South Carolina Football: Gamecock commitments continue playing well, offering hope for the future

Blake Franks was the latest commtiment for South Carolina football, and the Gamecocks are ranked in the top-10 nationally for the 2024 cycle. Mandatory Credit: Syndication: The Greenville News
Blake Franks was the latest commtiment for South Carolina football, and the Gamecocks are ranked in the top-10 nationally for the 2024 cycle. Mandatory Credit: Syndication: The Greenville News /

The South Carolina football commitments in the class of 2024 have been balling out this fall.

A group loaded with 4-star and 5-star prospects is lighting up the box score each week, and South Carolina football fans are getting excited about what these high school standouts can do when they arrive in Columbia next season.

As an EDGE rusher who plays both defensive end and outside linebacker, 5-star Dylan Stewart has been a disruptive force this season for Friendship Collegiate Academy in Washinton DC. This season, Stewart’s defense has allowed more than 16 points just once, and Stewart has 17 stops behind the line (8 sacks, 9 more tackles for loss) through six games.

For the quarterback Dante Reno, the high school season is still early. His Cheshire Academy squad has only played three games, but Reno has accounted for over 1000 yards passing and 9 total touchdowns in the team’s 3-0 start against some of the best teams in the New England area.

Mazeo “MJ” Bennett had one of the best games of any South Carolina football target last week. The wide receiver had three touchdowns in the first quarter alone (one receiving, one rushing, and one punt return). He followed that up with a two-touchdown performance this Friday. Bennett showcased his after-the-catch abilities when he caught two short passes and zigged and zagged his way through the whole defense for scores.

Matthew Fuller has been one of the top running backs in the entire talent-rich state of Georgia this season. Putting up almost 200 yards on the ground per game, Fuller has carried the Wayne County offense and has scored 16 of the team’s 25 offensive touchdowns through 7 games. He has shown impressive burst with multiple touchdown runs over 50 yards this season.

The hard-hitting 4-star safety Kelvin Hunter has had 10 tackles in each game the past couple of weeks and has demonstrated his well-rounded athleticism this season with some nice performances as a running back, as well.

Mason Love recently won the national kicker/punter of the week award from Kohl’s Kicking for a big performance that included multiple 50+ yard field goals. Love will have a chance to compete immediately for the Gamecocks’ kicking and punting jobs if Kai Kroeger and/or Mitch Jeter move on after the season.

Michael Smith’s Calvary Day School team is 7-0 and routinely takes their starters out of games early, but the big 4-star tight end still has 8 touchdowns on the season. He also has nearly 400 yards receiving through six games despite playing alongside class of 2025 South Carolina football receiver target Thomas Blackshear.

Fred “JayR” Johnson, a 4-star linebacker prospect, plays all over the field for Maury High School in Virginia and has been one of the team’s top contributors at multiple spots. When the Commodores need a traditional linebacker, he’s a tackling machine. When they need to rush the passer, he’s unblockable off the edge. When they need a big play on offense, he’s one of the top receiving threats in Virginia. Maury’s undefeated start to the year is no surprise with Johnson on the team.

Another linebacker commitment who could end up as an EDGE player, 4-star Wendell Gregory has been excellent for the 7-0 Walton High School Raiders. The Atlanta-area prospect plays in the biggest division of Georgia high school ball, and he had a great showing on his biggest stage this season, dominating a game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium against traditional power Grayson High School with 1.5 sacks and 2.5 more tackles for loss.

4-star cornerback Braydon Lee has been a two-way star for Charles Herbert Flowers High School in DC, and the Gamecock pledge had one of the most dominant one-minute stretches in high school football this season. Against rival Bowie High School, Lee had an interception, then scored the ensuing touchdown on a nice reception, and followed it up with a 2-point conversion.

Zy’marion Lang, a 4-star athlete who plays wide receiver and defensive back, has been a consistent receiving threat despite playing in a very run-heavy offense. Lang leads Cardinal Mooney in receiving touchdowns and rarely gets targeted by opposing offense’s passing games.

Savannah Christian’s David Bucey is one of the team’s top performers on all three sides of the ball. Leading the team in receiving and offensive touchdowns, Bucey is also among the defense’s leading tacklers and has blocked a punt, something that likely intrigues South Carolina football’s special teams coordinator Pete Lembo.

South Carolina football commitments Josiah Thompson (5-star), Kam Pringle (4-star), and Blake Franks (4-star) are offensive linemen, so their level of play is harder to quantify with statistics. However, combined records of 18-5 for Dillon, Woodland, and Greenville High Schools help paint the picture that the big fellas are dominating up front.

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