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Signees

BRYAN EDWARDS
Wide Receiver • 6-3 • 205
Conway, S.C. (Conway)
Signed: January Enrollee

Highlights Coach's Comments

Bio
Wide receiver who graduated from Conway (S.C.) High School at the end of the fall semester and enrolled at South Carolina in January... coached by Chuck Jordan... considered one of the state's top players as a senior in 2015 until suffering a season-ending knee injury in late October... was a finalist for South Carolina's "Mr. Football"... finished his senior campaign with 53 catches for 969 yards and nine scores... selected for the Shrine Bowl and the US Army All-American Game... finished his high school career with 188 catches for 2,562 yards and 32 touchdowns... Rivals ranks him as a four-star prospect, the fourth-best player in the Palmetto State and the 64th-best wide receiver in the country... considered a four-star prospect, the third-best player in the state and the 12th-best wide receiver in the country by 247Sports... ESPN also ranks him as a four-star prospect, the state's fifth-best player, the nation's 43rd-best wide receiver and No. 253 overall... rated a PrepStar All-American, a four-star prospect and No. 223 overall.

C.J. FREEMAN
Running Back • 5-11 • 196
Greensboro, N.C. (Northern Guilford)
Signed: January Enrollee

Highlights Coach's Comments

Bio
Running back who graduated from Northern Guilford High School in Greensboro, N.C. midyear and enrolled at South Carolina in January... played for head coach Johnny Roscoe... rushed for 2,091 yards and 23 touchdowns for Northern Guilford in his senior season, averaging more than seven yards per carry and nearly 150 yards per game... in four playoff games, he averaged 265 rushing yards... the Nighthawks went 10-5 and reached the state Class 3AA semifinals... rated a three-star prospect, the 30th-best player in the state of North Carolina and the No. 31 running back in the country by Rivals... considered a three-star prospect and the No. 31 running back in the nation by 247Sports Composite... ESPN gave him a three-star rating and considered him the No. 52 running back in the country... rated a four-star prospect and an All-Atlantic Region pick by PrepStar.

BRANDON MCILWAIN
Quarterback • 6-0 • 198
Newtown, Pa. (Council Rock North)
Signed: January Enrollee

Highlights Coach's Comments

Bio
Two-sport standout who also plays baseball... graduated from Council Rock North High School in Newtown, Pa. after the first semester and enrolled at South Carolina in January... threw for 1,720 yards and 18 touchdowns on 147-of-252 passing and rushed for 1,545 yards and 31 touchdowns on 227 carries as a senior, helping the Indians to the Suburban One League Continental Conference title, their first since 2006, and a 7-4 mark overall... as a defensive back, he collected 62 tackles and two interceptions, returning one for a score for the Indians... played for head coach Adam Collachi... named the Pennsylvania Gatorade Player of the Year, the AP Class AAAA Player of the Year, a Mini Max Award from the prestigious Maxwell Club, Southeastern Pennsylvania Player of the Year by The Inquirer, CBS Philly's Player of the Year and the Maxwell Club PA Player of the Year... during his junior season he threw for 2,100 yards and 18 touchdowns and rushed for 1,100 yards and 20 scores... named an Elite 11 quarterback after his summertime performance at The Opening national event... in four years he produced 10,427 total yards of offense and 124 touchdowns (6,545 yards and 54 TDs passing; 3,882 yards and 70 TDs rushing)... Rivals considers him a four-star prospect, the eighth-best player in Pennsylvania and the 13th-best dual-threat quarterback in the nation... 247Sports ranks him as a four-star recruit, the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in the country and No. 153 overall... ESPN has him as a four-star recruit, the nation's seventh-best dual threat quarterback and No. 118 overall... rated a PrepStar All-American, a four-star prospect and No. 251 overall... will also play baseball for Chad Holbrook at South Carolina... on the diamond, he hit .414 with seven homers, 28 RBI and 22 stolen bases for a team that went 19-6 and reached the state quarterfinals... also logged a 7-3 record and 1.26 ERA on the mound with 42 strikeouts and 13 walks... was a Perfect Game All-American and played in the Area Code Games... considered him to be a potential first round pick in the MLB Draft... posted a 3.99 GPA with plans to be a political science major... hopes to obtain a joint MBA/JD degree... father, Roddy, was born in Columbia and is a South Carolina graduate... grandmother lives in Irmo.

