Phil Kornblut

Key offensive line target down to Gamecocks, Big Ten power

Muschamp lays out Gamecocks’ path to first signing day

South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp discusses recruiting as the Gamecocks near the early signing period for the 2019 class.
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South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp discusses recruiting as the Gamecocks near the early signing period for the 2019 class.

Nokesville, Va., Patriot coach Brud Bicknell said Tuesday his star offensive lineman Jakai Moore is down to South Carolina and Penn State. Clemson also was recruiting him and wanted him to visit this weekend but Moore has a basketball game he can’t miss and Clemson didn’t want a 24-hour visit, so that’s off. His coach said he will move on with the Gamecocks and Nittany Lions as his finalists.

According to Bicknell, Penn State head coach James Franklin will be in to see Moore on Thursday and USC head coach Will Muschamp will get the final in person visit Friday. Muschamp and his party will have to work around Moore’s basketball game. The rules prevent they from talking to him prior to it.

“They like to make a splash and be seen at the school,” Bicknell said. “I know that Coach Muschamp and Coach Wolf (Eric Wolford), I believe their plans are to meet his mom and sit with mom during the basketball game and then talk with him after the game. They also are planning to be in school that day. And Penn State is going to do the same but they don’t have a basketball game to deal with. They are going to come to school and have lunch and then they are going to do the home visit that night.”

Moore took an official visit to Penn State last weekend. He visited South Carolina officially back in April. He also visited both unofficially during the season.

“He’s hearing very similar things from both South Carolina and Penn State in terms of the love and how he can fit in and potentially play early,” Bicknell said. “All the good things and they are both making the final push.”

The plan is, according to Bicknell, for Moore to announce his decision on Signing Day next Wednesday. And the plan is to keep that information under wraps until then.

“He wants it to be a surprise on Wednesday. I would imagine it would be early but the logistics of that from what I understand have not been ironed out.”

As for his sense on a leader at this point?

“No idea at all,” Bicknell said. “His mom drives a bus in our school system and stops by from time to time and she’s even harder to read. She’s loving the love they are sending her way.”

Notes:

Bellflower, Ca., corner Chris Steele named a top five Tuesday of USC, Florida, Oklahoma, Oregon and Southern Cal. The Gamecocks and Gators are perceived by some recruiting followers as the favorites though he’s not publicly stated that. Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley and assistants were in on Tuesday night and Florida assistants are due back in Wednesday. South Carolina coaches visited with him Sunday. He will sign next week but won’t announce until the US Army All American Game on Jan. 5.

Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp and three assistants visited Tuesday with committed receiver Keveon Mullins of Memphis. While there, Muschamp also was expected to visit running back Eric Gray who visited last weekend. He will visit Tennessee this weekend.

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