Gamecocks Pursuing Elite D-Lineman

In Steve Spurrier's first three years at the helm in Columbia, the Gamecocks have started building a solid foundation on the defensive line, but while USC will begin to enjoy the advantages of having SEC caliber depth on the defensive front this season, they must continue to recruit top defensive linemen in each class in order to become a yearly contender in the rugged SEC.

One player that the Gamecocks are making a priority in the 2008 recruiting class is Northview (Duluth, GA) athletic defensive lineman Cordian Hagans. The 6'6", 285 pound Hagans possesses the frame and athleticism to grow into a monstrous defensive tackle on the college level, and as a result, he has received offers from major programs like South Carolina, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State, Louisville, Boston College and North Carolina to name a few. With so much attention being thrown his way, Hagans says that he is taking things slow and is not yet ready to name any favorites.

"Recruiting is going pretty good. I've been text messaging and keeping in touch with a lot of coaches," said Hagans. "I don't really have any favorites right now. All of them are about equal to me. I'm just looking around. I'm pretty much open right now."

Hagans racked up an impressive 56 tackles, 7 tackles for loss and 3 sacks as a junior last season, but the truly scary part is that last season was his first year of playing high school football. With such a huge upside, it's no wonder that a number of top programs have thrown their hat in the ring for his services, and Hagans shared his thoughts on a few of the schools that are pursuing him.

South Carolina - "I like them a lot. I came up there to their spring game, and I really enjoyed the game. I really enjoyed seeing the campus and stuff. I just really liked it a lot. I keep in touch with them a lot. I text message Coach (Shane) Beamer and call him from time to time."

Auburn - "It's about the same. I've seen their campus. I didn't get to see their spring game or any of their practices, but I really like the facilities a lot."

LSU - "I haven't really gone out to visit them yet, so I don't really know, but I've seen them on TV. I've seen them play, and I'm really impressed by them."

The Peach State lineman, who is also receiving strong interest from Georgia, Georgia Tech and Clemson, knows what factors he is looking for to differentiate between the array of schools that are chasing him.

"The main things I'm looking at is their facilities, how good their academic centers are and how well they support their players academically. Those are the main things I look at."

According to Hagans, he plans to have a decision made by the end of the summer so that he can focus on his senior season.

"I think I'm going to make my decision before the season starts."

The highly touted defensive standout closed by sharing what strengths he brings to the football field.

"My speed, my explosiveness and my strength. Those are the three things that really get me over the top. I‘m always working to get better, though. Right now I‘m working on my overall game, just to become a better player overall."

Hagans, who recently ran a 4.9 second forty yard dash, plans on attending a number of camps over the summer, but he hasn't yet decided which ones he will go to. At 6'6" and 285 pounds, Hagans says that he is still growing.

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