Quarterback Jelani Woods of Ellenwood, Ga., was among the observers at South Carolina’s first spring practice Tuesday. Prior to the practice he spent the day around the football program and on the campus for an unofficial visit.
“The visit went really well,” Wood said. “That campus is mind-blowing. The coach is great and the players are great. Also the coaches talked about all the things they like about me and how I would fit in the program.”
Woods (6-6, 230) passed for 2,400 yards and 28 touchdowns in a spread offense last season.
“I was with Coach Roper for a bit and he was saying my size, you can’t coach size, and he knows I’ve got a good arm,” Wood said. “He said by watching film he knows I’ll be able to lead the offense and I can bring a lot of intangibles to the program. Muschamp was basically saying the same thing.”
Woods also has offers from Michigan, Louisville, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Colorado State and several others and he got a clear message from Muschamp and Roper before departing.
“They did tell me that they wanted me bad and they would love to have me,” Woods said.
USC has been his only visit thus far and he plans to return for the spring game. He’s also going to Oklahoma State for the spring game.
Woods said the visit to Columbia elevated the Gamecocks to the top of his list.
“I expected the program to be as great as it was but it was really mind-blowing,” Woods said. “I didn’t expect it to be how it was. It was great down there. I really enjoyed it. I’d call them the favorite.”
Oklahoma State is second on his list.
Wood said he’d like to make his decision soon because he wants to make many visits this summer to the schools he chooses so he can start to learn the playbook. He plans to graduate from school early.
Another USC quarterback target, Jake Bentley of Opelika, Ala., said he will be at USC next Tuesday and Thursday to watch spring practice.
Stanford has also been one of Bentley’s top schools, but the Cardinal landed a commitment Tuesday from quarterback David Mills of Norcross, Ga. About that development Bentley said, “I have a lot to think about now with them.” Georgia, Miami and Alabama also have been top schools with Bentley.