Phil Kornblut

Gamecocks battling SEC West squad for versatile defensive recruit

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.

Montgomery, Ala., defensive back Collin Duncan is no stranger to South Carolina. He visited for the Florida game in 2017, attended a junior day and two camps earlier this year and was in for the Texas A&M game earlier this month. The Gamecocks are in a winnable position for him but are battling Mississippi State for him right now.

Duncan said South Carolina defensive coordinator and secondary coach Travaris Robinson and area recruiter Pat Washington hit him up on a regular basis.

“Really what I get from them is just what kind of a player I could be there and what they see me doing if I come there,” Duncan said. “What type of athlete I am and what type of scheme they would have me in. I might line up at corner. I might line up at safety. I might line up at nickelback. Just talking to me about how they would use me and play me in a game.”

Duncan spends a lot of time studying defenses of the teams he’s considering and he has a good idea for what he’s looking for.

“I’m very high on uptempo defenses that get to the ball real fast and make good plays and energize the crowd,” Collins said. “I always look at defenses that love what they do and they go out there and play real hard. I also look at the DBs to see how their demeanor is, see if they’re a low demeanor team or they’re a high demeanor team always running to the ball. After that, I look at the coaches, how the coaches react when you make a big play. Are they just clapping their hands and on to the next play or are they going to celebrate with you for a little bit and make you feel good about yourself.”

And he feels USC and its defense offer up some of those qualities.

“With South Carolina, there’s a lot of things,” he said. “It’s also about the education. On the field, it’s just how they play. I know Coach T-Rob and I know he wants his defense to be the best in the nation and I know they haven’t reached their mark yet. I went up to the Texas A&M game and that defense was doing a great job for what I saw. But I liked how he was always like, ‘We can do this better.’ That’s the type of coach I like to play behind, a coach that looks at the good but looks at the bad too and says let’s get better.”

Duncan said while USC and Mississippi State are his top two, he’s still open to other programs. Some of his other offers are Vanderbilt, where his brother played, Florida, Kentucky, Western Kentucky, FAU and others. He would like to take some official visits before making his decision. But its clear where his heart is at this point.

“I do have love for South Carolina and I do have love for Mississippi State,” Duncan said.

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