The Chaminade Connection

Coach Robert Gillespie and the South Carolina Gamecocks were able to land one of the top defensive prospects in the Sunshine State last year in Chaminade Madonna (Hollywood, FL) star cornerback Akeem Auguste, and they are hoping to have similar success in the 2008 class with another Chaminade defensive standout. Read inside for full story.

Linebacker Tarik Rollins, who measures in at an athletic 6'2" and 200 pounds, is the latest in a line of Chaminade prospects to warrant major Division I attention. With offers in hand from programs like South Carolina, LSU, Ole Miss, Wake Forest, Wisconsin and several others, Rollins is considered one of the top linebackers in the state of Florida this year, and not surprisingly, his offer list is continuing to grow each and every month.

"The recruiting process is going smoothly," said Rollins. "Recently, I've received scholarship offers from Pittsburgh, Indiana, Clemson and Auburn. I'd say that brings my total to thirteen."

After picking up an offer from Gillespie and the Gamecocks last month, Rollins is very interested in South Carolina and the ability to reunite with his former teammate on the college level.

"I like that Steve Spurrier is their head coach, and I'm building a good relationship with Coach (Robert) Gillespie. He's recruiting me. Also, one of my former teammates (Akeem Auguste) is going to be up there this summer. So if I do go up there, I wouldn't be alone. He's said nothing but good things about them. He talks about the campus, the football team, the coaches and everything."

According to Rollins, he isn‘t ready to name any favorites, but he does know what factors he is looking for in a school.

"The academics, the atmosphere and the coaching staff are all important to me. I don't really have a timeframe. I'm going to take my time and look at each school. I‘m not in a rush."

While Rollins described himself as "very aggressive and relentless on the field," his head coach, Mark Guandolo, said that Rollins' intelligence and willingness to learn truly set him apart on the gridiron.

"Tarik is a gamer who is very coachable and has a high football I.Q. I look for him to do big things at a major D-1 school," said Guandolo in an earlier interview with

Rollins, who finished his junior season with an impressive 83 tackles, 7 sacks and 6 interceptions, said he plans on taking several unofficial visits over the summer and then a few official visits in the fall. According to Rollins, Auguste is working him to visit Columbia the weekend the Gamecocks play host to arch-rival Clemson.

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