One of the University of South Carolina’s top targets comes off the board this afternoon when defensive end Myles Murphy of Greensboro, North Carolina, announces his decision at a 3 p.m. ceremony at his school. Murphy took official visits to USC, Florida, Alabama and North Carolina. He named USC his favorite in late May prior to his official visit with the Gamecocks, but North Carolina apparently made a strong impression on his official visit there.
The Gamecocks last week added a commitment from cornerback Joey Hunter (6-foot-1, 185 pounds) of Tyrone, Georgia. Hunter chose the Gamecocks over Texas A&M. He also considered offers from Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Syracuse, Boston College and Pittsburgh. He’s the third corner to commit to the Gamecocks for the 2020 class and their 17th overall commitment. USC was Hunter’s lone official visit and he took that in early June. He saw enough from that trip to determine that was the right fit for him.
“The facilities and campus are beautiful,” Hunter said. “I was surprised with where it was. I thought it was going to be more like the country, but it wasn’t really rural, and I really like that. And with the coaching staff, I like that it’s a defensive-minded coaching staff. Coach Muschamp is a very defensive-minded guy. Coach T-Rob is a great defensive back coach, one of the best in the country. It’s a lot to look forward to, the coaching staff over there.”
Hunter built a strong relationship with Gamecock head coach Will Muschamp and defensive coordinator/secondary coach Travaris Robinson thru the recruiting process, and that weighed heavily on his decision as well.
“I’m real close with Coach T-Rob, Coach Muschamp, I talk to both of them every day, so I’ve got a real good relationship with South Carolina,” Hunter said. “I like the coaching staff and I like the environment around the players, too. That’s a lot to look forward to at the University of South Carolina.”
Hunter is a bigger corner and he likes to play press-man coverage. He feels that will fit in perfectly with what Muschamp and Robinson want to do.
“Coach Muschamp and Coach T-Rob both told me that my physicality and my ball skills, that’s what they really like,” he said. “And my ability to play different positions all over the field. I appreciated that, getting to go out there and showcase my different abilities at different positions.”
Hunter had 49 tackles and three interceptions last season. Hunter gives the Gamecocks 15 high school commitments in the class to go along with two transfers who are counting with the 2020 class.
Longtime USC commitment offensive lineman Issiah Walker of Miami last week announced a decommitment from the Gamecocks on Twitter while attending The Opening in Frisco, Texas.
“I’ve met so many wonderful coaches, players and future teammates along this journey here at The Opening,” Walker wrote. “Being out here in Texas has made me realize I haven’t found my true home yet. With that being said, I am officially decommitting from the University of South Carolina. I am opening up my recruiting.”
Walker was one of the most highly regarded members of the USC 2020 class, and one of five offensive linemen who had committed. He took his official visit to USC the first weekend in June, and he returned for a camp the last weekend before the dead period. After that visit, Walker said his commitment was still firm and the Gamecock coaches were understanding about his visits.
“I’m just enjoying the process and taking visits,” Walker said. “I told (Will Muschamp) I was going to take visits but I was still committed. It’s not like I’m going to decommit, it’s not like that. I’m just seeing more.”
Now, Walker plans to see a lot more as he tries to find his “true home.” His decommitment leaves the Gamecocks with 14 high school/junior college commitments in the class, and 16 total, including a pair of transfers from other schools.
Wide receiver Jaheim Bell (6-foot-3, 204 pounds) of Valdosta, Geogia, decommitted from Florida last week and does not yet have a clear vision of his recruiting future. Bell had been committed to the Gators since mid-April, but he never shut down his recruiting. He took an official visit to USC on June 8 and the Gamecocks continue to be a factor, though Bell said at this point that no one is standing out to him as he restarts the process.
“I’m not sure yet, I don’t know where I’m at right now,” Bell said. “I don’t know where I’m at right now.”
Bell said he’s been “hearing just a little bit, not that much,” from Gamecock recruiter Bobby Bentley. He said he’s “pretty sure they still want me.” Bell is a highly touted prospect who competed at The Opening last week. He was considered one of Florida’s top commitments and his decision to decommit was not based on anything negative towards the Gators.
“I just need more time to make the right decision,” Bell said. “I could end up back there, I just need more time. I’m not sure who is on top and who is not. I’m just chilling.”
Bell had 70 catches for 800 yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior.
USC running back commitment Marshawn Lloyd, interviewed at The Opening Finals by Kipp Adams of Georgia’s 247Sports site, said Georgia remains on him hard, and he said Georgia running backs coach Dell McGee told him he’s not concerned with his Gamecock commitment because McGee does not believe he will stick to it.