The South Carolina football 2024 signing class is loaded. With 9 total All-Americans, the group has an argument as one of the best Gamecock signing classes of all-time.
At last week's Under Armour All-American Game, the Gamecocks had 7 players (5 active) who were chosen for the game. 5-star EDGE Dylan Stewart, 4-star quarterback Dante Reno, 4-star offensive tackle Kam Pringle, 4-star cornerback Jalewis Solomon, 4-star tight end Michael Smith, 5-star kicker Mason Love, and 3-star wide receiver Debron Gatling were all Under Armour All-Americans (Pringle and Solomon were not available for the game).
5-star offensive tackle Josiah Thompson and 4-star linebacker/EDGE Fred "JayR" Johnson were selected as All-American Bowl All-Americans, but Johnson was unavailable for the game.
As the Under Armour Game was finishing up (where Stewart, Smith, and Gatling were standout performers), All-American Bowl practice began, and Thompson commanded attention.
According to 247Sports' Andrew Ivins and Gabe Brooks, Thompson was the best pass rusher of all the players at the All-American Bowl. Part of what made that so impressive (aside from the reality that he was going up against some of the best high school prospects in the country) was the fact that he measured smaller than expected.
Thompson measured 6'6" and 264 pounds at the event (smaller than the advertised 6'7" and 280 pounds), and even with the need to add weight, Thompson was a dominant force protecting quarterbacks.
Ivins' favorite trait of Thompson's is his athleticism. Described as an athlete who is "quick on his feet" and who can "recover like few others," Thompson did a great job all week at impeding pass rushers, even winning some 1-on-1 reps against fellow 5-star LJ McCray (Florida).
Thompson will need to add weight during his time in Columbia, but his frame suggests that he won't have any issue getting up to around 300 pounds. If he can keep his elite athleticism at that size, he might develop into the best left tackle in the history of the South Carolina football program.