When the 2018 Coastal Carolina recruiting class was released on Feb. 7, there were 34 new faces that would make their way to Conway to play college football on the Grand Strand.
However, of those 34 new faces, only seven of those recruits were from the Palmetto State. In fact, during the Early Signing Period for recruits back on Dec. 20, 2017, of the 18 recruits that committed to Coastal Carolina, none of them were from the state of South Carolina.
This puzzled many fans as well as some former Chants themselves, such as De’Angelo Henderson, who was the star running back for Coastal Carolina from 2013 to 2016.
Henderson, a native of Summerville, SC, took to Twitter to express his surprise.
“Does Coastal not recruit in South Carolina anymore? How do you forget about home when there's so much talent there? 0 kids from SC signed with ccu today?” tweeted Henderson.
Henderson did have a point. Many of the great Coastal Carolina football players have come from the Palmetto State. Quinn Backus, Matt Hazel, Josh Norman, Quinton Teal and Tyler Thigpen all came from South Carolina and either hold a Coastal Carolina and/or Big South Conference record, if not more than one.
And while only three South Carolina recruits signed with Coastal back in 2014, there were only 13 recruits. That is a 23 percent representation of South Carolina, where as this year’s class is a near 21 percent representation from the state of South Carolina.
Head Coach Joe Moglia talked about the lack of representation from South Carolina during his National Signing Day press conference on Feb. 7.
“We could have done a better job in South Carolina,” said Moglia. “Now having said that, based on our recruiting process and the way we do things here, it is not that we don’t want a guy from within the state of South Carolina, it is more so the way the recruiting worked out this time.”
Jaylen Moody, an inside linebacker from Conway High School right down the road from Coastal, signed with Alabama, the defending national champions of college football. While it is hard for a school in their second year of FBS football to get a recruit that is being looked at by three SEC schools, Moody also was given an offer and went on a visit to Georgia State, a rival Sun Belt school.
Moglia spoke on what it is like to try to get recruits to come to Coastal when they are also being looked at from a school in one of the Power Five Conferences.
“There were guys that we were on early, that we really thought were good kids that had interest here and we liked their character, their families and later on they ended up going to another place,” said Moglia. “Most of the time, it was a Power Five school. Early on, when a kid says that they want to go to a Power Five school, we kind of move onto the next because we are really looking for guys who want to be here. We don’t try and spin the school. We try and accurately represent our program that way they know who we are and what we are about.”
It will be interesting to see how Coastal Carolina goes forth in the recruiting process over the next few years as the program is trying to make a name for itself, not just in the Sun Belt, but in the state of South Carolina where the Chants have to deal with top programs such as Clemson and South Carolina.