South Carolina’s official visitors this weekend; plus, Gamecocks set for final pitch before early signing period

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A second guest?

For now, 3-star linebacker and Florida State commit Rosendo Louis is the only confirmed visitor for this weekend in Columbia, but it’s possible another major South Carolina target could join .

“A candidate to be the second recruit to return to Columbia for the weekend is 3-star offensive guard Jovaughn Gwyn,” McGranahan wrote. “After winning a state championship Saturday, Gwyn came down with strep throat, so he’ll be back on campus if he’s well enough to visit.”

Gwyn is rated as the No. 20 offensive guard for 2018 (247Sports), while Louis is No. 23 at his inside linebacker position.

The final push

This weekend is the last one coaches can make their pitches to prospects before the first early signing period  from Dec. 20-22.

The recruiting dead period begins on Monday and lasts through the second week of January — in which no face-to-face contact is permitted.

The Gamecocks are hoping an official visit with Louis, and potentially Gwyn, can help build momentum heading into the inaugural early signing period.

Early arrivals

South Carolina will have a dozen of its 2018 commitments enroll in January , including 4-star quarterback Dakereon Joyner, 3-star running backs Lavonte Valentine and Deshaun Fenwick , 3-star wide receiver Darius Rush and more.

The Gamecocks have three other commitments planning to sign next week: 3-star defensive tackle Jabari Ellis, 3-star offensive tackles Jesus Gibbs and 3-star defensive back Jonathan Gipson.

South Carolina’s 2018 class is ranked No. 18 overall in the 247Sports composite team rankings .

Quick connection

Speaking of Joyner, the soon-to-be South Carolina signal caller is hitting it off with his future teammate: fellow Gamecocks commit and 3-star center Hank Manos.

“We have been friends throughout the whole recruiting process. Kinda met each other through USC,” Manos told The State’s Lou Bezjak . “Through this week, we kinda have built a stronger bond, not just between us but through all the other USC commits. I’m extremely happy he’s a Gamecock.”

Joyner and Manos will both be playing for South Carolina in the 81st annual Shrine Bowl between South Carolina and North Carolina this Saturday at 2 p.m. on

Mail time

Gamecocks fans filled the inbox of SEC Country’s Hale McGranahan for the latest edition of the South Carolina recruiting mailbag .

@tansan22 wants answers on one of the biggest rumors making the rounds among South Carolina Twitter: “KJ Henry’s dad, we hiring him?”

“I haven’t been told no. Haven’t been told yes,” McGranahan answered. “But I don’t think so. To me, it’s kind of a shame this got blown up like it did this week, because I don’t really think that it’s in the works, and it’s not like this is a new development. Henry’s said all along that if one of his top schools hires his dad, then he’d be more likely to sign with them.”

Henry is one of the Gamecocks’ top remaining targets for 2018. The 5-star defensive end is rated as the No. 8 overall prospect in his class by the 247Sports composite. He’ll announce his college decision on Dec. 20.

Looking ahead

Five-star running back, and major South Carolina target for 2019, Quavaris Crouch   already has quite the list of accomplishments — with another season of high school football remaining.

The 6-foot-2 running back was recently named Gatorade North Carolina Player of the Year, rushing for 3,246 yards and 33 touchdowns in leading Harding University High School (Charlotte) to the North Carolina 4A state championship.

Sporting News recently profiled Crouch and his teammates in their quest for Harding’s first state title since 1953.

Crouch is rated as the No. 24 overall prospect for 2019, according to the 247Sports composite.

Feel-good flashback

With all this early Signing Day talk, let’s look back at one of the most exciting moments in recent memory for Gamecocks fans: 4-star CB Jamyest Williams reaffirming his commitment to South Carolina on National Signing Day 2017.

Williams was the Gamecocks’ highest-rated signee for 2017. He earned SEC All-Freshman honors  after finishing the season with 38 tackles, 4 tackles for loss and 2 interceptions.

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