How South Carolina approaches recruiting offensive linemen
During Saturday’s Will Muschamp football camp at South Carolina, the head coach payed some special attention to the offensive line during drills.
Saturday afternoon, Muschamp’s staff reeled in another lineman in Abbeville’s Trai Jones.
The 6-foot-2, 263-pounder picked USC after Will Muschamp offered following the camp. He picked USC ahead of a batch of offers that include Appalachian State, Army, Georgia State, Campbell, Coastal Carolina, Connecticut, Eastern Kentucky, Furman, Navy, The Citadel.
“Today I did pretty good at camp, had a nice 40 time (4.69) , nice shuttle time, and it grew from there,” Jones said. “Coach (Eric) Wolford and I have known each other since last summer and he kind of likes me. Coach Muschamp didn’t know me all that well and he came running over there to me. We went to his office and my parents came. He said I had a great day and he said I’m exactly what he needs for the team to get better. It’s my dream school ever since I was a little boy. At first I didn’t say anything. I talked to my parents. My family are all die-hard Gamecock fans. I still can’t believe it. I believe it’s fate.”
Jones is the fourth commit of the weekend, joining O’Donnell Fortune, Alex Huntley and Makius Scott. Jones is currently ranked the No. 862 player in the country by 247 and No. 51 guard by 247.
Jones’ high school coach, Abbeville’s Jamie Nickles, wasn’t surprised to hear of the lineman’s impressive 40 time
“He’s such an explosive young man, from an athletic standpoint,” Nickels said. “And Trai is really strong. We run the outside zone so much, and he really seals the edge. He’s young for his grade, and I think the upside is what Carolina saw.”
Jones played for a Panthers team that has won four state championships in a row. The team’s A-Bone offense often runs the ball 90 percent of the time.
He said he expects to play the interior line spots.
He’s the 12th member of the class overall and the fourth offensive lineman, joining Issiah Walker Jr., Tyshawn Wannamaker and Jazston Turnetine.
SOUTH CAROLINA CLASS OF 2020 COMMITS
▪ Luke Doty, QB (Myrtle Beach HS, SC)
▪ MarShawn Lloyd, RB (DeMatha Catholic HS, MD)
▪ Da’Qon Stewart, ATH, (North Mecklenburg HS, NC)
▪ Jazston Turnetine, OL (Hutchinson Community College, KS)
▪ Tyshawn Wannamaker OL (Calhoun County HS, SC)
▪ Issiah Walker, OL (Norland HS, Fla.)
▪ Trai Jones, OL (Abbeville HS, SC)
▪ Mike Wyman, WR, (Greensboro Dudley HS, NC)
▪ Mohamed Kaba, LB (Clinton HS, NC)
▪ Alex Huntley, DL (Hammond HS, SC)
▪ Makius Scott, DL (Gainesville HS, GA)
▪ O’Donnell Fortune, DB (Sumter HS, SC)