The last recruiting weekend of December will see several top prospects taking official visits to South Carolina.
Will Muschamp was busy this week handing out offers and setting up official visits for this weekend. Lined up to come to Columbia are:
▪ QB Brandon McIlwain of Newtown, Pa.
▪ RB CJ Freeman of Greensboro, N.C.
▪ WR Samuel Denmark of Hanahan
▪ WR Bryan Edwards of Conway
▪ WR Cavin Ridley of Deerfield Beach, Fla.
▪ DB Jamarcus King of Coffeyville Community College (Kansas)
Edwards is a former Gamecock commitment. He has also taken an official visit to Clemson and will choose early next week between the Gamecocks and the Tigers. Edwards was picked for the Shrine Bowl and the U.S. Army All American Bowl but will miss both as he recovers from knee surgery. He’s a December graduate.
Denmark has been a Virginia Tech commitment since the summer and was passed over by the previous USC staff. He met with Muschamp earlier in the week and was offered on site. Denmark has maintained his commitment to the Hokies through the coaching change there and met with new coach Justin Fuente earlier this week. He will leave Columbia and go to the Shrine Bowl. He is a December graduate.
Freeman met with Muschamp and two assistants Thursday night. Though he has held to his commitment to the Gamecocks, it’s not a sure thing at this point as Wisconsin and Louisville have made strong pushes for him. He’s also been considering Georgia Southern. He plans to announce a final decision on Tuesday night at 7:30.
McIlwain met with Muschamp on Wednesday night, a meeting that included new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper. McIlwain knew both from their Florida days when they recruited him for the Gators. His commitment to USC remains solid, but this weekend should answer the question about early enrollment. If he decides to, he’s locked in. If he decides not to, then other official visits and the baseball draft come into play.
King was recruited by Muschamp and new USC defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson while they were at Auburn. He has the Tigers among his favorites along with Baylor, Arkansas and Miami. He is a mid-year transfer with three years to play two. He’s regarded as one of the top cornerbacks in the junior college ranks.
Ridley was recruited by the former USC staff and has been interested all along. He just decided to take an official visit this week after the coaches visited his school. His brother Calvin is a star receiver at Alabama, and the Crimson Tide are strongly involved along with Tennessee and Auburn. He was chosen for the Under Armour All American Game.
Another key visitor for USC is linebacker TJ Brunson of Richland Northeast, who is going over Friday for an unofficial visit. He’s been committed to Louisville but Muschamp made his first recruiting stop after taking the job with Brunson and that impressed him. He was a frequent visitor to USC for games this season. He will play in the Shrine Bowl next week.