Linebacker signee Brandon Golson has been denied admission to the University of South Carolina and could wind up at another SEC school, his high school coach said Tuesday.
Golson, a linebacker from Calhoun County High, has qualified under NCAA eligibility guidelines but did not meet USC’s admissions standards, Calhoun County coach Walt Wilson said.
According to Wilson, the Gamecocks want the 6-foot-2, 204-pound Golson to attend prep school for a semester with the hopes of enrolling at USC in January. But several schools have contacted Wilson about Golson, who plans to visit Arkansas this weekend after he is granted his release from USC.
Wilson said S.C. State, Illinois, Maryland and Louisville also are interested in Golson, who had 113 tackles and 30 sacks despite playing less than two seasons for the Saints.
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“We’re going to let him weigh some of these opportunities and decide if he wants to go to another (four-year) school or go the prep-school route,” Wilson said.
USC changed its special-admissions process for athletes three years ago after Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier ripped the administration when two signees who were NCAA qualifiers were denied admission days before preseason drills began.
Although NCAA qualification still does not guarantee recruits admission, the changes were to have streamlined the process so recruits on the academic bubble would not be left in limbo late into the summer.
Wilson said the admissions process has been ongoing with Golson. Wilson said the issue with Golson was his high school GPA, which the coach said was hurt by his academic performance his first two years before he joined the football team.
While Wilson was disappointed with the decision on Golson, he said it would not deter Calhoun County players from considering USC in the future. The Gamecocks are recruiting Saints quarterback Shamier Jeffery, the younger brother of starting USC receiver Alshon Jeffery.
“Each situation, each kid’s different,” Wilson said.
ESPN.com rated Golson as the nation’s No. 15 outside linebacker prospect. Golson played in six games as a junior before he was injured in a car accident.
Three other USC signees have hit academic snags that will delay their enrollment.
Greenwood defensive lineman Kelcy Quarles, a Parade Magazine All-American, will play at Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy this fall, his father, Buddy Quarles, said this week. Javon Bell, a receiver from Jacksonville, Fla., and offensive lineman Du’Von Millsap of Buford, Ga., also failed to qualify.
Brison Williams, a defensive back from Warner Robins, Ga., is awaiting word on his status. Williams recently re-took the ACT after an earlier score was flagged, according to a source close to the situation.
Buddy Quarles, who played for the Gamecocks under Joe Morrison, said his son hopes to play one season at Fork Union, enroll at USC in January and participate in spring practice.
The rest of USC’s signees, including highly touted tailback Marcus Lattimore, are on campus attending summer school and participating in summer strength and conditioning drills.
The Gamecocks begin preseason practice Aug. 3 and open the season against Southern Miss on Sept. 2.