Dawkins talks USC visit

The Gamecocks recently extended an offer to Byrnes (Duncan, SC) 3-star defensive end Everett Dawkins, and the athletic in-state prospect was on hand for his first ever USC home football game this past weekend. Did Dawkins enjoy his time in Columbia, and are the Gamecocks now a contender in the race for his services? Read inside to find out.

The 6'2", 250 pound Dawkins, who is rated by Scout.com as the #42 defensive end prospect in America this recruiting year, said he enjoyed his trip to USC over the weekend and was especially impressed with the game day atmosphere and fan support at South Carolina's game against Florida.

"It went pretty good. They had nice facilities and everything. It was a real nice trip. That was my first time ever (at a South Carolina home game)," said Dawkins. "When I got there, there were a whole bunch of other recruits that were coming in. We went on a tour, and we ate and stuff. Then we went to the game. The stadium was packed. There were a lot of fans there. The whole stadium was packed out, and it was a good atmosphere. The fans were really going for their team, but the game didn't turn out the way everybody thought it might have went."

Dawkins is being recruited by Coach Brad Lawing for the Gamecocks, and USC hopes to use his athleticism and playmaking ability at their bandit defensive end position.

"They want me to play bandit end, the same position that Eric Norwood plays. I could see myself playing that."

Following his trip to Columbia, Dawkins updated where the in-state Gamecocks now stand in the race for his services.

"South Carolina's in my top five. Everything's cool. They're close to home, and they have a great coach in Coach Spurrier. My position coach is a great coach with Coach Lawing. That's really what I like about them," said Dawkins. "The rest of my favorites are Florida State, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and N.C. State. Florida State is (my individual favorite)."

The Seminoles were one of the first teams to offer Dawkins earlier this year, and the relationship that he's built with the FSU coaches is one of the main reasons why he's currently favoring Florida State.

"I know all the coaches (at Florida State). I basically met them all over the summer at their three day camp. I like the facilities and everything. It's just a great environment down there, and they have like the number six recruiting class coming in this year so that's good too."

Dawkins is not sure when he'll come to a final decision on his college choice, but he does know what factors he's looking for in a school.

"I don't know yet. It's not going to be on Signing Day. It's not going to be too late. I'm basically going to choose the school that I feel at home at when I go around the campus. When you go to school, you're going to get a good education. That's automatic."

The Palmetto State standout, who was selected last month to participate in the 2007 Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, closed by discussing how his senior season has gone thus far.

"My senior season is going great. I think I have around 140 tackles, 12 sacks, 25 tackles for loss, and I have 40-plus quarterback hurries."

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