South Carolina Football: National Signing Day Key to Success of 2014 Secondary

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South Carolina Football: National Signing Day Key to Success of 2014 Secondary
Cornerback Chris Lammons would be a huge pick up for the Gamecocks.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — There's a very strong possibility that next season's starting cornerbacks for South Carolina are still in high school.

That's a rather sobering thought for a team that competes in the Southeastern Conference, but given the talent level of the cornerbacks the Gamecocks hope to sign, things could be worse.

D.J. Smith, a 4-star from Marietta, Ga., and Al Harris, a 3-star from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., are quality cornerbacks who are both solid commitments, according to 247Sports.

However, if the Gamecocks can close the deal on two remaining 4-star cornerbacks they are recruiting, it could potentially solidify a position for the next several years that right now rates as the team's biggest weakness.

The Gamecocks are finalists for the services of Wesley Green of Lithonia, Ga., and Chris Lammons of Plantation, Fla.

Green has it down to South Carolina and Georgia with a visit planned at Georgia this weekend. Lammons has concluded his visits and is expected to choose between the Gamecocks and Wisconsin.

If the Gamecocks land both, it's not inconceivable that South Carolina's two-deep at cornerback will feature four freshmen.

That's certainly not how the Gamecock planned it.

Senior starter Jimmy Legree was the only known loss at the position when the season began. Then junior starter Vic Hampton decided to turn pro.

The situation got worse when sophomore backup Ahmad Christian, who received significant playing time this past season and who was being groomed to replace Legree, decided to transfer for personal reasons.

The leaves backup Rico McWilliams, who will be a sophomore, as the only returning cornerback with any significant experience.

The only other scholarship cornerbacks currently on the roster are two players who redshirted this year.

Ali Groves is a freshman from Stone Mountain, Ga., who was rated a 3-star recruit coming out of high school, while Ronnie Martin is a junior college transfer, also rated a 3-star prospect, who has been plagued by hamstring injuries.

Elsewhere, there's always the possibility of position switches.

Starting safety Brison Williams could get a look at corner in the spring, as could backup tailback Jamari Smith.

Chaz Elder started out as a cornerback but has been much more productive at safety and it's thus unlikely the Gamecocks would revisit what was considered a failed experiment.

Likewise, super-talented freshman Pharoh Cooper started out at cornerback but has been so explosive since moving to wide receiver and Wildcat quarterback that a return to the secondary is all but unthinkable.

It's possible South Carolina will turn to its talented and deep wide receiver corps during spring practice to look for one or two converts to cornerback, but none stand out as particularly viable candidates.

Rest assured, the Gamecocks will line up with two players at cornerback next season, and it wouldn't be a total shock if both are freshmen.

The race is wide open.

South Carolina can only hope that next season the same can't be said for opposing wide receivers.

All player rankings are courtesy of 247Sports.

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