The loss of cornerbacks Mark Fields and Jaire Alexander from their commitments put USC back in the market for a replacement, and the Gamecocks have stepped up with DB Maurice Smitherman (5-9 180) of Adamsville, Ala.
Smitherman committed to Mississippi State in June but that commitment has weakened now to a 50-50 split between the Gamecocks and Bulldogs.
"I plan to take an official visit to South Carolina (January 30th)," Smitherman said. "I've been talking to coach Grady Brown. I really liked it the first time I went down there (for the 2013 Clemson game). I haven't been down there since then."
Smitherman said he's softened on Mississippi State because he's concerned about the future of his position coach there.
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"It's Mississippi State or South Carolina right now," he said adding that Kentucky and Georgia also are talking to him. Smitherman has taken his official visit to Mississippi State.
This season Smitherman was in on 42 tackles and 4 interceptions.