South Carolina football needed to add to its offensive line group for the 2019 recruiting class, and it went north to get a big one.
Nokesville, Va., lineman Jakai Moore committed Monday afternoon to the Gamecocks over Penn State. He’s the fourth commit in the class at offensive line.
After committing first by revealing a Gamecocks shirt, removing that to reveal a Penn State shirt and finally taking off the Nittany Lions Blue for more South Carolina gear, he said playing time was a factor in his decision.
“I want to come in and play early,” Moore said. “And I feel like, if I go to South Carolina, they’re losing four out of five linemen, so I can play early as a freshman.”
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
He added, “I’m going to play against the best, so I can be the best.”
The 6-foot-6, 295-pound Moore is the No. 493 player in the country in the 247Sports Composite rankings, a three-star prospect. He’s the No. 28 guard and 13th-best player in Virginia.
He also held offers from Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Ohio State, Oregon, Virginia Tech and Clemson. The Tigers has been recruiting him, but he canceled a late trip there.
“I think he’s going to be a left tackle,” said Moore’s coach Brud Bicknell. “He’s very long and a natural left-hander. He’s kind of a freak athlete for somebody 300 pounds. He has the ability to finish and fight that not all big guys have. He’s very raw at this point. He does understand driving his feet after contact, and he loves to pancake people. And he has a great extension and jab on pass protection. He hits a guy and they buckle to their knees.”
South Carolina will lose veteran linemen Dennis Daley and Zack Bailey after this season. Dylan Wonnum and Sadarius Hutcherson will return, and fifth-year junior Donell Stanley will have a decision to make.
The Gamecocks will sign off on most of their 2019 recruiting class Wednesday on the first day of the early signing period.