Will Muschamp and his staff at South Carolina are recruiting to the echo of the verbal commitment this weekend.
Trying to make up for lost time during the coaching transition, Muschamp is not taking the final recruiting weekend of the month lightly, bringing in several prospects who are committed elsewhere.
Wide receiver Jeriko Morris of Crystal Springs, Miss., is a Southern Miss commitment who USC became involved with after Muschamp took over. Receivers coach Bryan McClendon went to work on Morris, and the result was an official visit from him this weekend. That could lead to a commitment at some point between now and signing day, which is this Wednesday.
Morris (6-4, 200) took his official visit to Southern Miss last weekend and that went well, but the Golden Eagles lost their coach to the NFL. Crystal Springs coach Stephen Rice said that shook things up for Morris, who was happy with his Southern Miss commitment until then. The unstable situation has given USC a chance to show Morris a situation where he will know his coaches from the start.
“He’s kind of excited to come up to South Carolina and see what’s what and feel it out and see if it’s some place he’d be interested in,” Rice said. “He had kind of shut everything down until South Carolina came along. I think that kind of piqued his interest. He had a couple of good conversations with Coach McClendon. He flew out a couple of weeks ago and made a visit.”
Morris played quarterback last season and rushed for 689 yards and 7 touchdowns. When he was lined up at receiver, Morris caught 23 passes for 386 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also averaged over 25 yards on kickoff returns and over 21 yards on punt returns.
Morris is making the trip with his parents.
Defensive lineman Aaron Thompson of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., visited Maryland earlier in the month and committed there last week.
He was offered last spring by USC and had set an official visit with the Gamecocks and here this weekend to take a look. Thompson (6-3, 250) said he’s looking for one simple thing in deciding on a school.
“I just want to go to school and play early,” he said.
Thompson said he’s known Muschamp and Travaris Robinson since they were at Florida. But he also has a strong relationship with Maryland recruiter Chris Beatty. Some of his other offers are Tennessee, Louisville, Pittsburgh. LSU and Virginia.
UNC receiver commitment Korey Banks of Tyrone, Ga., also is among the Gamecocks’ official visitors this weekend, along with Texas defensive end commit Malcolm Roach of Baton Rouge, La.
South Carolina this past week offered Class of 2017 linebacker Sherrod Greene of Rocky Mount, N.C., and 2017 defensive end Brad Johnson of Pendleton. The Gamecocks also offered Class of 2018 defensive lineman Rick Standidge of Concord, N.C.