Our Insider was there and made the following notes and observations:
If you had to pick three players that the coaches focused on after the game, it would be Leon Hart, Corey Lambert, and James Thompson.
Immediately upon entering the locker room, Head Football Coach Lou Holtz made a beeline for Leon Hart. The two talked privately for what we estimated to be 20 minutes or so. Hart looks to be very comfortable in the USC locker room and has good relationships with a number of the players on the USC team.
Both Coaches Guge and Cosh spent quite a bit of time putting a hard sell on Corey Lambert from Greenville. They made it very clear to him that he is an extremely high priority for the Gamecocks and Corey seemed to appreciate and understand how important he is to the Gamecock staff. Obviously, Cosh and Guge made an impression as Lambert was quoted after the game as saying that Carolina and Clemson were now even in his mind despite him being a long time Clemson fan.
The Gamecocks' coaching staff also focused another lineman, James Thompson of Sumter. Despite previous reports to the contrary that Thompson may have grade problems, he was overheard telling people in the locker room that he had a very good final report card at the end of his junior year and feels that he will be a full qualifier. We think it is only a matter of time until Thompson makes a commitment to the USC staff.
Despite the fact that Dorrel Scott is considered a near lock for Clemson, he was in the USC locker room along with his host, former Clemson football player Jeff Scott (no relation). Dorrel Scott seemed far from a Clemson lock during his visit. The coaches were quite interested in him and Scott seemed very interested in what they had to say. We think that Scott is having his doubts as to whether the current Clemson staff that is recruiting him is going to even be around on signing day 2004. That bodes well for the Gamecocks who will take four defensive linemen in the 2004 class.
In the event that Scott falls to Clemson, it looks as if USC is giving serious consideration to Greenville's Chris McDowell, who was in attendance on Saturday, for one of the two remaining open defensive line spots. The coaches have asked McDowell for a highlight tape so that they can evaluate his potential as either a tackle or a guard. McDowell has the potential to add another 25-40 pounds top his frame in the next four years.
Interestingly, Terence Brown of Summerville High School who reportedly received a verbal offer from the Gamecock staff on Saturday and is awaiting a letter offer this week was in attendance. At 6'4" 280 4.9, Brown is being highly recruited by a number of schools. Many of you know that Brown is a Mormon and is committed to a two year period of missions work before he turns 20.
John Paul Gillis of Greenville was in attndance and continues to peak interest among USC coaches. The son of former USC letterman Paul Gillis has really changed his frame by adding a load of muscle over the summer and its evident by the new attention he is getting from Coach Guge. He was in attendance along with Greenville prospect Jason Leventis who still seems to be waiting for the coaches to determine if there is a space for him in Columbia.
We anticipate that the coaching staff will begin an all out recruiting assault during the month of October. If the football wins come, we could have as many as 12 of our 19 projected spots filled by the end of October.
Coach Guge has become one of the most dynamic recruiters in the state - he is a "go to" guy on the staff. The instate players are relating to him and he is a hard and dedicated worker who loves the University of South Carolina and it shows in his recruiting style and demeanor. The prospects are picking up on his devotion - they like it.
We'll be here to keep you up to date as more information becomes available on the 2004 class.
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