Phil Kornblut

Marlon Character not quite ready for reunion with USC

Marlon Character played at Grady High in Atlanta
Marlon Character played at Grady High in Atlanta

Former Auburn defensive back Marlon Character has enrolled at Northwest Mississippi Community College for the 2017 season so he can play the 2018 season and beyond at a major college.

That could be South Carolina, but it’s too early to know for sure. Character, a one-time USC commitment while in high school, has been in touch with the Gamecocks but is going to junior college unattached and open on his next school.

Character was redshirted last season as a freshman at Auburn and decided to transfer earlier this year along with fellow redshirt defensive lineman Antwuan Jackson. While Auburn blocked Jackson from transferring to any other SEC school, Clemson, Mercer, Georgia Southern and Ohio State, Character was free to transfer anywhere.

He didn’t want to sit out another season per NCAA transfer rules, so he opted for the junior college route where he can play this season and transfer to a four-year school in January. And he confirmed USC could be an option.

“That’s a possibility,” Character said. “I’ve spoken to them before. Not every day, not recently, but I do communicate with them.”

He said the Gamecocks do plan to recruit him out of Northwest, and he’s expecting others to get involved.

“I’m very confident in my ability, so make a couple of things happen here I’m pretty sure it will be just like coming out of high school for me,” he said. “Only South Carolina I’ve been in contact with. I would be interested in them. They are a strong possibility.”

Character was recruited to Auburn by USC defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson, so the two already have a solid relationship. Character said he will play strong safety at Northwest since he’s bigger compared to his high school days.


▪  Defensive back CJ Smith of West Palm Beach, Fla., decommitted from Florida Thursday and is waiting to see which schools jump in on him for round two of his recruiting. He has a USC offer and expects to hear again from the Gamecocks. Smith said he decommitted from Florida because of the large number of defensive backs the Gators are bringing in to their program.

▪  USC defensive back target Trey Dean of Hampton, Ga., was offered by Oklahoma.

▪  Quarterback Carter Bradley of Jacksonville, Fla., had planned to attend USC’s camp July 21 but a schedule conflict will keep him away. He remains interested in the Gamecocks but they have not offered. “I really liked Coach Roper when he evaluated me at Providence School. I’m a long time fan of Coach Muschamp, too. I’m hoping to attend a game in Columbia in the fall.”