Tar Heel State lineman favors USC

Pinecrest (Southern Pines, NC) OL Bryce Kennedy is quickly emerging as one of the top line prospects in the Tar Heel State for the 2012 class, and the 6-3, 285 pounder made an unofficial visit to USC this week and left with the Gamecocks as the clear leader in the race for his services. Read inside to find out more about this athletic lineman and whether or not a decision could be on the horizon.

South Carolina was the first major program to offer talented offensive lineman Bryce Kennedy back in April, and as a result the Gamecocks got a head start in recruiting one of the top emerging prospects in the Tar Heel State. North Carolina and NC State have since thrown their hats in the ring, but Kennedy has already grown quite comfortable with South Carolina and what the Gamecocks have to offer. That comfort level grew even stronger when Kennedy made the short trek to Columbia on Thursday and spent several hours on the USC campus.

"(The visit) went real good," Kennedy said of his time in Columbia. "South Carolina has got a great program and great facilities. They have a real nice campus. I was with Coach (Shawn) Elliott and Coach (Jay) Graham most of the time. They took me on a tour through the campus. I had been to a camp there, and I went to the spring game, but I learned more about the school on this trip."

Kennedy has developed a strong relationship with USC offensive line coach Shawn Elliott, who would be his position coach if he decides to play his college football in the garnet and black.

"Coach Elliott is a really, really hard working man. He's going to push me to be the best I can be. There's no slacking with him," he said. "I'm pretty sure if I work hard and do my best, me and Coach Elliott will get along good. He's a good, hard working man, and I really like him as a coach."

After his trip to Carolina, Kennedy stated that the Gamecocks are his clear favorite, followed by home-state UNC and NC State.

"South Carolina is my leader," he said. "Their program reminds me of what we have at my high school. It's well organized. Everything is so together, and everything is planned out. The campus is just amazing. I think it'd be a great experience to go to college there."

The dual-sport athlete, who is also a standout basketball player, mentioned that South Carolina likes him at offensive guard. For those that haven't seen him play on the field, he described what type of player he is on the gridiron.

"For me on the football field, I'm going to give you my all every play and on every down. You're gonna have to beat me, because I'm gonna keep coming back. If you try to keep me down, I'm gonna keep bringing it every play."

Kennedy will be visiting North Carolina next week, and he said that he is looking forward to comparing Chapel Hill to his experience in Columbia.

"I've been there one time for a baseball game," he said of UNC's campus. "I want to see if they've got what USC has got. I want to see if it's a good fit for me and a good program."

While South Carolina is the early frontrunner for Kennedy's talents, he still plans to take a few more visits before coming to a final decision.

"I'd like to visit a few more colleges, see how it is, and talk to my parents about it. I'll probably make a decision after that," he noted. "My decision is going to be based on what kind of program it is, if the coaches will support me, and then the academics are the big thing I'm looking at."

In addition to being a standout lineman in one of the most difficult conferences of North Carolina Class 4-A football, Kennedy also boasts a sterling 4.0 GPA in the classroom. It's no wonder that several schools are pursuing this bright student-athlete, and many more programs will undoubtedly take notice of him as the process continues.

Stay tuned to GamecockAnthem.com and Scout.com for all of the latest on Kennedy's recruitment.

Gamecock Anthem Top Stories