South Carolina this week offered defensive end Joe Boletepeli (6-foot-4, 244 pounds) of Wake Forest, N.C., and the Gamecocks did so not no based on junior film or what they saw from him this summer.
He was not in camp, but his early senior film made an impression. He also has offers from North Carolina, Georgia, NC State, Wake Forest, Louisville, Michigan State, Tennessee, Miami and Arkansas.
USC recruiter and defensive line coach Lance Thompson briefly met Boletepeli last spring at his school and the two have been in touch since then.
“He’s been wanting me to come and visit South Carolina for a while now but I just can’t really make the trip down there,” Boletepeli said. “He spoke to Coach Muschamp about me and he said they’ve seen my first couple of films and he told me that they loved it and that’s pretty much why they offered me.”
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And he said he’s happy to get the happy from the Gamecocks.
“South Carolina is a big time program. A lot of big names have come out from that program. And it’s an SEC school, so it’s a pretty big deal.”
Boletepeli said he’s never visited USC before but he hopes to visit soon for a game. He wants to take all of his official visits before making a decision and he doesn’t have a favorite. He has invitations from USC and NC State for their game Saturday in Charlotte and said he might go to that.
“One thing I’m looking at is the atmosphere of the campus, where I’ll be focused and feel comfortable enough where I’ll work hard and stay focused and get the job done on and off the field to be successful,” said Boletepeli.
Boletepeli said he’s considered to be a good rusher off the edge and, after five sacks last season, already has four sacks this season. He had 82 total tackles last season.
He said he hopes to make his decision in September or early October and he does plan to graduate early.
▪ USC defensive line target Antwuan Jackson Jr. of Blinn College, a two-year school in Texas, was offered by Alabama. That’s his second major offer of the week, the other coming from Ohio State.