CHRIS SMITH
Defensive Back • 5-10 • 168
Rock Hill, S.C. (South Pointe)
Signed: January Enrollee

Highlights Coach's Comments

Bio
Multi-position athlete who could play on either side of the ball... graduated from South Pointe High School in Rock Hill, S.C. in December 2015 and enrolled at South Carolina in January... coached by Strait Herron... helped the Stallions to a 14-1 record as a senior and the 3A state title for the second-straight season... played in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas... as a junior, he logged 71 tackles and five interceptions along with 600 all-purpose yards... considered a two-star prospect by Rivals and by 247Sports... ESPN ranks him as a three-star prospect and the No. 46 cornerback in the nation... rated a three-star prospect and an All-Atlantic Region pick by PrepStar... is the son of former Arkansas defensive back Pat Burris and the nephew of Notre Dame standout Jeff Burris.

KOBE SMITH
Defensive Line • 6-3 • 295
Lawrenceville, Ga. (Archer)
Signed: January Enrollee

Highlights Coach's Comments

Bio
Graduated from Archer High School in Lawrenceville, Ga. at midsemster and enrolled at South Carolina in January... played for head coach Andy Dyer... helped the Tigers to an 11-2 record and a spot in the Georgia AAAAAA state quarterfinals as a senior... committed to play in the Semper Fidelis All-American Game following his senior season... Rivals considers him a three-star prospect, the 31st-best defensive tackle in the nation and the 48th-best player in Georgia... considered a three-star prospect, the 63rd-best defensive tackle in the nation and the 83rd-best player in the state of Georgia by 247Sports... is a three-star prospect, the 40th-best defensive tackle in the nation, and the 43rd-best player in Georgia according to ESPN... rated a three-star prospect and an All-Southeast Region pick by PrepStar.

KEIR THOMAS
Defensive Line • 6-1 • 245
Miami, Fla. (Miami Central)
Signed: January Enrollee

Highlights Coach's Comments

Bio
Graduated from Miami (Fla.) Central High School at mid-semester and enrolled at South Carolina in January... coached by Roland Smith... played multiple positions, including nose guard, defensive tackle, defensive end and linebacker... racked up 22 sacks among his 83 tackles as a senior... recorded 71 tackles and 18 sacks as a junior... regarded as a three-star prospect, the 23rd-best strongside defensive end in the country and the 49th-best player in Florida, according to Rivals... 247Sports ranks him as a three-star prospect, the 26th-best strongside defensive end in the nation and the 64th-best player in the Sunshine State... ESPN rates him as a four-star prospect, the 26th-best defensive end and No. 192 overall on the ESPN 300... rated a PrepStar All-American, a four-star prospect and No. 288 overall.

Rico Dowdle
Running Back • 5-11 • 208
Asheville, N.C. (A.C. Reynolds)
Signed: 7:08 a.m.

Highlights Coach's Comments

Bio
Rushed for 2,545 yards and 51 touchdowns at A.C. Reynolds High, a Class 3AA school in Asheville, N.C... also passed for 1,434 yards with 11 scores... earned first-team all-state accolades... the Rockets went 11-2 in 2015 under the direction of head coach Shane Laws... played in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas where he scored a pair of touchdowns... Rivals has him listed as a three-star prospect, the 29th-best player in the state an the No. 17 all-purpose back in the country... 247Sports considers him a four-star prospect, the 11th-best player in the state of North Carolina and the 11th-best running back in the nation... ESPN ranks him as a three-star prospect, the 39th-best player in North Carolina and the No. 72 running back in the country... rated a three-star prospect and an All-Atlantic Region pick by PrepStar... grew up in Gaffney, S.C.

