Phil Kornblut

Linebacker T.J. Brunson healing up, still holds strong interest in Gamecocks

Linebacker T.J. Brunson of Richland Northeast is sitting out spring practice to allow his surgically repaired hip to heal.

“The hip is great, it’s healing well,” Brunson said. “I’m a little ahead of schedule. I have a follow up with the doctor May 19.”

Brunson nearly committed to South Carolina earlier in the year, but the Gamecocks asked him to hold off until they could see him this fall and judge how healthy he is.

“Coach Botkin has been keeping up with me since everything,” Brunson said of the Gamecocks’ linebackers coach. “I talk to him at least three times a week. They want to see me play during the fall, and if everything is fine, it picks back up.”

Brunson said USC’s interest remains very high. He still has USC as No. 1 on his list, but he recently visited North Carolina and that gave him something else to consider.

“That was really cool,” Brunson said. “I didn’t meet the defensive coaching staff. I can’t really make a decision because I don’t have a relationship with those guys. It was different scenery out of South Carolina so that was pretty cool. It was nice. I had everything I would want.”

Brunson is planning a return visit to Chapel Hill on June 20. He’s also planning to visit Tennessee, Florida State and LSU this summer. Coaches from Georgia Southern, East Carolina, Appalachian State and Louisville have been through his school this spring.

East Carolina offered Brunson two weeks ago. He also has offers from USC, NC State, Georgia Southern, Louisville and North Carolina.