COLUMBIA, SC (TheBigSpur.com) - By John Del Bianco, TheBigSpur.com
A week after landing the Class of 2019's top defensive end, another one has joined the fold with South Carolina.
Four-star defensive end Joseph Anderson (Murfreesboro, Tenn./Siegel) committed to the Gamecocks on Friday, joining five-star defensive end Zacch Pickens (Anderson, S.C./T L Hanna) as the latest pledges to what is becoming one of the best recruiting classes in the country.
Ranked the No. 208 overall player and No. 15 strong-side defensive end by 247Sports Composite, Anderson bumps Carolina's No. 11 ranked recruiting class up to No. 4 according to the 247Sports Class Calculator. The group is now up to 13 commitments and ranks third-best in the SEC (behind Alabama and Texas A&M). He becomes the fifth four or five-star recruit in the class, joining Pickens, quarterback Ryan Hilinski (Orange, Calif./Orange Lutheran), wide receiver Jamario Holley (Rock Hill, S.C./Northwestern), and tight end Traevon Kenion (Monroe, N.C./Monroe).
The Gamecocks have been the favorite to land Anderson of late, who has also had Notre Dame in his top group. Fifteen predictions were submitted to the 247Sports Crystal ball for Anderson and 87 percent of them were for the Gamecocks.
On Friday Anderson will join Pickens and a large group of other remaining top targets in Columbia for an official visit weekend. Anderson last visited the Gamecocks on March 31 for the Garnet and Black Spring Game.
"I'm a top priority for them and I can see myself playing there next year," Joesph told TheBigSpur.com after that visit. "I like coach Muschamp a lot. I trust him. He's real with me when we have our conversations and we have a strong relationship and it continues to grow."
On his 247Sports profile page, here is his evaluation: "Anderson is a force on the edge. He gets off the ball quickly and has a good initial punch. Anderson anticipates well and does a great job of putting himself in position to make plays. He changes directions smoothly, takes good pursuit angles and closes quickly on the football. He needs to continue to improve his technique, as he can play too high at times. However, he has a tremendous upside and is one of top defensive ends in the 2019 class."
Ranked the seventh-best prospect from the state of Tennessee, the 6-foot-4, 264-pound pass rusher has 21 offers. Outside of smaller in-state schools like Middle Tennessee State and Memphis, all of Anderson's offers come from big programs. He has 10 offers from SEC schools and other top programs like Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Penn State, and Clemson has offered as well.