Sommer Has Clear Favorite

Alcoa (TN) versatile athlete Brian Sommer is one of the top overall prospects in the Volunteer State in the class of 2008. Sommer, who is being recruited by some of the top programs in the southeast, excels at both wide receiver and cornerback, and while multiple schools are pursuing him, one program is the clear frontrunner for his services. Read inside for more.

Sommer, who measures in at an athletic 6'1 and 195 pounds, claims offers from South Carolina, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Alabama, and West Virginia. The standout athlete was on hand for USC's annual junior day last month, and after having the Gamecocks high on his list before that trip to Columbia, he came away even more impressed with the USC program.

"I liked it a lot. I'd been up there before for a game, and I went up there my freshman year for camp, but the visit was great," said Sommer. "I liked it a lot, and I got to see Coach (Steve) Spurrier Jr. again and talk with him. I got to see the stadium and all the facilities, which were great. I got to see the new uniforms since they're going to Under Armour. I talked with a lot of the coaches and learned a lot. It was really nice getting back down there again."

According to Sommer, the Gamecocks are the clear team to beat in the race for his services.

"South Carolina is my leader. I just really like the fact that I feel comfortable there. It's somewhere that I can see myself going to for four years and being able to play. I like Coach Spurrier's offense and how he gets his receivers involved in so many ways. I like Coach Spurrier Jr., and I feel like I have a really good relationship with him."

While USC is atop Sommer's list, the versatile playmaker plans to hold off on a commitment until after taking some of his official visits in the fall.

"I thought I was going to commit before the season, and then as more schools got involved, I kind of thought I would decide later. Then a few weeks ago I thought I had it narrowed down to two schools, but I went to Ole Miss for their spring game, and I really liked it down there. I liked their facilities and everything, so that kind of made me decide that I'm going to wait it out and take my official visits before making my final decision."

Sommer, who runs a 4.6 second forty yard dash, will look for several key factors when deciding on the school of his choice.

"I'm just going to look at each school and how they do this year. It depends on which side of the ball each team wants me to play on, and how they plan on using me. If they want me to play on offense, then I'll look closely at what kind of offense they run and stuff like that. It's also got to be somewhere I feel comfortable going for the next four years because I don't want to be stuck somewhere and then want to transfer."

Sommer said he is comfortable playing on either side of the ball and does not have a preference between playing offense or defense, but he likes the approach the Gamecocks are taking with him, letting him ultimately decide which side of the ball he would like to play on.

"Coach Spurrier Jr. was telling me at first how I could play receiver there and everything, and then he told me a little while back that the defensive coaches got ahold of my game tape and saw me play defense, and they liked me there. So he told me that it's really up to me for whichever position I want to play."

So what makes Sommer such a special player on the football field? According to him, he believes his versatility and natural playmaking ability help him be successful no matter where he lines up on the field.

"I'm someone who you can line up at almost any position, and I can get the job done. I'm just a playmaker. Last year, I threw the ball some, I ran the ball, I can go across the middle at receiver, I can run short routes and deep routes. On defense, I can play corner or safety. I feel I can play about any position the coaches need me to play, and I'll be successful at that position."

Sommer has helped lead his Alcoa team to three consecutive state championships, and with this fall being his senior season, he hopes to lead his team to an unprecedented fourth straight 2A crown.

"This is my chance to really lead the team. I've always been a leader, but there were always older guys ahead of me. This is my chance to lead our team to our fourth straight state championship, which I don't think has ever been done in the state of Tennessee. We're working hard this offseason to make sure we keep that streak alive."

Sommer finished his junior season with over 600 yards of total offense and 8 touchdowns, and he has intercepted a total of 21 passes over the last two years on defense. Sommer plans to attend the Athens NIKE camp this weekend, and he said he hopes to make it to a number of team camps over the summer.

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