Possibly the biggest recruiting news in Columbia, South Carolina right now is the re- emergence of JUCO defensive end Dorian Gerald. Gerald, a University of Tennessee commit, took an official visit to the South Carolina Gamecocks over the weekend for their matchup against Arkansas. He grew up just over an hour away from Columbia in Florence, S.C., and has been fond of the idea of staying close to home and having his family attend college games.
Gerald’s visit came at an opportune time for the Gamecocks, with defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson inspiring his men to score three defensive touchdowns in a 48-22 route of Arkansas. Gerald was able to witness exactly what Will Muschamp is trying to build at South Carolina — highly skilled defensive players that can make it to the NFL.
Gerald’s commitment to Tennessee is still firm, but recruits must wonder how stable Butch Jones’ job is in Knoxville. I would not be surprised if Gerald’s eyes, among others, are on this weekend’s upcoming game when the Gamecocks take a visit to Knoxville, Tenn. He pledged his commitment to the Volunteers in June, his biggest reason being that he was able to have his entire family come along on the visit. They were not all able to attend Gerald’s visit to South Carolina a few weeks prior for reasons outside of the school’s control. Expect for the Gamecocks to continue the full press on Gerald as signing day gets nearer.
In other recruiting news, South Carolina quarterback commit Dakereon Joyner (Fort Dorchester) was invited to the Carolinas Shrine Bowl along with three other South Carolina pledges: center Hank Manos (Chapin), offensive tackle Wyatt Campbell (Lugoff Elgin) and wide receiver Darius Rush (CE Murray).
5-star edge rusher KJ Henry set his official commitment date for Dec. 20. Henry has South Carolina in his top five, which also includes Alabama, Georgia, Virginia Tech and Clemson. He has made an official visit to Georgia but has yet to confirm any other visits. KJ Henry is the number two ranked weak-side defensive end in the 2018 recruiting class.