Gamecocks pursuing explosive DE

Palmetto (FL) standout defensive end Kedric Johnson has had a busy summer so far as the explosive edge-rusher has already camped at three schools. Johnson has seen his offer list steadily grow to sixteen, and South Carolina has been on the talented lineman for some time now. Read inside to find out Johnson's thoughts on USC and if the Gamecocks are a real factor in the race for his services.

Johnson, who measures in at a long and lean 6'4", 220 pounds, has camped at Florida, Auburn and USF so far this summer.

"They went pretty good," Johnson said. "I went up there and pretty much held my own [at the Auburn camp]. It was pretty much the same at the Florida camp."

Johnson now has offers from programs such as Auburn, South Carolina, Clemson, USF, Ohio State, Michigan, UCF, Kentucky, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Mississippi State.

With all the attention he is receiving, the Palmetto, Fla. resident is taking things slowly and is not ready to name any favorites at this time.

"Pretty much all of them are pursuing me about the same. I'm not really high on one school right now; I have interest in everybody," Johnson said. "Pretty much every one of them came by and stopped by to see me and talk to me during the spring."

One school heavily pursuing Johnson is South Carolina, and the Gamecocks have some help in the form of former Palmetto standout and current Gamecock receiver Joseph Hills. Hills and Johnson played together Johnson's freshman and sophomore years, and the two are good friends.

"Yeah, I talked to Joe about coming up there, seeing the campus, and seeing what South Carolina is really about. He tells me they treat him good, that it's a real nice, family environment. And pretty much he just says with South Carolina he thinks he made the right choice."

Quarterbacks coach and recruiting coordinator David Reaves is recruiting the athletic jumbo-athlete for South Carolina, and Johnson likes him as a recruiter.

"He's a real cool dude. Coach Reaves is a nice, down-to-earth-type guy. He doesn't tell you what you want to hear, he just really tells you everything straight-up."

Johnson is also hearing from the Clemson Tigers coaching staff often and says he is interested in making a trip to see the Clemson campus.

"The coaching staff is very nice. They have a history of putting some d-ends in the league. I'm pretty sure they have a pretty good environment up there in South Carolina. It's pretty much a college-town, so I would like to go up there and see that campus."

Johnson grew up a Florida State fan, but says the Seminoles have not shown much interest at this time.

Johnson, who had made an impressive 114 tackles and 19 sacks last year, says he doesn't have anymore visits planned right now, but will take all five official visits this season. He plans to announce a list of his top five schools before or midway through his senior season. Johnson plans to wait until Signing Day to decide.

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