Phil Kornblut

His mom was a USC cheerleader. Now Gamecock interest is picking up for this recruit

Bobby Bentley excited for challenge of coaching tight ends

South Carolina Gamecocks football assistant coach Bobby Bentley moved from running backs coach to tight ends this offseason. He'll work with Kiel Pollard, Evan Hinson
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South Carolina Gamecocks football assistant coach Bobby Bentley moved from running backs coach to tight ends this offseason. He'll work with Kiel Pollard, Evan Hinson

Miami tight end Diego Lamonica (6-foot-5, 227 pounds) has visited the Palmetto State twice on recruiting visits, both times to Clemson. He’ll be back this summer, but this time the destination will be South Carolina. Lamonica landed an offer from the Gamecocks earlier in the week, and perhaps a “Go Cocks” went out from his mom. She’s a former Gamecock cheerleader.

“It meant a lot to me because my mom was a cheerleader there, so I have family ties there. It did mean a lot to me,” Lamonica said. “They said they like the way I’m a versatile tight end. I can play in the backfield, I can play on the line and I can play unattached from the O-line.”



Lamonica said he talked with Gamecock head coach Will Muschamp Thursday. The offer was actually delivered to him by tight ends coach Bobby Bentley. Up until those conversations, he had not heard much from the Gamecocks.



“They only sent me a note to come to their spring game, which I wasn’t able to make, but besides that there was really no contact,” Lamonica said. “They said they liked what I can do by being a very versatile type player, and he (Bentley) said he really wanted to coach me and wanted to get me up there for a visit as soon as possible.”



The reason Lamonica didn’t make it to USC for the spring game was because he was at Clemson for that spring game the same afternoon.
“It was amazing. There was something like 60,000 people out there for a spring game, which was crazy for me to see,” he said. “They (Clemson) said that they are interested in me but since my film is short they just want to see me in a camp. I’m hearing from them pretty much every day.”



Lamonica missed three games of his junior season with an injury, and before that there wasn’t much football film on him because he was focused on basketball.

Lamonica said Oregon and Vanderbilt were the other two schools showing the strongest interest in him right now. He plans to take some visits this summer and he said USC would be a definite stopping point. He does not have a timeframe on a decision.

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