Alabama fell out of favor with defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw on Thursday after three coaches met with him, and he followed up by dropping the Crimson Tide from consideration.
Kinlaw, who is at Jones County Junior College in Mississippi, will make his decision between South Carolina and Southern Cal. The Gamecocks hold a substantial lead at this point.
He said he met with Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, co-defensive coordinator Tosh Lupoi and defensive line coach Karl Dunbar, and it was after that meeting that Kinlaw decided Alabama would not be right for him. He canceled his visit there that was set for next weekend.
“If I was to go to Alabama, why be just another defensive lineman when I can go somewhere else like South Carolina or Southern California and be ‘that guy’?” Kinlaw said. “I’m just not interested anymore. I just don’t want to be another defensive lineman. I just don’t like the way conversations with them are. I lose interest fast in people. The conversations are just plain. I’m not a plain person. My personality is much more.”
Thursday also saw USC coach Will Muschamp and defensive line coach Lance Thompson visit with Kinlaw. But first, the coaches were in Washington, DC, to sit down with Kinlaw’s mother.
“Knowing that this was the first day that coaches can come and visit kids, the first day ... it shows me that I was a top priority,” Kinlaw said. “Eight o’clock in the morning they went to see my mom, and then they flew down here to come and see me. That means a lot that they took the time out of their day to come and chat with me and stuff and making sure I’m on the right track.”
Wednesday night Kinlaw gave the Gamecocks a six on a scale of 10 regarding their edge on Southern Cal. After Thursday’s meeting, that gap has grown to “an eight, probably,” he said.
“Definitely strengthened it,” he said. “Communication-wise and understanding, their attitudes towards me after all of this stuff, nothing’s changed with them. They actually have character. They’re just not like coaches. They are actually people, too.”
Kinlaw, who is originally from Goose Creek High, will visit Southern Cal this weekend. He will take his official visit to USC the last weekend of the month, and he plans to announce a decision Jan. 31