Phil Kornblut

Blue chip South Carolina target sets recruiting plans, explains crucial factor

Jacksonville, North Carolina safety Ja’Qurious Conley has been a top South Carolina target this recruiting season. He has visited twice already this year, in January and March, and he has set his official visit with the Gamecocks for the Alabama weekend. He also has some official visits planned for June.

Conley said he will get to Virginia Tech in June and he’s also set to visit Tennessee on June 22. He also plans to get back to North Carolina for an official visit this summer.

Conley has had a short list of USC, Duke, Virginia Tech, Tennessee and North Carolina. Recently he said Georgia Tech, Georgia and Ohio State have been coming on stronger.

USC, however, has been a consistent player with him throughout and the attention has not eased.

“They just tell me all the time that they love me, they love my film, they love how I play, how the person I am,” Conley said. “They love me as a person. Ever since I’ve been up there for a junior day, I just love the atmosphere and how they run everything and how it wasn’t just about football.”

Conley is as serious about his academics as he is his football. He plans to be a physical therapist one day. And the academic part of the recruiting process also will be critical to his decision.

“My big thing is academics,” Conley said. “Previous years, I haven’t been so good in my academics but I’ve been getting better and better, so everything from here on out has been nothing but education. Ever since I’ve been taking things seriously and I figured out I actually have talent, education came first.”

Conley said he hopes to make his decision going into his senior season.


Former South Carolina offensive line commitment Javion Cohen of Phenix City, Alabama announced a commitment to Auburn Saturday while on an official visit. Cohen committed to the Gamecocks on March 27 and decommitted April 15. He took an official visit to USC on April 27.

Memphis linebacker Bryson Eason, who was offered by USC and at one time had planned for an official visit, does not have USC in his final eight of Arkansas, Ole Miss, Memphis, LSU, Florida, Oregon, Mississippi State and Tennessee.

Miami defensive end commitment Tre’von Riggins of St. Petersburg, who will visit South Carolina unofficially June 7, said his interest level in USC is an “strong” 8 on a 10 scale. He also will be visiting Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee and Florida State on his trip.

According to his coach, linebacker Desmond Tisdol of Rochelle, Georgia made a good showing at Georgia on Thursday but was told by Kirby Smart he’s taking just one linebacker. Coach said he ran a 4.7 and stumbled out of the block. He’ll visit Auburn Saturday and South Carolinanext Saturday.

Gamecocks safety target Keshawn Lawrence of Nashville was at Ole Miss Friday.
USC offered 2022 athlete Travis Hunter of Suwanee, Georgia.
Outfielder James Nix of the College of Central Florida committed to South Carolina on Friday. This season he batted .462 with 9 homers and 48 RBIs. He also stole 24 bases. He was named the player of the year in his league.