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Xzavier McLeod decision: Top SC recruit picks USC Gamecocks


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Camden Bulldogs defensive lineman Xzavier McLeod (64) rushes the passer against the Brookland-Cayce Bearcats in a playoff game Friday, Nov. 19, 2021 at Brookland-Cayce High School in Cayce, SC.

Jeff Blake Photo

South Carolina added to its future defensive line Thursday.

Camden High School senior defensive lineman Xzavier McLeod announced he’s staying in-state to play for Shane Beamer and the Gamecocks. McLeod chose South Carolina over Georgia, Florida and Michigan at a ceremony held at Camden’s Zemp Stadium.

He gives South Carolina’s recruiting class commitments from three of the four top-rated recruits from the state in this year’s class — joining offensive lineman Markee Anderson (Dorman) and defensive end Monteque Rhames (Sumter). McLeod said he took notice when both those players committed.

“I feel like those guys in the state are big talent blue-chip players just like me,” McLeod said. “And I feel like with us staying in state I feel like we can build a program together.”

South Carolina was the first school to offer the 6-foot-4, 324-pound defensive lineman in March 2020 — while Will Muschamp was the head coach — and he has made numerous visits to the school for games and camps.

McLeod is the 18th commitment for USC’s Class of 2023 and the first defensive lineman.

“I listened to everything they had to say, and I felt as if what they were saying was true, and I feel like I am a big part of their class,” McLeod said in January. “When they say that, that makes me feel welcomed and wanted, like they actually have a mission and I’m the key to the puzzle to finish that mission. I feel great.”

247Sports Composite ranks McLeod as a four-star prospect, while Rivals put him as the No. 6 defensive lineman in the Class of 2023.

McLeod was brought up to the varsity team as a freshman and has been a big part of the Bulldogs defense. Camden has played in two straight Class 3A championship games.

Last season, McLeod recorded 58 tackles, five sacks and team-high 21 quarterback pressures.

South Carolina football 2023 commits

  • RB Dontavius Braswell, Washington County (Ga.)
  • OL Trovon Baugh, Pace Academy (Ga.)
  • OL Isaiah Jatta, Snow College (Utah)
  • WR Kelton Henderson, Lehigh Acres (Fla.)
  • WR CJ Adams, Pebblebrook (Ga.)
  • TE Connor Cox, The Bolles School (Fla.)
  • TE Kamron Sandlin, Anniston (Ala.)
  • S Judge Collier, Legion Collegiate, Rock Hill
  • DL Xzavier McLeod, Camden High
  • DE Monteque Rhames, Sumter
  • LB Grayson Howard, Andrew Jackson (Fla.)
  • S Jalon Kilgore, Putnam County (Ga.)
  • S Zahbari Sandy, St John’s, Washington (DC)
  • S Cam Upshaw, Taylor County (Fla.)
  • OT Oluwatosin Babalade, DeMatha Catholic (Md.)
  • ATH Vicari Swain, Central (Ga.)
  • OT Jatavius Shivers, Villa Rica (Ga.)
  • OL Markee Anderson, Dorman

This story was originally published August 18, 2022 6:33 PM.

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