BENNETTSVILLE | Colleges do their best to impress recruits on their official visits, but Lateek Townsend was happier to get a glimpse of reality.
The Marlboro County linebacker was visiting South Carolina this past weekend and saw Arkansas blow out the Gamecocks. The result didn’t hurt USC’s chances of gaining his services. In fact, it might have helped.
“The nature of that loss did have a great impact on me,” he said after a ceremony honoring him as a participant in January’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl. “The impact was seeing how a team – when they lose – get back up. When you go to a school you want to see every school win, but there are some things people don’t get to see when they go on their officials.
“Everything is going to go right if you’re seeing a school win. When I went to South Carolina and saw them lose and they lost pretty big, I got to see how they came back up from it and prepared from it [and] how they things went in the locker room after that game.”
Townsend said was impressed – “everything I saw I liked,” he said – with what he experienced in Columbia.
However, that doesn’t mean he’s close to a commitment to USC.
Despite speculation he could be close to choosing the Gamecocks, he doesn’t plan to choose a school until at least January and possibly later.
Townsend has maintained throughout the process that he’s looking for the right fit, both athletically, academically and socially. He understands that football is going to be the same no matter where he ends up, so he wants to make sure that he’s happy as a student.
Townsend said he’d like to visit USC unofficially several more times. He has now taken official visits to USC and Southern Cal.
He lists his top five - in no particular order - as LSU, USC, Florida, Clemson and Southern Cal. He said it’s likely he’ll take official visits to Clemson and LSU, but he might not visit the Gators since he’s already taken an unofficial visit there.
Townsend joined former Bulldog Tymere Zimmerman as the only Marlboro County players to earn a spot in the All-American Bowl. The game will be played Saturday, Jan. 8 in San Antonio’s Alamodome.