Chavis Dawkins
Wide Receiver • 6-2 • 200
Duncan, S.C. (Byrnes)
Signed: 7:11 a.m.

Highlights Coach's Comments

Bio
Played for Brian Lane at Byrnes High School in Duncan, S.C... as a senior, he was among the leading receivers in the state with 73 catches for 1,319 yards and 17 touchdowns... the Rebels posted a 12-2 record in his final season... was also the Sandlappers' leading receiver in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas with six catches for 62 yards and two scores... rated a two-star prospect by Rivals... considered a three-star prospect and the 16th-best player in the state by 247Sports... ESPN tabbed him as a three-star prospect, the state's 17th-best player and the 143rd-best wide receiver in the nation... rated a three-star prospect and an All-Atlantic Region pick by PrepStar.

Dennis Wonnum, Jr.
Defensive Line • 6-5 • 227
Stone Mountain, Ga. (Stephenson)
Signed: 7:24 a.m.

Highlights Coach's Comments

Bio
Dennis "D.J." Wonnum is a defensive end who was named to the All-Region team for Class 6 - AAAAA Division A as a senior at Stephenson High School in Stone Mountain, Ga... collected 38 tackles with 11 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks... the Jaguars posted a 9-2 record and earned a spot in the state playoffs in 2015 under head coach Ron Gartrell... earned all-state honors at tight end during his junior season... Rivals ranks him as a three-star prospect as a tight end... 247Sports rated him a three-star prospect, the 126th-best player in the state of Georgia and the 87th-best weakside defensive end in the country... ESPN gave him three stars and considered him the 113th-best player in Georgia and the No. 121 defensive end in the country.

T.J. BRUNSON
Linebacker • 6-1 • 225
Columbia, S.C. (Richland Northeast)
Signed: 7:35 a.m.

Highlights Coach's Comments

Bio
Local product who played at Columbia's Richland Northeast High School... coached by Jay Frye... overcame a serious hip injury during his junior season to log 140 tackles as a senior, leading the Cavaliers to the Class 3A state playoffs... named the Defensive MVP of the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas after leading the Sandlappers with 13 tackles and a sack... credited with 134 tackles as a junior... Rivals considers him a three-star prospect, the 14th-best player in the state and No. 56 in the country among outside linebackers... 247Sports ranks him as a three-star prospect, the 13th-best player in the state, and the No. 30 inside linebacker in the nation... ESPN ranks him as a three-star prospect, the 22nd-best player in South Carolina and the No. 40 inside linebacker in the country... rated a three-star prospect and an All-Atlantic Region pick by PrepStar.

Will Putnam
Offensive Line • 6-5 • 282
Harrisburg, N.C. (Hickory Ridge)
Signed: 7:35 a.m.

Highlights Coach's Comments

Bio
Played left tackle and defensive end for Hickory Ridge High in Harrisburg, N.C... the Class 3AA Ragin' Bulls went 7-5 under head coach Marty Paxton in his senior season... considered a two-star prospect and the 50th-best player in North Carolina by Rivals... rated a three-star prospect, the 50th-best player in the state of North Carolina and the nation's No. 112 offensive tackle in the country by 247Sports... ESPN ranks him as a two-star prospect, the 64th-best player in the state and the No. 132 offensive tackle in the nation... rated a two-star prospect and an All-Atlantic Region pick by PrepStar.

KOREY BANKS, JR.
Wide Receiver • 5-11 • 173
Tyrone, Ga. (Sandy Creek)
Signed: 7:51 a.m.

Highlights Coach's Comments

Bio
Wide receiver who earned honorable mention Class AAAA all-state honors as a senior at Sandy Creek High School in Tyrone, Ga... coached by Chip Walker... helped the Patriots to a 9-3 record by hauling in 61 catches for 813 yards and six scores in his senior season... Rivals rates him as a three-star prospect and the 65th-best player in the state... considered a three-star prospect, the 59th-best player in the state of Georgia and the No. 112 wide receiver in the country by 247Sports... ESPN ranks him as a three-star prospect, the 50th-best player in the state and the No. 93 wide receiver in the country.

