South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer and his coaching staff have to be excited about the players they are bringing in this offseason. With a top-20 high school recruiting class and top-10 transfer portal recruiting class incoming, the Gamecock roster will look pretty different next fall, but a lot of the new faces have the chance to be difference-makers.
One of the top prospects from the high school class is offensive tackle Josiah Thompson. One of three blue chip offensive linemen to sign with USC during the Early Signing Period (along with Kam Pringle and Blake Franks), Thompson has the highest upside of the bunch.
The Dillon, South Carolina native has impressed this offseason on the camp and all-star circuit as he moved into 5-star range according to On3. This week, the recruiting outlet updated their rankings, and Thompson slid a tiny bit but also received a new honor.
Moving from the 9th-overall spot in the On3 rankings, Thompson is now #16th. However, he is now ranked as the top offensive tackle in the entire country, ahead of Jordan Seaton (a former Gamecock target) who sits in the #1-spot according to the toher three major recruiting outlets.
Thompson's ranking is based on his limitless upside. Nicknamed "Big Cat," Thompson is the most athletic tackle prospect in the '24 cycle, and he has already shown a lot of ability both as a run blocker and a pass protector. If he can develop more physically (he only weighs 265 pounds right now), then the big fella will turn into a star at the college level.
The Gamecocks' offensive line picture is murky. Ideally, Thompson will have a year to get stronger and learn the college game before being pressed into action, but last year's Carolina squad put out one of the worst offensive line products in college football. If things aren't better in 2024, Thompson might have to play as a true freshman, something that both Tree Babalade and Trovon Baugh did in 2023.
Whenver he gets on the field, Josiah Thompson could turn into one of the best offensive linemen to ever play for the South Carolina football program.