Defensive end Dorian Gerald of Florence and the College of the Canyons, a junior college in California, visited South Carolina on Monday with his mother. Gerald is home for a few days before returning to California and is trying to work in a few campus visits to his favorites.
He is going to Tennessee on Wednesday. After that, he's not sure he can make it to any other places. Gerald said he is sure of four schools from his list of 12 he's been considering. He's not ready to name them all but said USC is definitely in that final group after his Monday visit.
"It was everything I expected it to be," Gerald said. "We talked about me coming in and playing. They think I have the skill set to come in and make the impact they want. We went over everything from an academics standpoint. The football part is the easy part. We talked about football, of course, but we really talked about the plans for coming in and graduating. I most definitely fit in the scheme of things. It was everything I expected. I really enjoyed myself."
USC has been recruiting Gerald with great intensity since offering him in early April. He is coming off a season of 12 sacks and the Gamecocks have a major need for pass rushers. The coaches made that clear to him on the visit.
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"I met with everybody and it's clear that they need me," Gerald said.
Gerald said Louisville and Oklahoma also are top schools with him but probably are too far away for him to drive to during this home visit.
As for when he will make his decision, Gerald said, "With the way I have it narrowed down now, I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't come soon. I wouldn't be surprised. Weeks, maybe a month. I have a pretty clear idea of what I want and these schools, what they are offering, and where I fit in the scheme of things. These four are a strong four, I can say that. My mom knows how I feel about it. I don't have a date. Whenever it's right, it's right. These four are where I have the relationship with the coaches and the way I fit in their defense. And the opportunity is great at these places. They are losing their defensive ends or don't have one. This is a good four that I have."
The other schools in his 12 are Florida, LSU, Georgia, Texas A&M, NC State, Syracuse, Alabama and Florida State.
Gerald said proximity to Florence is not an issue in his decision since he's been out in California for the past year. Gerald returns to California on June 11.