South Carolina Football: Gamecocks officially sign 5-star Mr. Football

South Carolina football officially signs 5-star Josiah Thompson, the Mr. Football for the state of South Carolina.

South Carolina football signee Josiah Thompson (74) at the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.
South Carolina football signee Josiah Thompson (74) at the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas. / Ken Ruinard - staff / USA TODAY NETWORK
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The Early Signing Period for college football began on Wednesday, and National Letters of Intent have been flying in from all over the country. While most of those NLIs are not sent in via fax machine anymore, commitments are not official until paperwork is completed. The South Carolina football program is hoping to have most of their class secured by the end of the Early Signing Period.

One of the players in the class who made things official is offensive lineman Josiah Thompson.

Position: OT
Recruiting Ranking: 5 stars (On3), 4 stars (247Sports, ESPN, Rivals)
Measurables: 6’7”; 280 pounds; 6'11" wingspan; 36-inch arms
Former Player Comp: Ernest Dye

Josiah Thompson will step on campus as one of the most talented offensive linemen in South Carolina football history. If he puts in the necessary work in the weight room and with the nutrition staff to put on some muscle, the 2023 Mr. Football for the state of South Carolina could end up as a 1st-round NFL Draft pick.

Appropriately nicknamed "Big Cat," Thompson is extremely athletic for a young man his size. He played some tight end early in his career for his Dillon High School squad, and his quick feet and impressive "get off" at the line of scrimmage are a testament to that athleticism.

Barring his need to gain a little weight, it is hard to imagine creating a better archetype for a left tackle than Josiah Thompson. The big fella is an aggressive run blocker who plays with a much lower pad level than the majority of big high school offensive linemen, and he has the tools to become an elite pass protector if he takes to collegiate coaching.

He is somewhat reminiscent of former Gamecock tackle Ernest Dye. Dye was 6'6" and a little over 300 pounds (a weight that would fit nicely on Thompson's frame), but it was his athleticism that helped him develop into a 1st-round pick in the 1993 NFL Draft. Thompson fits the same mold as Dye, though he is not quite as broad as the Greenwood native was.

Thompson is one of two 5-star prospects committed to the Gamecocks in the '24 cycle (EDGE Dylan Stewart is the other). If things go well for him at Carolina, he could go down as one of the best to ever don the Block C on his helmet. It remains to be seen if he can contribute immediately, but whether it is in the fall of 2024 or beyond, he will be a good one in Columbia.

You can watch some of his film here.

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