributing factor.