Most of South Carolina's 2011 recruiting class will be safely tucked away when national signing day ends Wednesday.
But the news coach Steve Spurrier and Gamecock Nation is most waiting for still might be two weeks away. South Pointe High defensive end Jadeveon Clowney - the nation's top prospect - might wait until Feb.14 to announce his decision.
Clowney's choice reportedly has come down to South Carolina or Alabama (although he is giving some consideration to Clemson, Florida State, Louisiana State and North Carolina). He was to take his official visit last Saturday to Clemson and is scheduled to visit North Carolina this weekend.
So although he has until April Fool's Day to announce, he might do it on Valentine's Day, which also is his 18th birthday.
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Landing Clowney would be a coup for Spurrier - whose recruiting class is ranked 12th nationally by Scout.com without him. If Clowney, a 6-foot-5, 235-pounder who runs a 4.65-second 40, chooses the Gamecocks, their ranking presumably would rocket into top-10 territory.
And the Gamecocks also are in the running for four-star defensive tackle Phillip Dukes of Manning High and three-star tight end Jerrell Adams of Scott's Branch in Summerton.
South Carolina has a commitment from another five-star player, receiver Brandon Shell of Goose Creek. Four-star recruits include safety Sheldon Royster of Jersey City, N.J., receiver Damiere Byrd of Erial, N.J., running back Shon Carson of Lake City High and defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles of Fork Union, Va.
Also awaiting Clowney's decision are four Charlotte-area players who have committed to South Carolina: His high school teammate at South Pointe, defensive end Gerald G. Dixon; Dixon's half-brother at Northwestern, defensive tackle Gerald Dixon Jr.; Marvin Ridge receiver K.J. Brent and Ardrey Kell tight end Drew Owens.
The Dixons have strong South Carolina bloodlines. Their father, Gerald Dixon Sr., played at Rock Hill High, then was a Gamecocks linebacker during the early 1990s before playing in the NFL for 10 seasons.
But the last time his sons - who live with their mothers in Rock Hill about 2 miles apart - played together was Pee Wee football.
"We won the state championship," said Northwestern's Gerald Dixon. "This is going to be great, getting back together again."
The whole Gerald Dixon name thing - reminiscent of boxer George Foreman and his five sons each named George Foreman - might get confusing in Columbia. Northwestern's Gerald is 6-1, 270; South Pointe's is 6-2, 230. Northwestern's Gerald is named Gerald Dixon Jr.; South Pointe's Gerald's full name is Gerald Gervaris Dixon.
"But people all me 'G,'" said Gerald Dixon Jr. "They call him 'Little G.'"
The other area Gamecocks signees - to date - are impressive athletes whose coaches think can help South Carolina soon.
Marvin Ridge (N.C.) coach Scott Chadwick recalls only one time Brent dropped a pass.
"It was the first game of his junior season, I remember it distinctly," Chadwick said. "Third down. He went across the middle and the ball hit him in the chest and bounced away. It was the first game of his junior year.
"He didn't drop another pass for the next two years."
Brent (6-4, 180) went on to catch 47 passes for 737 yards and eight touchdowns that season. As a senior, he had 56 catches for 1,046 yards and 10 scores.
"He catches everything," said Chadwick, who said Brent also had offers from schools including Wisconsin, Stanford and Arkansas. "He does everything well, and there are certain things he does great. Every now and then, he'll make that catch that he shouldn't catch."
Owens, who played for Ardrey Kell, (N.C.), is one of three three-star tight ends committed to South Carolina.
"I think Drew can be able to contribute earlier rather than later," Knights coach Adam Hastings said/.
Owens played more than tight end at Ardrey Kell, lining up at times as a wide receiver, H back or as a wing back. He had 25 catches for 524 yards and five touchdowns last season and also plays for the Knights' basketball team.
"He's got a great attitude, especially in the weight room, which is where (Gamecocks coaches) want their tight ends to be," said Hastings.