Dexter Wideman and Derrell Scott are taking the final months of their recruiting one everything at a time.
One interview with a reporter. One contact from a coach. One social media interaction with a fan.
The South Carolina targets and Shrine Bowl selections have a clearer picture of how the 50 days leading up to National Signing Day might go, even as they remain undecided on which school will ultimately receive their signature.
Wideman, a four-star defensive lineman from Saluda and a Florida State commitment, said he isn’t worrying about his college future until January.
While he’s tired of reporters asking about the strength of his pledge to the Seminoles, he admits he hasn’t ruled out the home-state Gamecocks. It was thought that Wideman might reveal his choice next month at the Under Armour All-America Game, but that’s not the case, he said.
“I’m going to wait until after my official visits and then let everybody know,” Wideman said.
He’ll take an official visit to South Carolina the weekend of Jan. 17, followed by one to Florida State on Jan. 31. An announcement is planned for signing day, Feb. 5, he said.
Wideman committed to FSU in July ...
“It’s a wonderful school,’ he said. “They’re on the rise. They’re having a good season this year. The coaches have a real good relationship with the players, and that’s one key thing I’m looking for.”
... but interest remains in staying close to home.
“I grew up a Carolina fan, going to just about every home game,” he said. “The crowd is crazy. I love the atmosphere. The coaching is great there, and they have a really good relationship with their players too.”
Wideman and Scott were top targets for media interviews as Shrine Bowl preparations began. Scott, a four-star prospect and the Gamecocks’ top tailback target, won’t play in this week’s all-star game after fracturing his right pinky finger.
The Havelock High (N.C.) standout and former teammate of USC freshman Pharoh Cooper said he’s hearing from coaches more often than media members at this stage of his recruitment.
“It’s fun and it’s not fun,” Scott said of the recruiting process. “It’s good because you get pick where you get to go to school for the next four years. Sometimes it gets annoying because you have people calling you all the time wanting to know where you’re going to go and asking a million questions. It’s a good pain that I’d rather have.”
Scott has taken official visits to South Carolina, NC State and Tennessee, and hasn’t declared a favorite. He hasn’t ruled out visits to other schools – Florida State and Clemson are possibilities – and said a final decision could come in January.
A scan of his Twitter timeline shows Scott interacting often with fans of the Gamecocks, Wolfpack and Volunteers. He and Wideman receive regular mentions from folks on social media networks such as Twitter.
“I always have someone hitting me up: ‘Come to Carolina and join the D-line,’ ” Wideman said. “I really like that. It shows that Carolina really wants me and the fans really like me. I have the same thing with Florida State.”
Both prospects said they are doing their best to manage the highs and lows of the recruiting process.
“I’ll be glad when it’s all over,” Wideman said, “but I’m going to enjoy it while it’s here.”