South Carolina football arrives first-year American rookie Karon Prunty
Karon Prunty, a coveted transfer cornerback, announced on social media Saturday that he would play for South Carolina with Tennessee the only other finalist for his engagement.
He was an All-American freshman last season playing for the University of Kansas. Prunty still has four years of eligibility and can play immediately. He is listed as the sixth best transfer corner by 247Sports after entering the transfer portal on June 6.
The Gamecocks also received an engagement earlier Saturday from offensive tackle Cason Henry of Walton High School in Marietta, Ga., After making an unofficial visit Thursday to Columbia.
Prunty, a 6-foot-1, 189-pound former star from IC Norcom High School in Portsmouth, Va., Visited USC on the weekend of June 12-13 before spending the following weekend in Tennessee. . The Volunteers first offered Prunty, a former three-star recruit, to drop out of high school after he had also received offers from Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh.
The Gamecocks have a slight connection to Prunty’s former schedule, with USC assistant director of freshman personnel Drew Hixson leaving the post of Kansas football scouting director after last season.
Prunty had 26 tackles, 10 defensive passes, one forced fumble and one interception in nine starts last season. He did not allow any touchdowns and his opponents made only 38.5% of the passes thrown at him out of 525 snaps played.
He was named 247Sports True Freshman All-American and earned an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention.
Prunty would be a great choice for a rebuilding defensive secondary who has been a primary focus for the Gamecocks after this unit was particularly hard hit by last season’s starts. He’s the size he wanted in his post and excelled from the start in a known Big-12 conference for throwing the ball.
USC junior corners Jaycee Horn and Israel Mukuamu both retired from the last three games of last season and were subsequently drafted into the NFL. Corner kick John Dixon and corner / safety Shilo Sanders, who both started games last year, were transferred during the offseason.
Third-year veteran Cam Smith looks like the only sure-fire starter on the corner of the 4-2-5 system new defensive coordinator Clayton White prefers to use. Right now, the shortage of experienced talent could force White to try to adjust to the staff he currently has and forgo his preferred approach.
Senior RJ Roderick, who retired from the last three games before securing his return, played mostly safe, but a little nickel during his time with the Gamecocks. He will compete for a starting role as often injured veteran Jaylin Dickerson and former Byrnes High star Jaylan Foster safely battle for lead roles.
USC brought in a pair of junior college cornerbacks and Upstate merchandise in Woodruff’s Marcellas Dial and TL Hanna’s Isaiah Norris, which should be in the mix to start. Former Sumter O’Donnell Fortune corner played the last three games of last year as a rookie and garnered praise from the coaching staff for his work this spring.
Versatile sophomores Joey Hunter and Dominick Hill could also be considered in a fight for the starting roles. The Gamecocks signed the 6-foot-2, 175-pound corner La’Dareyen Craig in February on offers from the State of Mississippi and the State of Oregon.
Henry, 6 feet 6 inches and 290 pounds, received offers from North Carolina, Louisville, Mississippi State, Purdue, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, Michigan State and Georgia Tech. He is listed as the 76th best tackle in the country in the 247Sports Composite.
“I haven’t met a trainer anywhere else that I’ve clicked so well with,” Henry told SportsTalk Media Network. âCoach (Shane) Beamer was the most accessible head coach I have ever spoken to. He seemed to me to be a normal guy who is also a head coach.
âI’ve been to Georgia and Kirby Smart is, like, unreachable. And Mike Leach (State of Mississippi) is unreachable. respecting him as a head coach which is a very unique blend that I haven’t found anywhere else.