South Carolina football fans are excited as their favorite team has signed 2 5-star prospects in the same recruiting cycle for just the second time in the history of modern recruiting (2020 was the other).
Dylan Stewart (EDGE) and Josiah Thompson (offensive tackle) are the 5-stars in question, and they are also 2 of 9 different high school All-Americans that signed with the Gamecocks during the early signing period.
7 of those players, including Stewart, are part of the Under Armour All-American Game festivities. Stewart is joined by 4-star offensive tackle Kam Pringle, 4-star tight end Michael Smith, 4-star quarterback Dante Reno, 4-star defensive back Jalewis Solomon, 3-star wide receiver Debron Gatling, and 5-star (according to Kohl's Kicking) kicker/punter Mason Love.
Stewart, Reno, Gatling, and Love will play for Team Fire, and Smith will suit up for Team Ice. Both Pringle and Solomon are out for the game with an illness.
Not only is Stewart a captain for Team Fire (along with Reno), but he has received some major praise through the early practice sessions in Orlando.
Described by 247Sports' Andrew Ivins (and contributors Greg Biggins, Allen Trieu, Cooper Petagna, Gaby Urrutia and Christian Clemente) as the "Alpha Dog" of the Under Armour practices so far, Stewart has looked like a force in preparation for the January 3rd all-star event.
Ivins and his 247Sports colleagues also said that Stewart looks more put together than his listed size of 6'5" and 235 pounds (he's also been listed as big as 6'5" and 250 pounds) and looks as if he will be a "game-wrecker" in the SEC. In addition to plenty of pass rush wins, Stewart showed off some impressive burst off of the line of scrimmage, blowing up a jet sweep and generating push on the edge in the run game.
In addition to all the deserved praise being heaped upon Dylan Stewart, another blue chip Gamecock signee was recognized in Ivins' report.
Tight end Michael Smith (who, according to 247Sports' rankings, is the highest-rated tight end ever to sign with South Carolina football) was called a "ball magnet" during red zone drills, and he was able to show off his size as an in-line tight end and athleticism while split out as a receiver. He could be in line to get a lot of work in the game as two of his tight end teammates are no longer available to play.
Fellow class of 2024 South Carolina football signees Josiah Thompson (5-star offensive tackle) and Fred Johnson (4-star linebacker/EDGE) will participate in the All-American Bowl on January 6th.