South Carolina Football: Gamecocks trending positively for 5-star Georgia prospect

South Carolina football helmet. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
South Carolina football helmet. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports /

South Carolina football has been recruiting elite class of 2025 defensive back Jontae Gilbert for a while now. The long-time Ohio State commitment has been heavily pursued by the Gamecocks, and the Atlanta native has visited Columbia three times since April. After his most recent visit, Gilbert backed off from his OSU pledge.

Rumors and speculation immediately ran rampant across the South Carolina football online ecosystem.

Did the decommitment come as a direct result of Gilbert’s visit to Columbia?

Was the 247Sports composite 5-star now going to commit to the Gamecocks?

Could other South Carolina football vs. Ohio State football recruiting battles like the one for 5-star Dylan Stewart also go the Gamecocks’ way? (The answer to that last question was announced on Tuesday as a resounding “YES” as Stewart shut down his recruitment and committed to the South Carolina football program).

While Carolina fans should probably take a breath or two before jumping all the way to “South Carolina Football: 2027 National Champions!!” (Yes, that was a real Tweet from a Gamecock fan), it turned out that the USC faithful had good reason for optimism in their excited speculation.

Right before Gilbert’s decommitment from Ohio State, he said that the Gamecocks were “right next to” Ohio State at the top of his recruitment. Several recruiting services, including On3 and their Recruiting Prediction Machine, believe that the Gamecocks lead heavily at this point in Gilbert’s recruitment.

With Gilbert being a class of 2025 prospect, this battle isn’t over just yet, however. Ohio State, Georgia Tech, Southern Cal, Texas A&M, Miami, Tennessee, Alabama, NC State, and even Georgia if the Bulldogs offer could still be factors over the next year and a half as his recruitment is completed.

Personally recruited by Gamecock defensive back coach Torrian Gray, Gilbert has shown the ability to be a dynamic back-end player who can play both corner and safety at a high level. That positional flexibility could come in handy for a Gamecock team that will likely be losing at least one starting safety and both starting corners by the time Gilbert gets to campus in 2025.

Though it is still pretty early in the evaluations of the ’25 class, Gilbert is a consensus top-50 prospect and is rated as a 4-star or 5-star recruit by all four major recruiting services (On3, 247Sports, ESPN, and Rivals).

You can watch some of his film here.