Running back Marcus Lattimore has trimmed his prospective college list to five, and the Gamecocks have made the cut.
The 17-year-old Lattimore on Saturday reduced his list to USC, North Carolina, Auburn, Penn State and Oregon.
"It really wasn't difficult," Lattimore said Saturday night after returning from an unofficial visit to Penn State. "I kind of had an idea when I came back from Penn State. I knew the schools I wanted in my five and felt comfortable with the players and coaches."
Lattimore and teammate wide receiver Nick Jones spent the past couple of days at Happy Valley, and he will make a return trip there for an official visit Oct. 10.
"I loved it up there," Lattimore said. "I met with some of the players and coaches and had a good time."
Absent from Lattimore's final five is Clemson, a school which has had great success recruiting players from Byrnes in recent years. "I just didn't get that feeling there when I was on campus," Lattimore said.
He has visited each of his final five schools unofficially except for Oregon. This football season he plans to take in games at USC, North Carolina and Auburn. Lattimore said there is no favorite and he won't announce a decision until the day before National Signing Day.
"I'm going to go by the season and see how they use their running backs," Lattimore said. "The records of the teams won't matter. And I won't be dealing with any recruiting during the season (except for the official visits). After we win the state championship, I'll turn it back on."
The rising senior is the state’s top college prospect and the No. 1 recruit in the nation, according to The Sporting News. Scout.com lists him as No. 2 nationally and Rivals.com lists him as No. 4.
Lattimore rushed for 2,319 yards and 30 touchdowns during the Rebels’ 2008 state championship season.