South Carolina Football: Gamecocks named a surprise finalist for Florida running back

South Carolina footballHead Coach Shane Beamer.Syndication: Florida Times-Union
South Carolina footballHead Coach Shane Beamer.Syndication: Florida Times-Union /

South Carolina football is in the middle of one of the most consequential recruiting weekends in program history. Multiple top targets (5-star EDGE Dylan Stewart, 4-star running back Daniel Hill, 4-star wide receiver Jonathan Paylor, and others) are on campus, and they all are huge difference makers at positions of need for the future.

Off-campus, the Gamecocks got an unexpected piece of news. 3-star running back D’Marius Rucker announced his top-5 on Friday, and Carolina was included. No, South Carolina football fans, that does not say “Darius Rucker.” D’Marius Rucker plays running back and runs track for Lakeland High School in Lakeland, Florida. His announcement came via his personal Twitter account.

Rucker’s list of five finalists included South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, South Florida, and Arkansas State.

D’Marius Rucker’s announcement comes as a bit of a surprise as there has not been much to come out about his recruitment that has had anything to do with the Gamecocks, and he has never visited the campus.

Fellow running back Matthew Fuller (4-star according to ESPN) publicly announced his commitment on Friday right around the same time as Rucker’s announcement, and Carolina is heavily involved with two 4-stars at the position in Daniel Hill and Braylen Russell.

The Gamecocks are expected to add at least two running backs in the class of 2024 as there is only one back on the current roster with more than two years of eligibility remaining. Fuller makes one, so Carolina is likely to take at least one more.

Now, with Rucker’s announcement, South Carolina football is officially a finalist for all three of Rucker, Hill, and Russell. Rucker and Russell announced top-5 lists (Russell included South Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee, Baylor, and Texas A&M), and Hill named 8 finalists (South Carolina, Alabama, LSU, Penn State, Tennessee, Auburn, Mississippi State, and Michigan).