April Buffington - The Advocate

Dutchtown big man Lloyd Cushenberry talks about his options and out look on the South Carolina coaching situation.

The coaching carousel has been crazy this year. The first spins of the merry-go-round in the Southeastern Conference took place at South Carolina. Dutchtown High School offensive lineman Lloyd Cushenberry, a long time Gamecock commitment, admitted to being shocked by the news that legendary coach Steve Spurrier was hanging up his trademark coaching visor.

"I was shocked when I first heard the news," Cushenberry said. "I just couldn't believe it. I am still committed to South Carolina, but I am keeping my options open. I am just waiting to see who they hire and to see what happens."

Despite the fact that there is not a head coach in Columbia, the Gamecock coaching staff has remained in regular contact with the talented offensive guard.

"I talk with Coach Joe Robinson and Steve Spurrier Jr. a lot," Cushenberry said. "They tell me that they don't really have any answers for me, but that they want me to know that I still have a place there. They are not sure who the next coach is going to be or anything like that, but they tell me that as soon as they have some news that they will let me know."

Other college programs have reached out to Cushenberry in recent weeks to express their interest in signing him. Minnesota recently extended an offer. Cushenberry's former high school teammate Zo Craighton is a redshirt freshman on the Golden Gopher roster. 

"Minnesota just offered me and they want me to come in for the visit," Cushenberry said. "There have been a few schools that have talked with me about taking a visit. I am not sure about all of that yet, but I am going to keep my options open until I know for sure what is going to happen at South Carolina."

Another program from the Southeastern Conference has recently shown a strong level of interest in the 6-4, 310 pounder.

"Mississippi State has been recruiting me lately," Cushenberry. "I have been up there to a game and the offensive line coach came to see me on Monday. They haven't offered me yet, but he said that they are interested in me and that they are looking at me."

With the contact period open through next week, Dutchtown will be a popular place in the coming days. 

"Mississippi State is supposed to come back next week and talk with me," Cushenberry said. "South Carolina is supposed to be down here to talk to me and a lot of the schools that offered me are supposed to be stopping through. Right now, I am still committed to South Carolina, but I am going to hear what everybody has to say until I know what is going to happen."

Cushenberry claims offers from several programs including Arkansas State, Colorado State, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana Tech, McNeese State, Minnesota, Nicholls State, Purdue, South Carolina, Southern Miss and Troy among others.


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