South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner was an excellent recruiter during his days as a baseball coach at N.C. State and USC. He’s now putting those skills back to work on two fronts.
Tanner is recruiting a new head football coach and is asking the current 2016 Gamecocks commitments to hold to their pledges.
Two of those commitments, offensive lineman Lloyd Cushenberry and quarterback Brandon McIlwain, confirmed they had received calls from Tanner updating them on the search and encouraging them to be patient while it plays out. Cushenberry said Tanner called him Tuesday.
“He was just saying they’ll be trying to make a decision in probably in about three weeks and he hopes I stick with them, but still keep my options open and make the best decision for me,” Cushenberry said. “I think I’ve built a good relationship with some of the coaches, like Coach [Joe] Robinson, and I would like to be there with him. But we’ll just see whoever they bring in. I am committed but keeping my options open, just seeing what goes on.”
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Cushenberry was supposed to visit Mississippi State last Saturday, but that’s been rescheduled for Nov. 28. He plans to set an official visit with USC and is also looking at Memphis and Louisiana Tech.
“I’ve been talking to Mississippi State and I really like them,” Cushenberry said. “But I’m still committed to South Carolina.”
Cushenberry’s team is still in the playoffs. He is not going to be an early graduate.
McIlwain said he will not take his official visit to USC next weekend as planned for the Clemson game. He now expects to take that visit in December. He is planning to enroll in January if he gets final approval from his school district.
McIlwain’s season ended last Friday with a playoff loss.
USC still recruiting local receiver
Lower Richland and Shrine Bowl receiver Larry Collins Jr. was at the USC-Florida game, and he said the Gamecocks are still recruiting him.
He’s also planning to go to Wake Forest for the Duke game Nov. 28. He also has an official visit set with Wake Forest for Jan. 22. Collins said the Demon Deacons are showing him the most interest right now. He’s also getting interest from North Carolina.
Collins said he doesn’t have a favorite, but he could announce a commitment during the week of the Shrine Bowl.
Official visits of note this weekend
▪ Former USC WR Bryan Edwards to Clemson
▪ WR Dre Massey (USC target) to Oklahoma
▪ RB CJ Freeman and WR JJ Givens (USC commitments) to Wisconsin