Phil Kornblut

South Carolina among three finalists for big junior college receiver

VIDEO: Bryan McClendon talks recruiting philosophy

South Carolina receivers coach and co-offensive coordinator gives his take on recruiting and on quarterback Brandon McIlwain.
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South Carolina receivers coach and co-offensive coordinator gives his take on recruiting and on quarterback Brandon McIlwain.

Copiah-Lincoln Community College and Jackson, Mississippi wide receiver Malik Heath (6-foot-3, 210 pounds) made an official visit to South Carolina over the weekend. Heath said the visit went very well for him and the Gamecocks are one of his three finalists at this point.

“It went great for me,” Heath said. “I really liked the coaching staff and the players. The coaches tell you the truth. They told me they need me and stuff like that. Bryan Edwards was my host.”

Before departing, Heath got the chance to talk with Gamecock head coach Will Muschamp and got a good read from him on where he fits in with their plans.

“He said it would be a good fit for me because they are going to need wide receivers,” he said. “He said I’d have a chance to come in and play right away.”

Heath signed with Mississippi State out of high school and he has the Bulldogs and Florida in his final three with the Gamecocks. He is set for an official visit to Florida on September 20.

Heath said he is on track to graduate in December and will have three years to play two.

Last season he caught 28 passes for 333 yards and four touchdowns.

Mission to flip?

Valdosta, Ga., wide receiver Jaheim Bell (6-3 204) made his first official visit of the recruiting process over the weekend to South Carolina. Bell has been a Florida commitment since April but is willing to explore other options at this point. Will Muschamp was recruiting him hard before his commitment and plans to continue his efforts to fllp him.

“He was telling me that he wasn’t mad that I committed to Florida,” Bell said. “He said it was something he understood as a coach. He said he’s still going to recruit me hard.”
Bell also visited USC in earlier in the process, but on this trip he got a chance to be exposed to players in the program, and that went well for him.
“The players really stood out,” Bell said. “I feel like I fit in with them. They are really cool. They took me in like I’m on the team.”

A family feeling

Woodbridge, Virginia offensive lineman Vershon Lee (6-foot-3, 290 pounds) made his official visit to South Carolina over the weekend. Gamecock freshman offensive lineman Jakai Moore, who is also from Virginia, served as his host and that brought a comfort level for Lee who has worked out in the past with Moore.

“It was good, I had fun,” Lee said. I like the way everyone was cool with other, like a family bond.”
Saturday Lee had the chance to talk one-on-one with head coach Will Muschamp. Earlier in the day Muschamp took his fourth offensive line commitment so space at that position is becoming limited.
“We were just talking about recruiting and how things are going,” Lee said. “He was very adamant, wanting to know what was going on. He let me know if I were more transparent it would help him do his job. I told him how I felt, we had a good talk. I told him I loved the visit and I like the way it’s set up down here at South Carolina.”
Lee also chatted up offensive line coach Eric Wolford.
“Me and Coach Wolford talked a lot,” he said. “We were talking about football and how things go and how he needs me. He was telling me about how vital it would be for me to come here. I feel wanted here. I could get real relaxed comfortable here. It strengthened my feeling about the school. I feel good about South Carolina, feel great actually.”