Jamarcus King
Defensive Back • 6-1 • 170
Mobile, Ala. (Blount/Coffeyville CC)
Signed: 8:30 a.m.

Highlights Coach's Comments

Bio
One of the nation's top junior college cornerbacks... played two seasons at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas for head coach Aaron Flores... registered 37 tackles with three interceptions and a team-high 10 pass breakups, helping the 14th-ranked Red Ravens to an 8-3 record, while garnering first-team All-Jayhawk Conference and honorable mention All-America accolades in his sophomore season in 2014... earned first-team All-KJCCC and second-team NJCAA All-America honors after logging 27 tackles and five pass break ups as the 10th-ranked Red Ravens went 9-3 overall and 6-1 in the league in his freshman season of 2013... the four-star athlete is the number one-rated junior college cornerback in the country and the seventh-best JUCO prospect regardless of position according to Rivals... considered a four-star prospect, the No. 2 junior college cornerback in the country and the 16th-best JUCO prospect overall by 247Sports Composite... ESPN gives him four stars and considers him as the top cornerback and the 10th-best junior college player in the country... rated a four-star prospect and a JUCO All-American by PrepStar... primarily played wide receiver at Mattie T. Blount High School in Eight Mile, Ala., graduating in 2014... the Leopards went 9-2 in his senior season... will have three years to play two at South Carolina.

Robert Tucker, Jr.
Tight End • 6-3 • 238
Atlanta, Ga. (B.E.S.T. Academy)
Signed: 8:30 a.m.

Highlights Coach's Comments

Bio
Tight end and inside linebacker who attends the B.E.S.T. Academy (Business, Engineering, Science, Technology) in Atlanta... coached by Joshua Moore... caught 16 passes for 336 yards, a 21.0-yard average, with four touchdowns in eight games as a senior for the Eagles... also collected 46 tackles and five sacks... logged 45 receptions for 947 yards and 10 scores on offense and 166 tackles on defense in his three-year varsity career... Rivals rates him as a three-star prospect... 247Sports lists him as a three-star prospect, the 57th-best player in the state of Georgia and the No. 25 inside linebacker in the country... ESPN considers him a three-star prospect, the nation's 48th-best inside linebacker and No. 127 in the state... rated a three-star prospect and an All-Southeast Region pick by PrepStar.

Griffin Gentry
Defensive Line • 6-1 • 246
Birmingham, Ala. (Homewood)
Signed: 9 a.m.

Highlights Coach's Comments

Bio
Defensive end who earned a spot on the Alabama Class 6A first-team all-state squad as a senior at Homewood High School in Birmingham... coached by Ben Berguson... the Patriots went 9-3 in his final campaign... logged 106 tackles and seven sacks as a junior... also played basketball... Rivals ranks him as a two-star prospect... 247Sports considers him a two-star prospect, the 100th-best player in the state and the No. 110 strongside defensive end in the country... ESPN ranks him as a three-star prospect, the 34th-best player in the state and the No. 71 defensive tackle in the nation... rated a three-star prospect and an All-Southeast Region pick by PrepStar.

Pika Leota
Offensive Line • 6-5 • 305
Asheville, N.C. (Asheville)
Signed: 9 a.m.

Highlights Coach's Comments

Bio
Pete "Pika" Leota played offensive tackle and nose guard for head coach Danny Wilkins at Asheville (N.C.) High School... the Cougars went 9-3 in his senior season... earned first team all-state honors... played in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas... rated a two-star prospect by Rivals... 247Sports considers him a three-star prospect, the 24th-best player in the state of North Carolina and the No. 46 offensive tackle in the nation... ESPN ranks him as a three-star prospect, the 52nd-best player in North Carolina and the No. 78 offensive guard in the nation... rated a three-star prospect and an All-Atlantic Region pick by PrepStar.

