Gamecock FB Recruiting: Gamecocks land a good one in DE Dante Sawyer
It was apparent that one of the glaring needs in the 2014 recruiting class for the Gamecocks would be at the defensive end position.
Well, the Gamecocks prayers were answered on Tuesday when four-star defensive Dante Sawyer announced his commitment to South Carolina over Twitter.
Sawyer picked South Carolina over his other finalist, Missouri. The Tigers had become a big threat down the stretch for Sawyer, especially with high school teammate Nate Brown committing to the Tigers earlier this year.
However, South Carolina was able to sell its program and the opportunity for early playing time with both starting defensive end positions up for grabs after Jadeveon Clowney enters the NFL draft and Chaz Sutton exhausted his college eligibility. The Gamecocks also have quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus to thank for his relentless recruitment of Sawyer this entire time.
South Carolina nearly landed Sawyer over the summer before he even took his first visit to the Gamecocks so you know the Gamecocks were highly in the mix with Sawyer.
Sawyer's commitment answers an immediate need for size at the defensive end position. Sawyer checks in at 6-foot-3 and weighs 240 pounds. He would already be one of the bigger defensive ends on campus next season without participating in a collegiate strength and training program. He should be able to add bulk at the next level but continue to be a force on the field.
The Gamecocks are picking up a player with a ton of energy on the football field. Sawyer is able to get up field quickly with burst off the line and can use his hands to get past opposing offensive lineman. Sawyer seems to have a knack for the football as in the highlight video above, he sniffed out multiple screen plays to cause disruption and forced several fumbles.
This is exactly what South Carolina needed to make a splash towards the tail end of this recruiting cycle. This move boosted South Carolina to No. 24 in the 247sports.com Composite Team Rankings. Sawyer is the fifth four-star commitment in this class for the Gamecocks and should be one of the highlights of this class when it's all said and done.
Sawyer is the 16th commitment for South Carolina for 2014 and chose the Gamecocks over Missouri, Auburn, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas and a host of others.