Former Tennessee running back Treyvon Paulk made an unofficial visit to USC for the Clemson game and could become more involved with the Gamecocks once the coaching situation is settled.
Paulk is a native of Alpharetta, Ga., and a former high school teammate of Gamecock center Cory Helms. He missed most of his senior season in high school with a torn ACL, though he did rush for about 700 yards in three games.
He signed with Tennessee and redshirted in 2014, but was dismissed from the team by Butch Jones following a domestic incident for which he was not charged. Paulk played at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College this season, and will transfer after the spring semester with three years to play.
“I’m real cool with Coach (Everette) Sands, Coach (Shawn) Elliott and Coach (G.A.) Mangus,” Paulk said. “We’ve been talking and they wanted to get me up for a game.”
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Paulk realizes with the Gamecocks in the midst of a coaching search, it’s hard for the current staff to make decisions on offers and commitments at this time. He said he’s fine with that, and is willing to wait while things play out in Columbia.
“We’ll figure out what’s really going on in a couple of weeks,” he said. “I’ve been talking with them for awhile. It’s definitely a good place. They have a good atmosphere and good support from the fans. I definitely got a good vibe. It’s just day-by-day with the coaching deal and we’ll figure it out.”
Paulk didn’t cite any other schools by name but said schools from the Big 12 and other Power 5 leagues are showing interest. But he’s very interested in seeing if things might work out with USC.
“It’s definitely a place that’s up there for me with them needing a back,” he said. “It’s a good place. It’s in the SEC. I can see myself doing things here, but it’s one day at a time in the process with the coach. I’ll see who they give the shot to and move from there.”
This season Paulk rushed for 669 yards and nine touchdowns, leading his team in both categories.
▪ Defensive back Martial Washington (6-2 195) of Hinesville, Ga., was offered by USC last week. He visited during his spring break and was back for camp last summer. Washington said the Gamecocks are recruiting him as a safety. He played in six games this season and recorded 60 tackles with nine tackles for loss, five pass deflections and two fumble recoveries.
Washington currently is committed to Georgia Southern, but is going to look around at other opportunities and that includes the Gamecocks. Other schools involved at this point are Appalachian State, Middle Tennessee State and Charlotte.
▪ USC target wide receiver Dre Massey of Mauldin and Holmes (Miss.) JC committed to Florida over the weekend while on his official visit. Massey also took official visits to Cincinnati and Oklahoma, and was scheduled to visit the Gamecocks this coming weekend and Auburn on Dec. 12, but said he’s finished with recruiting and won’t take any more visits.
▪ Defensive end Sadarius Hutcherson of Huntingdon, Tenn., has set his official visit with USC for Jan. 15. That’s the only official visit he has set. The Gamecocks have offered along with San Diego State, Memphis, Nevada and Middle Tennessee.
▪ Former USC commitment receiver Bryan Edwards of Conway did not make it to the game Saturday. Edwards, who is a Mr. Football finalist, saw his season end prematurely because of a knee injury. He said Sunday Clemson, USC and Georgia are on his short list. The coaching situations at USC and Georgia are forcing him to slow down the process, though he can’t wait too long because he’s a December graduate. “I’m just taking my time and don't really have anything set in stone,” he said about his official visits. “Only time will tell. I don't have any leaders.”
▪ USC defensive back commitment J.J. Givens was in Columbia unofficially for the Clemson game. He remains committed but is looking at other official visits to Clemson, Ole Miss and Arizona State. He has been to Wisconsin.
▪ Class of 2016 wide receiver Nate Johnson of Thompson’s Station, Tenn., was offered by USC on Sunday night. Johnson also has offers from Miami, Vanderbilt, Purdue, Northwestern, Temple and several others. He has official visits set with Purdue and Miami.