USC is in an early battle with Penn State for junior OL Ryan Bates of Warminster, PA. Bates has nine offers in all with interest from around the country but has the Gamecocks and Nittany Lions at the top of his list.
"I still get hand-written letters from G.A. Mangus and hear from them on twitter a good bit" Bates said. He visited over the summer and wants to make it back down to Columbia. "I would love to get back there but, honestly, I don't know when I'll have the time," he said. "It's a really long drive...you know what I mean?"
Bates has taken just one visit this season when he was at Penn State for the Eastern Michigan game. "I've been there a lot so there isn't too much new for me to see," he said.
His offers are from USC, Penn State, Virginia, Rutgers, Temple, Georgia Tech, Maryland, PItt and Boston College. Other schools are showing a lot of interest. "I've heard a lot from Notre Dame, Stanford and Syracuse," Bates said.
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He is taking his time in making a decision and does not have any other visits scheduled.