COLUMBIA — Two years of COVID craziness bent the slogan but as things presumably return to normal, so does the unvarnished version.
The numbers always work out.
It’s preached, repeated and stenciled into the roster sheet more than heights and weights. It’s never as simple as recruiting to fill the 85-man scholarship limit and then stopping.
Teams can’t ever stop recruiting because there will be players that leave, players that get hurt and occasionally players that need to be removed.
South Carolina is no different.
“It’s been great to capitalize on the season that we’ve had. I’ve been busy with the transfer portal, as y’all know. I’ve been busy on recruiting for the class of 2022, the class of 2023 and beyond,” USC coach Shane Beamer said.
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The transfer portal and COVID stretched recruiting regulations a bit, as players were given a blanket year of eligibility if they wanted to use it. All teams can add seven players from the portal on top of a 25-man recruiting class.
But with the 2022 season, teams will have to revert to what was the normal. For the season, programs are limited to 85 scholarship players, meaning there will have to be decisions made or creative ways to get around it (a two-sport athlete being on scholarship for the other sport, scholarships counting toward the last class, etc.)
As it stood on Jan. 25, the Gamecocks were at 97 scholarships, 12 over the limit.
USC has seven months to figure things out, but rest assured that the numbers always work out.
“We’re not going to turn down a great player, for sure,” Beamer said. “If you look at December recruiting, maybe we didn’t get done what we needed to get done. Defensive end, outside linebacker was a major need for us in December, we didn’t quite get where we needed to get, in my opinion.
“Running back, with Kevin (Harris) and ZaQuandre (White) leaving, that’s two guys that you lose. We have one coming in, as you guys know. We’ll see what happens with that.”
Beamer couldn’t say it at the time, but he was referring to Wake Forest transfer Christian Beal-Smith. Then on Jan. 24, Georgia transfer Lovasea Carroll formally declared his entrance to USC. Suddenly the Gamecocks have two new running backs.
They also got a defensive end in N.C. State’s Terrell Dawkins. Spencer Rattler filled a quarterback spot and USC added tight end Austin Stogner, defensive back Devonni Reed and wide receiver Antwane Wells from the transfer portal.
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Added to USC’s recruiting class, the seven transfers make it 29 newcomers for 2022. There’s actually still room to add three more recruits (freshmen or transfers), but that number would only swell the current 97 and increase the need to lose some players.
It’s a roundabout way of saying that once spring practice begins, don’t get too familiar with the roster. There will be many changes.
Freshman linebacker Kolbe Fields entered the transfer portal on Jan. 24, the same day that Carroll publicly announced his transfer to the Gamecocks. Fields is one of seven USC scholarship players that have entered the portal since the end of the regular season.
There will have to be more. Some may be waiting on the conclusion of spring practice so they can graduate and transfer without penalty. Some may decide to simply move on once they get through spring and figure out they’re not likely to crack the depth chart.
The numbers always work out.
Source : https://www.postandcourier.com/sports/carolina/gamecocks-balance-recruiting-with-scholarship-limits-as-spring-football-approaches/article_9252076c-7dd7-11ec-a4b0-8b722c98a4ca.html2673