Phil Kornblut

Top recruit, former Georgia commit visiting South Carolina’s main competition for him

How Muschamp, USC are dealing with accelerated recruiting landscape

South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp explains how the Gamecocks navigate recruiting now with an early signing period in place.
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South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp explains how the Gamecocks navigate recruiting now with an early signing period in place.

Dacula, Ga., cornerback Jalen Perry has taken multiple unofficial visits to South Carolina for games this season, and he’s also been to Michigan for a game. The Gamecocks and Wolverines have moved to the top of his list separating from Auburn and Florida and over the next two weekends Perry plans to get a much closer look at both programs.

This coming weekend Perry and his parents will officially visit Michigan. Perry was in Ann Arbor a little over a month ago and he has developed a strong relationship with the staff there.

“They’ve just been recruiting me really hard lately and I have a good relationship with those coaches there,” Perry said. “I enjoy it when I’m up there. I just kind of wanted to take an official . That’s there last home game up there. I plan on taking this official to Michigan for their last home game and then after that taking one to South Carolina.”

Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown is considered one of the best in the business. The Wolverines lead the nation in total defense through 10 games at 219.8 yards per game. That’s a fact Perry can’t overlook.

“It’s very appealing,” he said. “I think Coach Brown has had like a top three defense in the past four or five years now at Boston College and at Michigan. He’s a great defensive mind. And Coach (Michael) Zordich (cornerbacks coach), I really likes the way he coaches players and the teacher that he is. Those guys are really great coaches and that’s really important. And also Michigan is playing really good football right now. All those combined are the reason, and in academics, the Wolverines are towards the top.”

South Carolina’s Will Muschamp and Travaris Robinson are doing all they can to counter Michigan’s appeal. They can’t match the success of the Wolverines this season, though they did beat them in the bowl game last season, but they can push relationships and playing time.

“I talk to Muschamp and T-Rob on almost a day to basis,” Perry said. “I’ve had conversations with both of them recently. T-Rob and Muschamp have continued to recruit me very hard and I enjoy the conversations I have with them. Those are two really great coaches. Coach T-Rob, I’ve been building a relationship with him for a long time, ever since i started to get recruited. I love those guys and they are a top school for me.”

So, it appears to be a tight race between USC and Michigan, and Perry said the next two weekends will go a long way in his decision making process.

“These officials are going to be very important as far as seeing all of the campus, being around the coaches and players more than I ever have before. I would say these officials are going to basically be the determining factor in the decision.”

Perry said he remains in contact with Auburn and Florida but they are behind the other two. He’s not ruling out any more official visits but he has no others planned. He said a decision will come “very soon” after the USC visit assuming he doesn’t schedule any other visits. It could come the following week. He will be an early signee and an early enrollee.

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

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