While Clemson lands nation’s best prospects, Gamecocks have to focus in-state

While Clemson lands nation’s best prospects, Gamecocks have to focus in-state


While Clemson lands nation’s best prospects, Gamecocks have to focus in-state


Clemson and South Carolina are Palmetto State rivals on the field but have not been going head-to-head on the recruiting trail for many prospects in the state of late. While the Gamecocks have to rely heavily on in-state recruiting, the Tigers have proven to be able to land top talent from around the nation.

In the 2020 cycle, South Carolina signed eight players from the Palmetto State, including four rated as three-star prospects, while Clemson signed only one player from the state in the 2020 class.

The Gamecocks beat out Clemson and several other schools for Columbia (S.C.) five-star defensive lineman Jordan Burch, but the Tigers plucked the nation’s No. 1 defensive lineman, five-star Bryan Bresee, out of Maryland in addition to signing five-star D-lineman Myles Murphy and four-star Demonte Capehart, a top-50 national recruit.

The only in-state player in South Carolina’s 2020 signing class besides Burch that cited an offer from Clemson during the recruiting process was four-star defensive tackle Tonka Hemingway, though the Tigers had other D-linemen higher on their board.

The Tigers showed interest in one of the Gamecocks’ top-100 national signees from South Carolina, four-star quarterback Luke Doty, but never offered him as they went after and got five-star DJ Uiagalelei, the nation’s top-ranked pro-style quarterback, from California.

Clemson expressed interest in South Carolina wide receiver signee Ger-Cari Caldwell from Rock Hill, S.C., toward the end of the cycle but elected not to offer and instead sit tight with its two receiver takes, four-star E.J. Williams from Alabama and Ajou Ajou from Canada.

South Carolina signed one prospect from outside the state ranked as a top-100 national high school prospect (according to the 247Sports Composite) in running back Marshawn Lloyd (No. 42 overall) from Maryland.

Meanwhile, the Tigers inked a total of 10 top-100 national prospects (three from Florida and one apiece from California, Maryland, Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky and Washington, D.C.).

Overall, Clemson’s 24-member 2020 signing class represents players from 12 different states, plus Canada, the second-most states represented in a class under Dabo Swinney. In 2019, the Tigers signed players from 14 states.

It has become more and more uncommon in recent years for the Tigers and Gamecocks to cross paths on the recruiting trail, and that trend figures to continue assuming Clemson keeps recruiting on a national level.

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