Darius Whitfield of Mobile, Ala., is set to sign with South Carolina next week. The future Gamecock is hoping a couple of his teammates will join him in Columbia over the next couple of years.
Whitfield is still being recruited by several schools, including Missouri, Arkansas and Florida, but remains solid to USC after taking an official visit last weekend.
His focus now is on helping Carolina on the field and convincing a couple of his teammates that were recently offered by the Gamecocks to come to South Carolina as well.
Ryan Johnson, a 2017 defensive and, and Jalyn Armour-Davis, a 2018 cornerback, have offers from several SEC schools, including USC.
“I recruit guys. My fellow teammates just got offers, so they know I’m going to be after them,” Whitfield said. “I try my best to recruit for South Carolina.”
Whitfield added there is a lot of talent in the state of Alabama, and he would like to help the Gamecocks build a pipeline.
“I feel like that Alabama has great talent,” he said. “More of the talent is going out of state to show their talent, and I feel like it’s going to pay off.”
Whitfield has a strong relationship with USC head coach Will Muschamp and defensive line coach Lance Thompson. He is eager to play for the two.
“Coach Thompson has been recruiting me since I was in the ninth grade — since he was at ’Bama. Coach Muschamp was recruiting me when he was at Florida. I’m very familiar with the new staff,” Whitfield said. “I’m going to play defensive tackle and defensive end and kind of move around. He said the good thing about me is that I’m versatile. He said I have a good chance to make an immediate impact to the team next year.”
Whitfield said he thinks the Gamecocks can take a big step forward in 2016.
“I feel like we have a good class and we’re going to make a lot of noise this year,” he said. “Our motto, just from talking to the team, is we’re going to try to shock the world. That’s really the whole motto for the 2016 season.”