Sunshine State DB Interested In USC

South Carolina has fared well recruiting defensive backs out of the Sunshine State in recent years, and Coach Robert Gillespie and the Gamecocks are hoping to continue that trend in the 2008 class, as they are targeting one of the top rated safety prospects in America. Is USC a legitimate contender for this hard hitting DB? Read inside for all the details.

Atlantic (Delray Beach, FL) 4-star safety Karnell Hatcher is rated by as the #12 safety in America this recruiting year. The 6'2", 190 pound Hatcher, who runs a 4.5 second forty yard dash, is a punishing presence in the defensive backfield, and with great range and natural ball hawking ability to his credit, it's no wonder that he has some of the top football programs in the country pursuing him. Hatcher holds offers from major programs like LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Miami, Georgia Tech and several others, but according to Hatcher, one school that he is hoping to learn more about in the coming months is South Carolina.

"I don't know too much about them yet. I'm trying to learn more, but they definitely sound like a good program," said Hatcher. "Coach Robert Gillespie is recruiting me for them, and he's real down to earth. I get along with him very well. He's a cool coach."

Hatcher is still mapping out his summer plans, and while he's interested in checking out USC, the only unofficial visit he knows for sure right now is to Georgia Tech in early July. Hatcher insists that he holds no favorites at this point, but he does know what factors he will look for in the different schools that are courting him.

"I'm trying to introduce myself to all the coaches and see if I get along with them very well or not. Then I want to see if the school is someplace I want to live for four years."

The elite defensive back prospect said he plans to take all five of his official visits, and he is in no hurry to make a decision.

"I'm probably going to wait until Signing Day. I'm not planning to commit early."

Hatcher, who racked up 65 tackles and 1 interception last season despite most teams scheming away from him, closed by describing what strengths he brings to the football field.

"I'm a hard hitter. I've got great range. I can cover the whole field, and I'm quick to the ball."

The versatile Hatcher also plays basketball and is an All-District performer in track. He holds a 3.1 core GPA.

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