The recruiting season has slowed down a bit in terms of major news (the 2024 cycle is almost over except for late signees, and most class of 2025 players are still at the stage in their recruitment in which they take a lot of visits). South Carolina football only has one player committed in the class (wide receiver Jayden Sellers), but things should start to heat up over the next couple of months.
Over the weekend, Shane Beamer's program made a little bit of news on the recruiting front.
3-star offensive lineman Jacobe Ward from Savannah, Georgia announced his top-10 schools on Sunday afternoon, and the Gamecocks made the cut.
Ward's top-10 included the South Carolina Gamecocks, Tennessee Volunteers, Kentucky Wildcats, Alabama Crimson Tide, UCF Knights, Miami Hurricanes, Texas A&M Aggies, Auburn Tigers, West Virginia Mountaineers, and LSU Tigers.
Despite being just a 3-star recruit according to both On3 and 247Sports (and unranked by ESPN and Rivals), Ward has a really nice offer list, indicating that big-time college programs have a higher view of the big fella than the recruiting industry.
As a player, Ward is a mean run blocker. When his Benedictine Military School offense keeps the ball on the ground, he becomes a body mover as whoever lines up across from him doesn't stand a chance. He fires off the ball hard, and he is an excellent puller on traps, counters, and power plays. Even when he doesn't stay low enough out of his stance, Ward is strong enough to overcome the technique gaffe.
In pass protection, he doesn't show the quickest feet, but he has an excellent base that stems from a strong lower half. Ward also doesn't mind using an opposing player's momentum against them: if they crash inside, he has no problem washing them down into traffic, and if they try to get around him on the outside, he is too strong for most high school pass rushers to break through his seal.
Most of Ward's snaps on film come at tackle, but he has gotten some reps inside at guard. Standing at 6'4" and weighing 335 pounds, he is built like an SEC guard and is rated as an interior player by both On3 and 247Sports.
The Gamecocks are pursuing several prospects from Savannah in the '25 cycle (most notably 5-star defensive lineman Elijah Griffin), and class of 2024 signees David Bucey and Michael Smith are from the south Georgia city. Landing Jacobe Ward could be the next step in creating a pipeline to the talent-rich city.
You can watch some of his film here.