20 prospects will visit South Carolina this weekend. What does Beamer have planned?

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Shane Beamer is stepping on the recruiting gas pedal this weekend.

South Carolina will host 20 prospects on campus Saturday before kicking off fall camp next Friday. Some prospects will be making their second or third trip to Columbia, Beamer said, and one of USC’s “big-time” recruits was on his way Thursday. All of those who will visit Saturday have scholarship offers.

It’ll be the finale to this summer’s recruiting effort that’s been pushing forward since prospects were allowed back on campus June 1.

The USC staff’s efforts have paid off: The Gamecocks have secured 12 commitments since June 1, including four-star safety Keenan Nelson Jr. and four-star offensive lineman Ryan Brubaker.

“I’ve had so many people telling me the energy and excitement level about South Carolina football has never been higher,” Beamer said. “I agree.”

This weekend’s gathering includes prospects in this cycle as well as in future classes. It will be an informal day that will include games, entertainment and food trucks. There might be campus tours involved, but it’s by no means a camp setting with football drills.

South Carolina’s current roster members are often involved in the process, too. Beamer said USC’s players pay attention to which high school players are on the radar, when they’re coming to town and what they’re thinking about the Gamecocks. He said there are social media movements to get certain prospects committed, a likely nod to USC’s pursuit of four-star tight end Oscar Delp and the Twitter hashtag #WeWantDelp that’s become popular.

Beamer also pairs each recruit while they’re on campus with a current player and says there are strategies behind it. He mentioned Delaware — the home state of linebacker Debo Williams and running back MarShawn Lloyd — and attention the Gamecocks pay to recruits from the Northeast.

Braden Davis, a four-star South Carolina quarterback commit, is from Middletown, Delaware. Three-star defensive line prospect Tomiwa Durojaiye is Davis’ teammate. Nelson and Brubaker are both from nearby Pennsylvania.

“It’s no mistake,” Beamer said. “We’re recruiting some guys from that part of the country, and they all kind of knew each other beforehand. That wasn’t anything we had to tell them about.”

Beamer hit the ground running when he was hired in December 2020, conducting over 100 hour-long virtual visits before campus access returned in June. He worked to convey his excitement about South Carolina through a computer screen — and he’s heard from parents that his energy was matched in-person — but selling the program isn’t the same virtually.

“Seeing things in person, the amazing facilities that we have, this awesome city that we live in, the beautiful campus that we call home, and then to get around the people we have in our program, there’s no substitute for that,” Beamer said.

A recruiting “quiet period,” which allows on-campus visits, ends this weekend. After that, prospects won’t be back on campus until Sept. 1. Beamer’s already excited for the next flurry to come in for the Gamecocks’ home opener against Eastern Illinois, a 7 p.m. kickoff in Williams-Brice Stadium on Sept. 4.

“Counting down the days,” Beamer said. “It’s gonna be a great recruiting tool for these high school prospects.”

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