DB James Valdez of Lake Marion was back at USC Saturday for the fourth time this season to watch the Gamecocks play South Alabama. It was another good experience for Valdez who figures to be one of the state's top prospects in 2016. He said he talked with Gamecock assistants Lorenzo Ward, Grady Brown, Everette Sands and Steve Spurrier Jr. as well as some of the players. He also spent time in the locker room.
"Nothing caught me by surprise," Valdez said. "I'd been there a couple of times before and I knew how everything was going to go."
Valdez has offers from USC, Tennessee, North Carolina, NC State, Wake Forest and SC State. He doesn't plan to make a decision until after his senior season.
"I wouldn't say I have a top school now because I haven't had a chance to go to any other schools like schools out of the state," Valdez said. "I haven't had a chance to visit and see what they are like. I'm going to wait to see what other schools have to offer."
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Valdez is going to Clemson this weekend for an unofficial visit. The Tigers haven't offered but he remains highly interested in them.
"Clemson always be a standout school for me because Clemson was the first football camp I attended," he said. "The first article on me was from Clemson and that's how USC jumped on me. Clemson hasn't offered yet but they were the first school to put me out to see I have potential and thinks like that. I'm pretty sure I will pick up an offer. I'm know it's coming. I'm not in a rush or anything."
Valdez said he has not orders to the schools that have offered him but noted that North Carolina is recruiting him the hardest right now.
"They're showing me the most love," he said. "Other schools showing love too, they hit me up every day, but UNC, I can tell they are on me heavy."
Valdez has also been to Tennessee and Georgia for games this season. He had planned to visit NC State and Florida but those plans fell thru. He plans to take visits to Florida, NC State, Georgia and the other schools that have offered him during the off season.
Valdez actually lives in Orangeburg and transferred from O-W to Lake Marion in the ninth grade. This season he finished with 8 interceptions, 38 tackles, 14 passes broken up and 5 forced fumbles. He also scored 3 defensive touchdowns. Valdez also plays slot receiver and had 600 rushing yards and scored 6 touchdowns.