South Carolina football had a really impressive recruiting class sign with the program during the early signing period. Despite having a less-than-stellar season on the field and despite bringing in a smaller high school class than many other teams, the Gamecocks signed a top-20 group, and their per-player rankings sit anywhere from 11th to 13th in the country.
There are plenty of newcomers for South Carolina football fans to be excited about watching this fall, but according to Adam Gorney, the National Recruiting Director for Rivals, one Gamecock signee stands out.
Gorney called 5-star EDGE signee Dylan Stewart the "best-looking prospect" in the entire 2024 recruiting class. The word "special" was also used to describe the instant-impact freshman.
Stewart is a consensus 5-star prospect in the class, and he is the first player from out-of-state to be ranked as a 5-star by every major recruiting outlet and sign with the Gamecocks (Nyck Harbor in 2023 was dropped to a 4-star late in the process by ESPN).
At 6'5" and 240-ish pounds, Stewart is an athletic freak who, as Gorney points out in his article, has the type of frame that can hold more weight without sacrificing his burst.
It will be interesting to see how much Stewart will play in the early parts of his freshman season and where he will see the field.
The South Carolina football coaching staff has not been opposed to playing true freshman in big roles (Nick Emmanwori, DQ Smith, and Jalon Kilgore all were Freshman All-Americans in 2022 and 2023).
The bigger question for Stewart might be centered around where he will play. As a lighter EDGE with elite athleticism, he will play on obvious passing downs. However, depending on which defensive formation defensive coordinator Clayton White utilizes, Stewart could play different spots.
In the 4-2-5, Stewart likely would play exclusively with his hand in the dirt as a defensive end. However, in the 3-3-5, he could play down or he could play as an outside linebacker pass rusher. Either way, Gamecock fans can expect to see #6 on the field a lot in 2024.