One team to the top for Jeffery

Columbia High 4-star safety/outside linebacker Damario Jeffery has already seen his recruitment take many twists and turns. With offers from all over the country, Jeffery has shuffled his favorites multiple times and even committed to Clemson at one point. The hometown South Carolina Gamecocks were almost an afterthought for the local product at one time, but that has changed in recent months.


The 6'4", 215-pound Jeffery has had a busy summer so far visiting schools like Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Auburn and Virginia Tech. Jeffery has an offer from all of those programs except for Georgia to go along with other impressive offers from Tennessee, Oklahoma, Michigan, Clemson and NC State, among others. While Jeffery's list of schools has changed throughout the process, the imposing defender says he has a solid three schools at the top right now.

"South Carolina, Alabama, and Auburn," Jeffery said firmly.

The rangy safety broke down what he likes about each of those three programs.

South Carolina – "I like a lot of the things they do. I like the coaching staff. It's right in my hometown like five minutes away from me. I know a couple of football players on the team, and I'm cool with them. I just like it there."

Alabama – "I like Alabama. I went up there, and it's a big campus. I loved everything around there. The weight room is one of the biggest in the nation, I know that. I love the big weight room; I love the facilities. Basically, I just loved everything I saw. And they've got (Nick) Saban there."

Auburn – "Auburn is a school I really don't know a lot about. I really didn't go on a visit; I mean I went on a visit, but it was not really a visit it was a camp and they kind of showed me a couple of things. Auburn is a school that I really like, and I want to take a visit to."

While Jeffery lists those three programs as his top three, he admits one school has taken a slight lead.

"South Carolina is number one right now," Jeffery said.

Recruiting coordinator David Reaves is recruiting Columbia High for the Gamecocks, and has developed a strong relationship with Jeffery.

"David Reaves is nice," Jeffery said. "I talk to him once or twice a week. He's real funny; I know that. He's always joking and stuff."

Chris Payne, a South Carolina commitment, teammate, and long-time friend of Jeffery's, is also recruiting the active defender for the Gamecocks, but Jeffery says Payne isn't putting too much pressure on him.

"Chris doesn't really say a whole lot," Jeffery said. "He just says ‘You've got to be a Gamecock.' He doesn't really tell me the pros or the cons or anything like that. He just always tells me, ‘Hey, come to South Carolina with me.' That's about all he says."

While the Gamecocks are in good shape right now, Jeffery admits they have not always been a big factor with him and that he still is not completely sure that South Carolina is the place for him.

"I wanted to get out of state," Jeffery said. "Nothing really changed my mind, I still want to get out of state a little bit. South Carolina is just the school I like overall right now. I really don't know why I like South Carolina so much. One second they'll be right there with Auburn and the Tide for me, and then next thing you know I'll be like ‘Oh, I like South Carolina a lot.'"

Jeffery also says one program who has not offered could still shuffle his favorites if an offer did come.

"Georgia is one of my favorite schools," Jeffery said. "It's the school I've always dreamed of going to. I just like the nature of the way they play every year on defense, no matter who they have. They could have a bunch of rookies and they'd still be ranked near the top in the nation. I just love how they swarm to the ball. Being a defensive player, I love stuff like that when a defense swarms to the ball. It shows you their chemistry."

Jeffery, who runs the forty-yard dash in 4.63 seconds, says he still isn't sure when a commitment could come, and denied rumors that he could commit somewhere soon.

"It will probably be after I take all five of my official visits; I know that."

Jeffery says he's not sure if he will make the Gamecocks' camp this Friday, but he said that more than likely he'll be there.

Jeffery is ranked the No. 7 weakside linebacker in the country according to Scout.com, but the Gamecocks are recruiting the dynamic athlete as a safety.


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