South Carolina recruiting: Gamecocks are first offer for 4-star defensive tackle

Whenever Will Muschamp lands a commitment, the South Carolina coach drops a #SpursUp on Twitter. Come to SEC Country for the latest news, notes and observations in South Carolina recruiting.  For previous editions of SpursUp Surveillance, check out the link.

Offer No. 1

Xavier McIver has a hard time remembering exactly what he heard when South Carolina coach Will Muschamp told him last summer that the Gamecocks were ready to offer.

“It was like a blur,” McIver said.

Cheraw (S.C.) High School coach Andy Poole laughed as he recounted how it went down that afternoon last June.

“Do you know exactly what just happened,” Poole remembered asking McIver, who’s now ranked by 247Sports as the No. 14 defensive tackle in the Class of 2020.

“You should have seen his face. … It was like a deer-in-the-headlights situation, so it was pretty cool,” Poole said.

But this just wasn’t any offer.

“I grew up being a Gamecock,” McIver said.

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Emerging star

McIver (6-3, 260) was one of five prospects from South Carolina to land on 247Sports’ list of top 2020 prospects. He’s No. 4 on the list, which includes Jordan Burch (Columbia-Hammond) and Demonte Capehart (Hartsville).

All three, McIver said, are expected to attend The Opening in Atlanta this weekend. The annual regional camp will provide McIver with an opportunity to build his list of suitors. South Carolina, for now, is his only offer.

Arkansas, Clemson, LSU, Missouri, North Carolina and Virginia Tech are among the schools expressing interest. Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State are among those McIver would like to hear from as his recruiting profile grows.

As a sophomore, he had 63 tackles with 7 tackles for loss and 5 sacks, per MaxPreps.

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South Carolina recruiting stop

McIver visited South Carolina for the January junior day.

“The strength coach was telling me about their program – they have a very good strength program and nutrition,” he said. “We toured the locker room, had the photo shoot and got to go to the basketball game.”

McIver will return to South Carolina on Thursday to watch spring practice. He’ll be joined by classmate Jalen Coit, a 6-foot, 160-pound wide receiver who led the Braves with 55 passes for 916 yards and 10 touchdowns, per MaxPreps.

Quick hits

  • Former Alabama defensive lineman Da’Ron Payne is McIver’s favorite player to watch: “He’s strong, real strong, fast off the ball, applies pressure on the quarterback. He’s a big dude, just a strong, big dude.”
  • To Poole, when it comes to looking at other young defensive linemen, McIver sets himself apart with his hand usage: “A lot of guys, bigger guys are brutes and [use] the bull-rush technique. Xavier [does] very well playing leverage, using his hands, different moves. … He’s more of a finesse guy, but can bull-rush when he needs to. That’s the crazy thing about being so young. You don’t think a 15-year-old would be as good about using his hands, the hand placement on the jersey, looking how they sit back in their stance and figuring out what he wants to do pre-snap. It’s almost like a surgeon before the play starts. It’s very impressive to watch him play. You would never know he was so young, watching him on tape.”

Miss a previous edition of Spurs Up Surveillance?  Get caught up here.

The post South Carolina recruiting: Gamecocks are first offer for 4-star defensive tackle appeared first on SEC Country.

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