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5-Star DE Jordan Burch Did Not Sign With South Carolina This Week

Will Muschamp fired up after a call.

COLUMBIA, SC - OCTOBER 29: Head coach Will Muschamp of the South Carolina Gamecocks reacts after a call during their game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Williams-Brice Stadium on October 29, 2016 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Embattled South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp got a huge boost on Wednesday, when five-star defensive end Jordan Burch chose the Gamecocks. Clemson was considered the favorite entering the early signing period, with other SEC powers like Alabama, Georgia, and LSU also involved.

Ultimately, he committed to the Gamecocks. On paper, it is likely the program's biggest recruiting win since Jadeveon Clowney, and hugely important for Muschamp, who will enter the 2020 season on an extremely hot seat.

The recruiting job for Burch isn't done yet though. The five-star may have committed to the Gamecocks, but he did not sign his Letter of Intent.

The early signing period ran from Wednesday to Friday. Burch never submitted the paperwork that would lock him in as a Gamecock, so he can still be recruited over the next few weeks, ahead of National Signing Day on February 5.

From ESPN:

Five-star defensive end Jordan Burch did not sign his national letter of intent in the early signing period after committing to South Carolina.

[...]

According to a different source, Alabama, Georgia and LSU have been in contact with Burch, still trying to recruit him. Had Burch signed his national letter of intent, it would have prevented opposing coaches from communicating with him.

Now, the South Carolina coaches will have to make sure their top-ranked commitment in the 2020 class doesn't second-guess his commitment and end up choosing a different school come February.

Burch did not comment on his decision, or lack of NLI, after making the commitment. That will naturally have Gamecock fans nervous until February, but his high school coach tells the The Post and Courier that the decision to delay signing is very simple: he wants to do it with his other teammates.

“I think Jordan and (fellow USC commit Alex Huntley) value signing with their teammates, and to me that’s a reason they decided not to sign early,” Hammond coach Erik Kimrey said.

That still reads as his opinion, and whatever the reason, it leaves the door cracked open for those other powerhouses to remain in his ear, if he wants to take their pitches.

Right now, Burch looks like a hard commitment to the Gamecocks, but losing him late would be incredibly devastating for the program. Hopefully, for Muschamp's sake, he can keep him in the fold.

Jordan Burch is the No. 5 player, and No. 1 recruit in South Carolina, per 247Sports' composite rankings.