South Carolina added another key piece to its 2023 class on Monday.
Four-star linebacker Grayson “Pup” Howard announced his commitment to the Gamecocks via Twitter. Howard chose USC over reported offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, LSU and Tennessee, among others.
He spent the past weekend on an official visit in Columbia. He’s the 11th public commitment for the Gamecocks’ 2023 class.
Howard is the latest in a slew of Florida prospects to choose South Carolina between the 2022 and 2023 classes. The Gamecocks signed four players out of the Sunshine State in the 2022 class and have continued to push for more as the latest recruiting cycle picks up in earnest.
South Carolina has already notched commitments from three other Florida products — four-star athlete Kelton Henderson, three-star tight end Connor Cox and three-star safety Cameron Upshaw in its 2023 class.
Howard recorded a team-high 157 tackles — 14 of which were for a loss — while picking off a pair of passes and adding 3.5 sacks as a junior. He also notched over 100 tackles in nine games in 2020 and was named a Florida Times-Union All First-Coast third-team selection for his efforts.
The Jacksonville product is rated the No. 17 linebacker and No. 249 player in the 2023 class, per the 247Sports Composite.
The Gamecocks have needs at linebacker with Brad Johnson and Sherrod Greene set to exhaust their eligibility after the 2022 season. South Carolina did sign four-star linebacker Stone Blanton and former Georgia commit Donovan Westmoreland in the 2022 class. Irmo product Nick Emmanwori could also be as a linebacker at the next level.
USC finished its 2021 season 7-6 with a 38-21 win over North Carolina in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl on Dec. 30. Beamer became just the second coach in school history to win a bowl game in his first season in Columbia.