Aaron Thompson
Defensive Line • 6-3 • 269
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Dillard)
Signed: 9 a.m.

Highlights Coach's Comments

Bio
Played along the defensive line at Fort Lauderdale's Dillard High School in Florida... the Panthers went 6-5 in his senior season... coached by Lorenzo Davis... Rivals gives him a three-star rating, the 91st-best player in the Sunshine State and the 46th-best defensive tackle in the country... rated a three-star prospect, the 78th-best player in Florida and the No. 31 strongside defensive end in the country by 247Sports... ESPN considers him a three-star prospect, the 108th-best player in Florida and the 49th-best defensive tackle in the nation.

Darius Whitfield
Defensive Line • 6-2 • 281
Mobile, Ala. (St. Paulis Episcopal)
Signed: 9:19 a.m.

Highlights Coach's Comments

Bio
Two-way lineman who prepped at St. Paul's Episcopal School in Mobile, Ala... played for head coach Steve Mask... earned a spot on the Class 5A all-state team as an offensive lineman... helped the Saints win the state championship during each of his final two seasons... played in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game following his senior season... collected 70 tackles with 20 tackles for loss, 10 sacks and five forced fumbles as a junior... considered a Rivals four-star prospect, the 11th-best player in the state and the 28th-best defensive tackle in the nation... is a three-star prospect, the 36th-best player in Alabama and the No. 40 strongside defensive end, according to 247Sports... ESPN considers him a three-star prospect, the 16th-best player in the state, and the sixth-best offensive center in the country... rated a PrepStar All-American, a four-star prospect at offensive center and No. 183 overall.

Sadarius Hutcherson
Offensive Line • 6-4 • 230
Huntingdon, Tenn. (Huntingdon)
Signed: 9:37 a.m.

Highlights Coach's Comments

Bio
Played on both sides of the line at Class 1A Huntingdon (Tenn.) High School for head coach Eric Swenson... the Mustangs went 10-2 and reached the second round of the playoffs in his senior season... collected 45 tackles and six sacks as a defensive end in his final campaign... played tight end on the offensive side of the ball... logged 53 tackles, including 11 tackles for loss and six sacks as a junior... also played high school basketball... Rivals rates him as a three-star prospect and the 21st-best senior in Tennessee... 247Sports regarded him as a three-star prospect, the 21st-best player in the state and the 38th-best strongside defensive end in the nation... ESPN ranks him as a three-star prospect, the 22nd-best player in Tennessee and the No. 105 defensive end in the nation... rated a three-star prospect and an All-Southeast Region pick by PrepStar.

Kiel Pollard
Wide Receiver • 6-0 • 232
Moultrie, Ga. (Colquitt County)
Signed: 9:37 a.m.

Highlights Coach's Comments

Bio
Named to the all-state team and was the 6A Offensive Player of the Year after helping lead Colquitt County to a 15-0 record and the Georgia state championship... logged 76 catches for 1,163 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior... the Packers won two straight state titles and were ranked No. 2 in the USA Today poll in 2015... coached by Rush Propst... Rivals ranks him as a four-star prospect, the No. 23 player in the state of Georgia, the 15th-best "athlete" in the country and No. 249 overall... 247Sports considers him a three-star prospect and No. 86 in Georgia... ESPN also ranks him as a three-star prospect, the 84th-best player in the state and the 148th-best wide receiver in the country.

Evan Hinson
Tight End • 6-4 • 228
Deltona, Fla. (Deltona)
Signed: 9:49 a.m.

