Recruiting Diary - Day One

This was not a big weekend for the Gamecocks ... it was never planned to be. This was a set-up weekend, a practice run of sorts, for next weekend. Still, there is news to be gleaned from the weekend and from today forward we will be brining you this diary to help you keep up with things ...

C.J. Rhinehart (6-2 180) of Sumter has been contacted by Rick Stockstill and will take a visit to USC on January 31st if there is still a scholarship opening at that time. His only offer at the moment is from Coastal Carolina.

WR Santino Panico (6-0 195) visited USC this past weekend and enjoyed his visit. We will have more on him once we know whether or not the Gamecock coaches intend to extend him an offer. He will visit Nebraska this coming weekend.

OL Josh Winchell (6-5 310) of Southaven, MS visited South Carolina this past weekend and loved his visit. He told us last night that he considers USC his leader at the moment. Once he settles in this week we will have an indepth interview with this prospect who we believe is headed to South Carolina and has already been extended an offer. He will visit in this order, Arkansas, Memphis and Ole Miss - all schools much closer to his home.

PK Jeremy Ito of Redlands, CA made his official visit to USC and enjoyed the trip. USC has not yet offered. He is scheduled to visit Marshall but he hopes USC will extend an offer. We will have more on this prospect for you if the Gamecock coaches decide to extend an offer. After speaking with Ito last night he relayed to us that he feels confident Coach Roberts is on the verge of offering. Marshall is his only other offer so far.

OL Leon Hart (6-5 280) of Spring Valley visited Georgia this past weekend and did not commit. He did not sound that enthused with the Bulldogs and appears to still be headed to Auburn. He told us that it is between Auburn and Ohio State. South Carolina is not completely out of the running but we have done some investigating and will have some inside information for you in the Tuesday night chat regarding Hart's change of heart toward USC.

DE Kevin Mainord (6-4 265) of Coalmont, TN visited USC this past week and said he was offered. He enjoyed his visit and told us he is even between South Carolina and Alabama. He will be visited by Coach Jappy Oliver midweek and says that visit could help him to come to a decision.

RB Antonio Lamar (6-1 240) of Snellville, GA visited USC this past weekend but did not commit. He was offered and says he is giving the Gamecock strong consideration and that the current Gamecock depth chart of running backs does not concern him because he feels he will be used as a ball-carrying running fullback in the Gamecock system. We will have more from Lamar this week once the visit has sunk in and he is available for a more indepth questioning session. As of the moment he intends to visit Florida, Maryland and Mississippi State.

DL Marque Hall (6-5 290) of Forest Hills, NC made his official visit to the Gamecocks this past weekend and came away impressed but unchanged. He told us that it was a good visit but he is going to take his other visits which include UNC, NC State, Tennessee and Va Tech. If we had to guess based upon the conversation with Hall we would say South Carolina is third on his list at the moment behind NC State and Tennessee.

DE Russell Phillips (6-2 235) of Atlanta visited South Carolina over the weekend and said he would probably commit if the Gamecocks were to offer. We will have more on this prospect if the Gamecock coaches decide to offer. Phillips is expecting an offer during a visit from Coach Dave Roberts mid week.

CB Chris Covington (5-10 190) of Snellville, GA visited Columbia over the weekend but has yet to receive an offer, although he feels it is coming and right around the corner. Covington told us he expects to have an offer from USC in hand by Friday. If he does, we will have more on this prospect for you immediately following the official offer.

Marlboro County LB Robert Ayers (6-3 222) finally made his official visit to Columbia over the weekend and had a good time but was not impressed enough to change his favorites from Florida and Tennessee. He gave us an indication that he has become friends with some of the Florida players so this leads us to believe Florida is his favorite at the moment. He also has visits set with FSU and NC State. This is one we will be watching very closely but will not know anything positive until the last week in January. It is not out of the question that Ayers could make an unofficial visit to Carolina later in the month before he makes his final decision.

DE Mack Frost (6-5 242) of Spring Valley visited Columbia over the weekend and enjoyed the visit. He was not speaking to recruiting callers Sunday night but our sources who were there told us he had a good time and definitely has South Carolina in his top two. At the moment Maryland appears to be his other front runner but he will also visit Florida the same weekend as Robert Ayers if possible, and Auburn the same weekend as his teammate Leon Hart. He has been offered by Auburn but not Florida although an official offer from Florida is expected any time now.

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