While some recruits are just starting to receive letters and tidbits of information from random colleges, recruiting has really taken off for one South Carolina native.
Bennettsville (S.C) Marlboro County product Lateek Townsend said his recruitment has gained so much momentum that his mailbox overflows with mail on a daily basis.
“I know I have at least 15 offers right now,” Townsend confirmed. “It’s hard for me to say exactly how many because it’s gotten to be too hard to keep up with. I used to be able to, but now it seems like every day I’m getting a new offer. It’s a good feeling, but it also keeps me humble because I know at any minute all of it can be taken from me.”
Townsend confirmed offers from Alabama, Georgia, Nebraska, South Carolina, Clemson, Michigan State, and Illinois, among others. One of the programs he hopes to have an offer from has not offered yet, or at least he thinks they haven’t anyway.
“I saw some websites that have said LSU offered me, but I haven’t seen an official written scholarship offer yet,” Townsend admitted. “I called and talked with Coach (Sherman) Morris (Director of Player Personnel) and he said they liked me and they wanted me to come down for a visit and they were going to come see me when they got on the road. We couldn’t talk long, though, so we couldn’t really get into the offer thing too much.”
Townsend said that he is anxious to start building a relationship with the LSU staff, particularly defensive coordinator John Chavis, who also serves as the Tigers’ linebackers coach. That could help increase Townsend’s interest level even more.
“I don’t know much about the school, but I know every year they have a good football team,” said Townsend. “And I know every time I’m with my friends and LSU is playing on television, I’m like ‘LSU is my team, that’s who I want to win’. I have a lot of interest in LSU.”
Townsend claimed until he gets an official count of offers and has everything in line, he will remain open to everyone. He said he is in no rush to make a decision, and knows one factor that will have no part in the outcome.
“I’m open to everyone right now,” he stated. “Everyone is recruiting me the same, but I speak to some schools more than others and that’s the only difference. A lot of the coaching changes that have occurred since last season have really affected my communication with some of the coaches.”
Some feel that Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and his staff have the inside track on Townsend’s recruitment but he says that the in-state schools do not have an edge over his out-of-state suitors at this point in time.
“I went to Clemson’s Junior Day and that was the only one I’ve been to,” Townsend said. “Clemson is a team I’m seriously considering, but I’m in no rush to decide. It’s on me to decide and then it goes to my parents. They let me know what they think, but they are allowing me to make my own decision.
“So even though Clemson and South Carolina are from here, I wasn’t a fan of theirs as a kid. Growing up, I didn’t have a favorite team. So distance will not play a role in my decision.”
According to Townsend, distance will not affect his decision or his upcoming travel plans.
“I’m going to try to get down to South Carolina for a spring practice and then to Georgia and Florida,” he said. “I’d like to visit LSU in the summertime, but I haven’t spoken to any of their coaches about setting anything up.”
On his visits, Townsend has a list of things he will be looking for. These variables will likely separate the pretenders from the contenders.
“I’m looking for a great place,” he concluded. “I want to go to a campus that’s happy and that has good surroundings. I also want to feel like I can trust the coaches. That will be the main thing for me. I have to be able to trust the coaches. I have to know they will have my back.”
Note: As a junior, Townsend finished with 189 tackles, 14 sacks, and an interception while earning All-State honors.