Highlights Coach's Comments

Bio
Versatile two-sport standout from Deltona (Fla.) High School... played all over the gridiron during his prep career but expected to play tight end for the Gamecocks... coached by Allen Johnson... helped the Wolves to a 6-4 record in 2015... earned honorable mention Class 6A all-state recognition... caught 24 passes for 465 yards and six touchdowns while making 35 tackles, including eight tackles for loss and five sacks, as a senior... logged 500 receiving yards, 11 touchdowns and 15 sacks as a junior defensive end... an excellent high school basketball player who received interest in playing that sport at the collegiate level as well... expected to find his way onto Frank Martin's hardwood squad at Carolina... averaged 23.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game as a junior when he was the Daytona Beach News-Journal's Player of the Year... considered a three-star football prospect by Rivals... rated a three-star prospect and the 18th-best tight end in the nation by 247Sports... ESPN ranks him as a three-star prospect, the No. 131 player in the state of Florida and the No. 19 tight end-H back in the country... father, Denny Hinson, was his high school basketball coach.

Akeem Cooperwood
Offensive Line • 6-7 • 359
Knoxville, Tenn. (Fulton/Georgia Military College)
Signed: 10:52 a.m.

Highlights Coach's Comments

Bio
Junior college offensive tackle... was a two-year starter for head coach Bert Williams at Georgia Military College in Milledgeville... was a first-team junior college All-American as a sophomore and a second-team NJCAA All-American as a freshman... considered a three-star prospect by Rivals... given three stars and rated the 11th-best junior college tackle in the country by 247Sports... ESPN rated him as a three-star prospect and the nation's 12th-best JUCO offensive tackle... rated a three-star prospect and a JUCO All-American by PrepStar... graduated from Fulton High School in Knoxville, Tenn. in 2014... led Fulton to a perfect 15-0 record and a state title as a senior in 2013 when he was a finalist for "Mr. Football"... also helped the Falcons to a state title in his junior season... will have three years to play two at South Carolina.

Randrecous Davis
Wide Receiver • 5-10 • 173
Atlanta, Ga. (Mays)
Signed: 11:18 a.m.

Highlights Coach's Comments

Bio
Earned first team Class AAAAA all-state honors as a wide receiver at Mays High School in Atlanta... caught 58 passes for 1,024 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior... also averaged 15.7 yards with two touchdowns as a punt returner... coached by Corey Jarvis... helped the Raiders to a 10-2 record in 2015... Rivals considers him a four-star prospect, the 17th-best player in the state of Georgia, the 44th-best wide receiver in the country and No. 206 overall... 247Sports rates him as a three-star prospect, the 43rd-best player in Georgia and the No. 77 wide receiver in the country... ESPN rates him as a three-star prospect, the 44th-best player in Georgia and the 83rd-best wide receiver in the nation.

Stephon Taylor
Defensive Line • 6-3 • 269
New Orleans, La. (McDonogh 35)
Signed: 12:42 p.m.

Highlights Coach's Comments

Bio
Earned second-team 4A all-state honors as a senior at McDonogh 35 in New Orleans... coached by Wayne Reese... helped the Roneagles to an 11-3 record as a senior... Rivals ranks him as a three-star prospect, the 22nd-best player in Louisiana and the 35th-best defensive tackle in the nation... 247Sports considers him a four-star prospect, the 16th-best player in Louisiana, the 26th-best defensive tackle in the country and No. 263 overall... rated a four-star prospect, the 15th-best player in the state, the 23rd-best defensive tackle in the nation and No. 226 overall by ESPN.

Meet the Assistant Coaches

Bobby Bentley

Bobby Bentley

Running Backs

Bio Video

Shawn Elliot

Shawn Elliott

Offensive Line

Bio Video

Coleman Hutzler

Coleman Hutzler

Special Teams Coordinator/Linebackers

Bio Video

Bryan McClendon

Bryan McClendon

Co-Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers

Bio Video

Mike Peterson

Mike Peterson

Outside Linebackers

Bio

Travaris Robinson

Travaris Robinson

Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs

Bio Video

Kurt Roper

Kurt Roper

Co-Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks

Bio Video

Lance Thompson

Lance Thompson

Asst. Head Coach - Defense/Defensive Line

Bio Video