South Carolina head football coach Will Muschamp had a message for linebacker recruits during a preseason news conference on Sunday.
“Any linebackers out there listening, come on. You’re going to have an opportunity if you want to play. If you don’t, go somewhere else,” Muschamp told media members at Williams-Brice Stadium.
One of the targets of that message was Shelby linebacker Dax Hollifield, who has the Gamecocks in his top five.
Hollifield said Muschamp’s message came across loud and clear.
“He texted me right after that and said, ‘That one’s for you.’ That’s their message right now is, come here if you want to play early,” Hollifield told The State on Thursday. “I want to play. That’s what I want to do. That’s my main criteria when I’m looking at a college, that and education, but I want to play. I’m going to be happy if I’m playing.”
Hollifield is down to a final five of South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Florida State and Stanford. He is rated as the No. 5 inside linebacker and the No. 105 overall player in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
He plans to take an official visit to each of his final five schools. Hollifield would like to visit Florida State for the Miami game on Sept. 16, North Carolina for the Notre Dame game on Oct. 7 and South Carolina for the Florida game on Nov. 11.
He does not have a commitment date set yet but said he could make his decision at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January.
Hollifield added that even though he has been going through the recruiting process for several years, he is still enjoying it.
“I’ve been getting recruited since my freshman year,” he said. “Clemson was the first one to offer me February of my freshman year, so I’ve been being a recruit for a long time. It’s been fun.”