Eight members of South Carolina's 2014 recruiting class may not qualify academically

Sam Cooper
Dr. Saturday
North Carolina v South Carolina
COLUMBIA, SC - AUGUST 29: A general view of a helmet before the game betwen the North Carolina Tar Heels and South Carolina Gamecocks at Williams-Brice Stadium on August 29, 2013 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

With less than 50 days remaining from the start of the college football season, a significant portion of South Carolina’s 2014 recruiting class, which was ranked No. 16 in the country by Rivals.com, has not yet arrived on campus.

Offensive coordinator Steve Spurrier Jr. told The State that eight of the Gamecocks’ 21-man recruiting class have not enrolled in school. The coaching staff is aware that “not all of the remaining players” will qualify academically.

Defensive end signees Dante Sawyer and Kalan Ritchie previously announced their intentions to attend junior college after not qualifying academically. Junior college signee Jhaustin Thomas, another defensive end, also failed to qualify academically.

Additionally, cornerbacks Wesley Green, Chris Lammons and Darin Smalls, fullback Joe Blue and defensive tackle Dexter Wideman “are still trying to meet qualifying standards in time to join the Gamecocks in August.”

“We would like to hope that at least two out of three (cornerbacks) are going to make it,” Spurrier Jr. said. “That’s a pretty critical area for our 2014 football season getting those guys here.”

Four-star D.J. Smith and three-star Al Harris Jr., both cornerbacks, are both enrolled in summer classes and could be expected to see the field early.

The Gamecocks, who finished 11-2 last season, open their season at home against Texas A&M on August 28 – a Thursday night showdown.

For more South Carolina news, visit GamecockCentral.com.

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Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!