Cam Smith has more than just playing football on his mind when he heads down to San Antonio for All-American Bowl in January.
The Westwood standout and South Carolina commit will use it as a last chance to persuade Chris Steele to join him in Columbia and play for the Gamecocks. The St. John Bosco (Calif.) defensive back will make his college choice known Jan. 5, the day of the game, in front of a national TV audience.
Steele won’t be alone in his persuasion. Fellow USC commit Ryan Hilinski is playing in the game and will be pitching the Gamecocks to Steele. Both Smith and Hilinski along with Joseph Anderson have been on group chat to try and get Steele to come to USC.
“I am going to be telling him, reminding him on where he should go and be at,” Smith said Thursday after getting his All-American Bowl jersey. “It is not what you want, it is what you need. We (South Carolina) need him. Florida, Southern Cal just want him. We need him.”
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Steele isn’t the only one Smith is trying to get into the fold. He also is recruiting four-star recruit and Florida commit Jaydon Hill to South Carolina. Hill had an in-home visit with Gamecock defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson on Thursday night, while Robinson saw Steele on Monday.
South Carolina is losing three starters in the secondary and getting Steele and Hill to be Gamecocks would be a huge boost. Smith is the only defensive back commit so far for the Class of 2019.
Steele is the No. 42-ranked player in the country according to 247Sports. He originally committed to Southern California but opened up his recruiting back up in July.
Steele also is considering Florida Southern Cal, Oklahoma and Oregon. He has visited South Carolina several times and is supposed to have an in-home visit next week. This season, he had 32 tackles, one interception and 11 passes defensed for St. John Bosco, which was ranked No. 1 in the country at times this season.
Hill had his season cut short when he tore his ACL on Sept. 26. He had 10 tackles and two passes defensed in four games.