The ‘thank you’ gift came in response to five-star defender Dylan Stewart’s commitment to the Gamecocks. The fan is apparently holding onto a two-year grudge from a previous recruiting battle with the Terps.
South Carolina fans felt wronged when top linebacker prospect Jaishawn Barham signed with Maryland in the 2022 cycle. The DMV native had been committed to the Gamecocks before flipping on signing day to instead play for the hometown team.
Taking a victory lap, Maryland’s social media team quickly posted a video of the recruit and his mother talking with Locksley after the fact. In that clip, Barham’s mom said, “Go Terps! We liked that better than Go Cocks.”
— Goose (@sir12302) August 1, 2023
A number of fans believed the moment was staged as they complained about a possible setup.
Maryland later took the post down.
Further fueling conspiracies theories, Gamecocks head coach Shane Beamer talked about the change of heart in an ensuing press conference.
“He committed on Saturday,” Beamer recalled. “About 10 minutes later, I got a phone call from somebody in the know up there that said, ‘Just so you know, it’s all part of the plan. He’s going to flip on Wednesday and go to Maryland.’ So, I can’t sit here and say that I was shocked.”
Coach Beamer on Jaishawn Barham’s flip to Maryland pic.twitter.com/n2kAeFStmh
— Michelle (@VZRSportsBelle) December 15, 2021
The Gamecocks lost that battle, but they’ve since snagged a number of highly rated prospects from the Terps’ backyard. In the 2023 class, South Carolina nabbed the nation’s “freakiest recruit” in 6-foot-5, 230-pound track star Nyckoles Harbor.
Beamer also went as far as to climb a tree to land Maryland offensive lineman Oluwatosin Babalade.
A year later, they swiped Dylan Stewart from Washington DC as the prized gem of their 2024 cycle. The Terps weren’t involved in the defensive end’s recruiting race (Ohio State was his other finalist), but fans haven’t forgotten about the supposedly staged flip from years prior.
They’ve made it a point to note the recent success recruiting the area.
Maryland really pulled a stunt on Beamer in 2021 and Beamer responded by turning the DMV into a pipeline 💀
— Cleve (@CleveIsDaReaz_N) April 19, 2023
— Pluvlaw (@Pluvlaw) August 1, 2023
One fan took it to the extreme by sending Maryland head coach Mike Locksley a “thank you” following Stewart’s decision.
A message board poster said he had doughnuts delivered to the coach’s office along with a note that read, “Thank you for p—ing our Head Football Coach, Shane Beamer, off! Nothing has paid off better than the little punk move you thought you were playing on him 2 years ago. Hopefully, the sweet taste of these miniature pearls of exquisite delicacy will help you overcome the bitter taste of getting your a—-s stomped continuously in your own backyard!”
Maryland fans weren’t happy with the “gift” after seeing the post go viral online.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we are still living rent free in the minds of Gamecock nation. I really can’t wait for the day we play y’all,” one Twitter account wrote.
“South Carolina Gamecock fans are the worst. Just nasty,” another Terp supporter said.
The pettiest of petty coming from Columbia.