Phil Kornblut

Gamecocks swoop in with first offer for under-the-radar Alabama lineman

How USC recruiting under Muschamp compares to others in Saban tree

Will Muschamp speaks to the media during a press conference Tuesday Oct. 23, 2018, in Columbia, SC.
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Will Muschamp speaks to the media during a press conference Tuesday Oct. 23, 2018, in Columbia, SC.

South Carolina earlier this week offered 2020 defensive tackle Jah-Marien Latham (6-foot-3, 270 pounds) of Reform, Ala., the first school to step up with an offer. UAB offered the next day and more offers are expected. Latham said Gamecock defensive line coach Lance Thompson watched his film and contacted him and then Will Muschamp made the offer.

“They like how physical I am and my ball get off,” said Latham who prefers to play inside tackle. “A lot of coaches say they like my size, how physical I am, my ball get off and the quickness that I have to be a defensive lineman.”

Latham has never visited USC and the only previous exposure the Gamecocks had of him was through the film. Landing his first offer from an SEC program makes that extra special.

“I really appreciate them offering me,” he said. “I have been working hard all summer and I knew it (an offer) was going to come but I didn’t expect it to come from a D-1 school at first. All respect to them. I haven’t even been recruited long by them and I don’t know a lot of the coaches, but as soon as I picked up the offer I got a whole lot of texts from the staff and a whole lot of love from the fans. I like the school, I like the campus. I watched a whole lot of videos on YouTube. I like the way the program is rolling.”

Latham said Thompson told him he’ll be in next Friday to scout him. And he plans to take an unofficial visit to South Carolina Nov. 17.

Memphis also is showing interest and wants him to visit. He said his coach has been contacted by Alabama about coming in for a game as well. He’s also heard from Tennessee. He said he grew up an Alabama fan.

“I have always dreamed of playing at Alabama,” he said. “Just to get that offer would be amazing.”


2020 defensive end Elijah Roberts of Miami was offered by South Carolina. He decommitted from Miami earlier this week.

Florida was back at Dorman on Wednesday to check out 2020 basketball players PJ Hill and Myles Tate.

Philadelphia 6-foot-6 forward Donta Scott, a USC target, committed to Maryland.