When it comes to inside tracks for wooing recruits, Will Muschamp and South Carolina practically have them all with one of the class of 2018’s top-ranked offensive tackles, Dylan Wonnum.
Wonnum, ranked by 247Sports as the 127th best player in his class and 10th best at his position, is the younger brother of current Gamecock defensive lineman D.J. Wonnum. He’s said he wants to go out of state for his college career. His parents even have a connection with Muschamp’s family.
“(Their) parents are from Thomaston, Georgia, where my wife is from, so we made a pretty quick connection on the recruiting trail about Thomaston. It’s not a big town, so we made a quick connection there. It’s an outstanding family,” Muschamp said earlier this year.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, most of 247Sports’ experts predict that Wonnum will end up a Gamecock himself when he finally does commit.
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But for all that, the 6-foot-5 offensive lineman says he’s not destined to end up in Columbia, while at the same time not tipping his hand about where he’ll go either.
“I do (feel a little desire to go my own way),” Wonnum said. “(But) I’m not saying either way. ... There hasn’t been no pressure. It gets a little annoying, a little nerve-wracking with coaches hitting you up left and right. But other than that, the process has been going great.”
That lack of pressure, at least from his brother, is not entirely surprising — back in late October, D.J. said that while he was putting in a good word or two for South Carolina, he was also trying to respect his brother’s decision-making process.
“I stay in his ear about South Carolina, but I don’t want to pressure him too much because during my process I was pressured a lot,” D.J. said at the time. “So I just want him to enjoy this process, but at the end of the day, I would love for him to come to Carolina and play with him.”
Dylan said Wednesday that his brother’s sales pitch basically consisted of, “You gotta come here. I enjoy it.”
The younger Wonnum is also getting some friendly peer pressure from his teammate at Tucker High School, receiver Josh Vann, who has been committed to South Carolina since August.
“(D.J. and Josh) say little stuff, but I really don’t care, because at the end of the day, it’s my choice,” Dylan Wonnum said.
Wonnum has visited South Carolina three times unofficially this fall, but he has yet to take any of his official visits, either to USC or its main competitors for his services, Auburn and LSU. He said Wednesday he will sign in February, not during the early signing period, and after he takes those official visits.
The visits were delayed until recently by Tucker’s deep run into the Georgia state playoffs. Wonnum’s senior season ended on Dec. 1 two steps short of where he thought it would, in the state semifinals.
“There’s some stuff we could have done better, but overall, we had a good season,” Wonnum said.
While some recruits say they feel pressure playing their senior season without being committed to a university, Wonnum said football actually made the whole process a “breeze,” with the season providing a respite from the hoopla of the recruiting trail. But in the two weeks since it ended, he said started to look forward.
“I wasn’t giving it no thought,” Wonnum said of his commitment. “But now, it’s getting about that time, it’s getting about that decision ... ”