South Carolina Football: Blue chip EDGE names Gamecocks as a finalist

The South Carolina football team has a gaping hole on the roster at the EDGE positions, especially at the hand-in-the-dirt defensive end spot. With two starters transferring out this offseason (Jordan Burch and Gilber Edmond), a high-profile suspension (Monteque Rhames), another transfer portal casualty (Rodricus “Hot Rod” Fitten), and three relatively injury-prone seniors (Jordan Strachan, Tyreek Johnson, and Terrell Dawkins), the room is thin.

4-star true freshman Desmond Umeozulu and transfer sophomore Jatius Geer will be good players for the Gamecocks, but after that, the position group is a mystery moving forward. In 2023, some players may have to play out of position (defensive tackles moving outside or linebackers putting their hands down at end), and young players like Umeozulu will be forced into contributing early.

Understandably so, the South Carolina football staff has been recruiting the defensive end position hard this offseason. The top prospect in the 2024 class Dylan Stewart has been to Columbia more than any other campus during his recruitment, and the Gamecocks are one of his favorites. KingJoseph Edwards, Justin Greene, Jamonta Waller, Kameryn Fountain, and Jaylen Harvey are all elite players interested in the Gamecocks who could play defensive end at the next level.

On Friday, the Gamecocks were placed in yet another defensive end’s recruiting final grouping. Olney, Marylan product Darien Mayo released a top-6 via his personal Twitter account.

Mayo’s top-6 include South Carolina, Michigan, Ohio State, Southern Cal, Clemson, and Maryland. Mayo has official visits set for all six schools except for Maryland.

Mayo is a big, 4-star end whose upside is through the roof. At 6’7″ and 255 pounds, he has size reminiscent of former Gamecock great Devin Taylor. His length and athletic ability ooze with potential, and his blue chip rating is evidence of that potential.

Mayo is another DMV (Washington DC, Maryland, Northeast Virginia) prospect. The Gamecocks have done extremely well recruiting the area over the last couple of seasons. In the 2023 cycle, Shane Beamer and his staff pulled in 5 DMV recruits (5-star Nyckoles Harbor, 4-star Desmond Umeozulu, 4-star Oluwatosin Babalade, 3-star Zahbari Sandy, and preferred walk-on Mo Brown) and a transfer portal tackle (Sidney Fugar) from the area.

In 2024, Gamecock commits Braydon Lee (4-star corner) and Mike Williams (3-star offensive lineman) are also from the DMV.