Top 150 recruit commits to Shane Beamer, Gamecocks football for Class of 2026

South Carolina football received its second verbal commitment in the Class of 2026 on Wednesday.

Linebacker Rodney Colton from Newnan, Georgia, pledged to play for head coach Shane Beamer. On3 was the first to report the news. Colton joins quarterback prospect Landon Duckworth, who committed to USC in August, for the Gamecocks’ 2026 class.

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound rising junior is the No. 12 linebacker and No. 136 overall recruit in the nation, per 247Sports Composite rankings. He recorded 15 tackles in two games his sophomore season before an injury sidelined him for the rest of the year. As a freshman, Colton had 34 tackles and caused three fumbles.

South Carolina offered him a scholarship on April 20. He chose USC over offers from Auburn, Cincinnati, East Carolina and Appalachian State.

“As soon as I got down there I knew what it was,” Colton told On3.

Of the 20-plus players USC lost to the transfer portal over the offseason, two departures came from the linebacker room: Grayson “Pup” Howard and starter Stone Blanton.

South Carolina brought in Pitt transfer Bangally Kamara and Charlotte transfer Demetrius Knight, who combined for over 150 tackles and a dozen tackles for losses last season. Their eligibility will run out before Colton is slated to arrive at USC, though. He could suit up with Fred Johnson and Wendell Gregory, the Gamecocks’ two four-star freshmen at linebacker.

South Carolina football recruiting class of 2026