South Carolina picked up one of its most crucial needs on Monday night when four-star defensive back D.J. Smith made his verbal commitment to the Gamecocks.
This is a big pickup for the Gamecocks as there was such a need for highly talented cornerbacks to find their way to Columbia to help fill the gap left by players like Victor Hampton and Jimmy Legree. Smith is the start of filling the gap and will definitely have a chance at early playing time, which is one of the major reasons for choosing the Gamecocks.
Smith will get a chance to compete for a starting spot as a true freshman and will get to play on one of the SEC's best defenses each year. Smith's primary recruiter is G.A. Mangus but his secondary recruiter, Grady Brown, is his future position coach. The relationship that Smith has built with the coaching staff over time definitely became a factor in his decision for the Gamecocks.
Initially, this looked to be Tennessee's recruit to lose as the Volunteers held the advantage over the summer of 2013. But, as in recruiting, things can change and that's when Clemson and South Carolina jumped into the mix. Clemson was the leader in early December but the Tigers dropped off and South Carolina made the jump to the top.
And they stayed there when it matters most.
South Carolina will soon have help in the defensive back with a talent like Smith, who should be someone who can be a cover corner for the Gamecocks with some physical play mixed in.
Smith chose the Gamecocks over Clemson and Tennessee.
He is South Carolina's 17th football commitment for the 2014 recruiting class.