South Carolina quarterbacks coach GA Mangus, who handles all of the quarterback recruiting for the Gamecocks, has a pretty good track record of landing his top targets. In fact, he's been pretty much perfect over his years in Columbia.
That record will be tested this Friday when Drew Barker of Hebron, Ky., makes his announcement.
Barker is choosing between USC, Kentucky and Tennessee. Mangus was one of the first to offer Barker, and he's the only quarterback he's been recruiting for the 2014 class.
Barker has said nothing but good things about Mangus and USC over the months and has always had the Gamecocks high on his list. But first year Kentucky coach Mark Stoops has made Barker an absolute priority, something that was not the case when Joker Phillips was coach.
According to a story in Saturday's Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, the Wildcat coaching staff sent Barker more than 100 handwritten cards and letters on two different days, one last month and one this month. Barker has made multiple visits to UK, including spending a weekend there for the spring game. And the Wildcat coaches are selling him on the idea of staying home and becoming the local hero much like Tim Couch, Jared Lorenzen and Andre Woodson.
"When I was down in Lexington they made that a big point," Barker told the Lexington paper. "They had a video that showed all those guys from Kentucky who'd been quarterback, and then my highlight clips were in there with them. I liked that."
If he's going down, Mangus is not going down without a fight.
He had a very good visit with Barker in late April and he plans to make one more visit this week. At 3:30 p.m. Friday, Barker will become either the toast of the Bluegrass State or just the latest major talent from the Commonwealth to decide to play where football rules.