South Carolina Football: Gamecock commits make ESPN rankings debut

South Carolina football commitments Landon Duckworth and Rodney Colton, Jr. are both ranked inside the top-150 of the new ESPN300 for the class of 2026.
South Carolina football helmet
South Carolina football helmet / John Sommers II/GettyImages

South Carolina football has the chance to put together a really good recruiting class in the 2026 cycle.

The Gamecocks have two commitments already in the class, and a long list of Gamecock targets (including at least five from in the Palmetto State) who are highly regarded prospects with bright futures ahead of them on the football field.

On Friday, ESPN released its annual ESPN Junior 300 in which they debut the recruiting rankings for the rising high school junior class. These rankings will update several times before things are all said and done in the recruiting cycle, but most players inside the top-250 of the 300 stay on ESPN's list. Both South Carolina football commits found themselves inside those rankings.

Quarterback Landon Duckworth was the Gamecocks' first commitment in the class, and the Jackson, Alabama native has been considered a 4-star recruit by On3, 247Sports, and Rivals for quite some time. Duckworth is ranked as high and 79th in the nation and debuts as one of the ESPN Junior 300, as well.

In fact, Duckworth is the #1-rated dual-threat quarterback in the country in ESPN's rankings. The #8 overall quarterback, Duckworth comes in at #98 in ESPN's Junior 300. He was also named a "quarterback to watch" by Craig Haubert and Tom Luginbill as one of three QBs acknowledged in their "top prospects at each position" article that accompanied the ESPN 300.

The second pledge in the '26 cycle was linebacker Rodney Colton, Jr. The Newnan, Georgia product is also a consensus 4-star player as he is ranked as high as #34 in the land. ESPN placed him well inside their top-300 list.

Colton is a 4-star and the #12 outside linebacker (though, there is some overlap between true linebackers and EDGE players in that ranking) in the Junior 300. That is good enough to rank him #144 in the overall rankings.

South Carolina football targets Jordon Gidron (Ridgeview High School; Columbia, SC; #44 overall; #8 wide receiver), J'Zavien Currence (South Pointe High School; Rock Hill, SC; #84 overall; #13 cornerback), Donovan Murph (Irmo High School; Columbia, SC; #99 overall; #15 wide receiver), Jamel Howse (Newberry High Schook; Newberry, SC; #101 overall; #3 TE/H-Back), and Carnell Warren (Bluffton High School; Bluffton, SC; #281 overall; #43 wide receiver) are all in-state prospects in the ESPN Junior 300.

South Carolina Football: Gamecock pledge named top-10 commit in April. South Carolina Football: Gamecock pledge named top-10 commit in April. dark. Next