With 11 days to work with from the day he was hired to the first day of the early signing period, Shane Beamer knew South Carolina’s December signing class would be small. In fact, he said the number is under double digits “by design.”
While Beamer’s recruiting efforts for the Gamecocks were full force since he was hired, he was not expecting a 25-man class come December 15.
“You’re trying to do two years of work in about 10 days,” Beamer said. “You want to sign a big class. I’d love to be on this call talking about 20 guys we signed that’s a Top 10 recruiting class. Hopefully that will be next year and each year from then on. When you’ve only been on the job for a week and a half, there is not a whole lot you can get done. We’ve exhausted every opportunity to add guys to this class and I’m confident we still will.”
While that will be the goal in the recruiting classes to come, there are other ways he plans to bring as much talent as possible to Columbia for the 2021 season. The transfer portal is where many college football programs will go shopping over the next few months with immediate eligibility a likelihood for most, if not all players. Beamer believes he’ll have a higher stack of chips to play with than most programs around the nation.
“With this being a small signing class today, I don’t know what other scholarship situations are across the country with other colleges, but I can’t imagine anyone out there has a better situation as far as initial scholarships available to use over the next month going into February,” Beamer said. “We’re going to have a large amount of scholarships available to improve this team, if they are the right fit, through the transfer portal, through high school recruiting as well.
“If we don’t use all of them in January it’s okay because things are going to happen after spring practice. You always want to have initial scholarships available if you need them. We’ll try to improve the roster scholarship by scholarship moving forward.”
What Shane Beamer said about each Gamecocks signee | Signing Day Special: 60% off annual subscription
Winning on the transfer market could prove beneficial immediately if the Gamecocks can bring in players with experience at positions of need. Starters in wide receiver Shi Smith, linebacker Ernest Jones and defensive backs Jaycee Horn, Israel Mukuamu and Shilo Sanders are not coming back, the first four to the NFL and Sanders as a transfer to Jackson State.
“We need to improve the depth at the wide receiver position, an area we need to get more bodies and find more playmakers,” Beamer said. “There is some really good, young players in the program right now already, which I’m excited to get to work with.
“At linebacker, that is certainly going to be thin position as we sit here today, whether it be because of graduation or whatever else. We need more bodies at linebacker for sure. And then defensive backs, corner and safety, guys that can cover. You have to have multiple guys back there.
“All of those guys are able to impact special teams as well. Your core special teams guys are your linebackers and defensive backs. The more of those guys you have, the better you’re going to be because that will help your special teams units.”
As Beamer detailed, the Gamecocks have positions of need, but he will not turn down a player that can help South Carolina win.
“(We’re) looking for the very best players out there,” Beamer said. “If you’re a young man out there listening to this press conference or read about this press conference, you have a tremendous opportunity at the University of South Carolina to make an immediate impact on and off the field.
“We’re not going out there just to collect talent and sign guys to sign guys. They have to be a fit for what we want this program to be about going forward. I think there is going to be a strong mix of high school prospects and transfers that are a little older coming from college programs already. A lot will depend on need and what’s the priority, but when I get on the phone tonight it’s going to be with some potential transfers and high school prospects. We’re not closing the door on anything.”