South Carolina’s freshman difference-makers on D; Gamecocks eye in-state prospects for 2020

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Putting in time

Cornerback Jaycee Horn could be one of the South Carolina’s top freshman contributors for 2018 .

Rated as the No. 22 cornerback for 2018 (247Sports composite), Horn ultimately ended up in Columbia despite an earlier pledge to Tennessee.

“Will Muschamp got Jaycee Horn when he came to Alpharetta High School, to take the time out of his schedule, to come see him [practice]. That’s when he got Jaycee Horn,” said Horn’s father, former NFL wide receiver Joe Horn. “Maybe a lot of head coaches ought to take that cue, to get more players.”

The former Alpharetta (Ga.) High School standout is expected to push for playing time as the Gamecocks try and replace three starters in the secondary: cornerback JaMarcus King and safeties Chris Lammons and D.J. Smith.

‘A really impressive kid’

Freshman linebacker Rosendo Louis has missed some time this spring because of a family emergency, but he  still has South Carolina linebackers coach Coleman Hutzler excited .

“He was an impressive kid on tape,” Hutzler said. “When we went to his practice, [offensive line coach Eric Wolford] and I, we sat there at practice and said, ‘Wow.’ He was a really impressive kid with how he worked, how he hit, how he ran and how he went about his business, coming from a great program.”

Louis, a former 4-star prospect for 2018, originally committed to Florida State before his senior season, before signing with South Carolina on Dec. 20.

In-state stars

The Palmetto State boasts five of the top 247 prospects for 2020 , according to 247Sports: Jordan Burch (No. 27), Alex Huntley (No. 100), Tonka Hemingway (No. 121), Xavier McIver (No. 218) and Demonte Capehart (N0. 219).

All five of the prospects are classified as defensive linemen.

The Gamecocks have offered scholarships to Burch, Huntley, Hemingway and McIver.

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Buck stops here?

Four-star defensive end and 2019 prospect Dante Walker profiles as a potential Buck outside linebacker/defensive end should he end up at South Carolina.

The 6-foot-3, 240-pound prospect was on campus earlier this month to check out the Gamecocks’ practice.

“Practice was pretty good. I got to sit in on the meetings. How they run things and do things is what stood out. It was pretty nice,” he said.

In addition to South Carolina, Walker lists offers from Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and more. He’s rated the No. 123 overall prospect for 2019, according to the 247Sports composite.

Tune in

South Carolina men’s basketball coach Frank Martin will be a guest studio analyst with CBS Sports and Turner Sports during the NCAA Tournament , South Carolina announced on Wednesday.

“CBS Sports and Turner Sports have added head coaches Brad Underwood [Illinois] and Frank Martin [South Carolina] as guest studio analysts for the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship airing across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV,” the release read. “Underwood will join the Atlanta studio team — host Casey Stern and analysts Brendan Haywood, Candace Parker and Seth Davis — on Thursday and Friday, March 15 and 16, with Martin in Atlanta on Saturday and Sunday, March 17 and 18.”

After a 69-64 loss to Arkansas in the second round of the SEC Tournament on March 8, South Carolina’s season came to an end as the team wasn’t selected for any postseason play.

The Gamecocks finished the season 17-16 overall and 7-11 in the SEC.

Keep rolling

South Carolina’s baseball team won its fifth straight game on Wednesday with a 12-3 decision over Harvard. The victory moves the Gamecocks to 12-5 on the season.

South Carolina opens SEC play at Founders Park on Friday with Game 1 of a three-game set against No. 2 Florida.

Making history

South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley was featured on The Undefeated on Wednesday.

“With Dawn Staley and South Carolina’s victory over Mississippi State in the NCAA Tournament championship game last year, women’s basketball saw only its second black head coach hoist the trophy,” Rhiannon Walker wrote. “Staley followed in the footsteps of her predecessor and mentor Carolyn Peck, who with her Purdue Boilermakers became the first black and youngest coach to win the championship in 1999.”

Staley and No. 2-seeded Gamecocks return to the court on Friday night when they host No. 15-seeded North Carolina A&T in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

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