South Carolina Football: Gamecock commitment wins national award

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 fifteen commitments in the class of 2024. The Gamecocks have two 5-star prospects (offensive tackle Josiah Thompson and EDGE Dylan Stewart) committed for just the second time in the modern recruiting era (MarShawn Lloyd and Jordan Burch in 2020).

There are also several 4-star recruits (every Gamecock commitment except one is rated as a 4-star or 5-star by at least one major recruiting outlet) who have the Carolina fanbase excited for their futures in garnet and black.

One of the least-heralded prospects in the class could prove to be extremely valuable. Kicker/punter Mason Love committed to the South Carolina football program in the summer. The Missouri native is rated as a 5-star prospect according to Kohl’s Kicking and a 3-star according to On3 and 247Sports (the highest rating allowable for kickers by those services).

With punter Kai Kroeger and kicker Mitch Jeter both in their 4th year of college, replacements will be needed for special teams coordinator Pete Lembo’s units. Love will be a candidate to compete for both jobs once Kroeger and Jeter move on (both players could return in 2024, utilizing the “Covid redshirt,” but both players also could have an NFL future).

Love has a very strong leg and, according to Kohl’s Kicking, he has been ranked inside the top-10 as both a kicker and a punter at different points in his high school career. Whether Love will focus on kicking or punting at Carolina (or attempt to do both) is still unknown. Earlier this season, Love nailed a 50-yard game-winner for his Park Hill South High School squad.

On Tuesday, Love was honored as the Kohl’s Kicking National Player of the Week. Love went 4/5 on field goal attempts, including a school record 57-yard make. He also averaged 43 yards per punt and was perfect on his kickoffs, booting each one into the end zone for a touchback.

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