USC coach Shane Beamer and staff wrapped up their own field work for this week Wednesday because they are off this weekend, so that gave the staff the opportunity to lock in on some recruiting duties. The result was three major offers handed out to top players in three different classes from 2024 through 2026.
After passing in the spring and summer on 2024 WR Braylon Staley (6-0 175), formerly of Aiken and now at Strom Thurmond, receivers coach Justin Stepp offered him Wednesday night. Is it too little, too late? Time will tell if Stepp can turn Staley from his commitment to Tennessee which he made on June 30th. Clemson was more involved with Staley earlier in the year and made a late run at him before his commitment to the Vols. Staley, who is a state champion in the triple jump, made June official visits to Clemson, Tennessee, Miami and North Carolina.
Tight ends coach Jody Wright made his move on TE Marshall Pritchett (6-5 205), a native of Charleston who attends school in Rabun Gap, GA. Pritchett is a skilled receiver who has made himself into a tight end using Georgia All American Brock Bowers as his model.
“Last year I was truly just a receiver that was seen as a tight end, but I really didn’t have anything on film that would say anything related to me being a tight end,” Pritchett said. “This year I made the decision that in the offseason I would get bigger, stronger, faster and become a force out there. He (Wright) really enjoyed seeing that. I think he just likes my overall game. We were talking about the Tennessee game, and he still thinks very highly of the group he has at tight end.”
Pritchett attended the Tennessee game, and little did he know then that his recruiting path would change a few days later with a phone call from Wright.
“I started talking to Coach Wright about a month and a half ago,” Pritchett said. “We had a couple of calls and we stayed in contact, and I kept sending him my updated film. Tonight, I was just sitting down on my bed and got a call from Coach Wright. It was pretty brief. He was like, dude, you’re putting up really good film and we want to get on you now and offer you. I think he’s coming to my game Friday. Excited to meet him for the first time.”
Pritchett has football in his blood. His grandfather played at Georgia. His father, Wes Pritchett, was an All-American linebacker on Notre Dame’s 1988 national championship team. He’s rooted for the Irish since he was a kid but as a Charlestonian, he always had Gamecock fandom around him, so the offer is special.
“It means a lot,” Pritchett said. “I didn’t grow up a Gamecock fan, but growing up in South Carolina, and in Charleston specifically, you’re surrounded by some people who live or die with the Gamecocks. You kind of learn that early on. I’m not going to lie, my socials have been blowing up today. I have a lot of friends that are there. I’m good friends with Kam Pringle, who is committed there. LaNorris Sellers I know well. It means a lot. Finally, I’ve been waiting for it, I got the hometown offer.”
And that offer has given him pause in his recruiting.
“I’d be lying if I didn’t say that today definitely threw a curve ball,” Pritchett said. “I feel like every time I get a new offer it makes my recruitment interesting. It stays the same for a while. I’m not afraid to commit. As a tight end, I’ve got to lock my spot in, so when I feel like the time is right, I’m going to go ahead and make that decision.”
One thing for certain when Pritchett gets down to making his decision, the school he chooses will have their tight end as an instrumental part of their offense.
“Honestly, that’s number one for me,” Pritchett said. “I think I can block well. I also think very highly of my skills as a receiver. At the end of the day, I’m a playmaker and I want the ball as any playmaker does. That’s honestly ranked number one for me. I want to be in a system where I’m being used right. I don’t want to go somewhere where the OC promises me you’re going to play receiver, tight end, do it all and then he’s gone and there I am blocking my ass off. South Carolina has got the right things going on. I think they’ve got a good staff that’s all in with the program which is good to see.”
Thus far this season Pritchett has been to games at Tennessee, North Carolina, Notre Dame and Georgia Tech. He is going to Miami this weekend and then will come to Columbia for the Florida game the next weekend. He also plans to be at Michigan November 4th and Wisconsin November 18th. He’s looking at either the USC at Texas A&M game or the Penn State game on October 28th, and he might attend the Ohio State at Michigan game November 25th.
Some of Pritchett’s other offers include Tennessee, Michigan, Purdue, Duke, Texas A&M, North Carolina, Southern Cal, Vanderbilt, West Virginia, UCF, Wisconsin, Cincinnati, Boston College and Georgia Tech.
This season, with his team off to a 7-0 start, Pritchett has 30 catches for 400 yards and two touchdowns.
To cap the night, the Gamecocks offered one of Pritchett’s teammates, 2026 DT James Carrington (6-3 275). Southern Cal, LSU, Notre Dame, NC State, Syracuse, Maryland, Michigan State, Texas A&M, North Carolina, Florida State, Alabama and Michigan are some of his other offers. He also visited Clemson for the Florida State game. He also has been to North Carolina and Georgia for games this season.