South Carolina Football: Gamecocks sign 4-star, finalize long-time flip of in-state receiver

New South Carolina football signee Mazeo "MJ" Bennett flipped from Tennessee last February and made things official on Wednesday.

South Carolina football wide receiver Mazeo Bennett.
South Carolina football wide receiver Mazeo Bennett. / MCKENZIE LANGE/ Staff / USA TODAY

The Early Signing Period for college football began on Wednesday, and National Letters of Intent have been flying in from all over the country. While most of those NLIs are not sent in via fax machine anymore, commitments are not official until paperwork is completed. The South Carolina football program is hoping to have most of their class secured by the end of the Early Signing Period.

One of the players in the class who made things official is 4-star wide receiver Mazeo Bennett.

Position: WR
Recruiting Ranking: 4 stars (consensus)
Measurables: 6'0"; 180 pounds
Former Player Comp: Kenny McKinley

Mazeo Bennett, once committed to Tennessee, is a smooth operator at the wide receiver position. Everything he does on the field seems controlled and purposeful. When he needs to slow things down and rely on his blockers and field vision, he slows down. When he needs to run past defenders, he can do that, too. Even his body control on balls in the air is better than most smaller receivers.

Listed at 6'0" or 5'11" depending on where one looks, Bennett plays bigger. He has more high-point ability than might be expected, and he is tough with the ball in his hands, something that was helpful for his Greenville High squad as he helped out a lot in the run game.

Bennett is similar to former Gamecock all-time great Kenny McKinley in a lot of ways. McKinley wasn't big, but he played bigger than he was. He wasn't overly fast, but he wasn't getting caught from behind either. He ran smart, effective routes, and his hands were good. It would be unfair to put Kenny McKinley expectations on Bennett, but the resemblance is there.

Depending on how the transfer portal recruiting process finishes, the Gamecocks could be in line to play Bennett a lot early in his career. Though he has the skills to play outside, his game is best suited for the slot. Coastal Carolina transfer Jared Brown and former Vanderbilt Commodore Jayden McGowan both are candidates to play inside, but there has been talk that McGowan could be wavering on his commitment.

Kelton Henderson, Tyshawn Russell, and former quarterback Luke Doty could play in the slot, as well, but if McGowan does not end up a Gamecock and Brown has to get some snaps on the outside, there will be plenty of opportunities for Bennett to see action.

You can watch some of his film here.

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