South Carolina had a low-key signing day Wednesday, which is just fine with coach Steve Spurrier as his team comes off back-to-back 11-win seasons.
"If you don't have a very good season, you need something to get the fans excited for next year, "Spurrier said. "I've never tried to overhype it."
South Carolina signed 21 players, one short of the maximum the Gamecocks could sign after losing three scholarships because of NCAA violations. For the second year in a row, there was no huge catch, just a number of three-star and four-star recruits.
"We didn't get a lot of PR today, but that's OK. It's a good, solid bunch of guys, excellent group. May turn out to be one of best groups, who knows? Who knows, until we kick it off and start playing."
South Carolina signed four linebackers, including perhaps their most heralded recruit, Skai Moore out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The position was the team's most important need — all three linebackers that started the Outback Bowl win over Michigan were seniors.
Wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Steve Spurrier Jr. said it was an easy sell to recruits.
"Your opportunity to play and come play right now is as good as it gets," Spurrier Jr. said.
The Gamecocks signed five offensive linemen despite losing just one starter. The unit has struggled even as South Carolina has competed in recent years for the Southeastern Conference title.
Spurrier also picked up another quarterback in Conner Mitch, who enrolled in school in January. Spurrier said the last few days he has been he has been happy to look out his office window the last few days and see the recruit from Raleigh, N.C., throwing passes. Mitch is a pro-style pocket passer. Spurrier would like to redshirt him, but there is always the possibility he might find his way into a quarterback controversy sooner rather than later with the Head Ball Coach.
"He's a young man who likes football and likes throwing it around," Spurrier said.
The Gamecocks didn't sign any specialists or wide receivers. Spurrier Jr. said they would have made an offer to a great receiver if they had a chance. And Spurrier indicated he thinks South Carolina has talent at the position that hasn't reached full potential.
"This spring would be a wonderful opportunity for those young receivers that haven't done much here yet," Spurrier said.
The Gamecocks again picked up a top 20 class. Rivals.com ranked South Carolina 16th in the nation, with ESPN ranking the class 17th. The rankings are in the lower half of the SEC, but Spurrier noted that most of the SEC's top ranked classes, like Mississippi's surprise stellar class, were on the other side of the league in the Western Division.
"We were we watching that TV today and saying, ‘Man I'm glad we're in the Eastern instead of the Western side,'" Spurrier said.