Versatile jumbo-athlete likes Gamecocks

Knoxville Catholic (Tenn.) 3-star offensive line/tight end prospect Daniel Hood is one of the top overall prospects in the state of Tennessee for the class of 2009. Hood has a number of impressive offers, including one from Coach Shane Beamer and the Gamecocks. Read inside to see what Hood thinks about South Carolina and if the Gamecocks are a possible contender for his services.

The 6'5", 260-pound Hood claims offers from UCLA, Virginia Tech, Ole Miss, Florida State, South Carolina, N.C. State, Stanford and Marshall among others.

Hood has had a busy summer on the recruiting trail, visiting Florida, Florida State, UCLA, Virginia Tech, Ole Miss and Alabama the past couple of months.

He planned to take a visit to South Carolina this summer, but doesn't know if that will be possible now.

"I was wanting to take a visit to South Carolina, but I think I may not be able to do that one," Hood said. "It was going to be on the 26th, but it fell through. We ended up having some football practices scheduled and some other things."

Despite not being able to fit in a trip to Columbia this summer, Hood is still impressed with the South Carolina program.

"Coach Spurrier grew up in Johnson City, which is about 30 minutes from where I grew up," he said. "They've been on the rise since he got there. From what I see, and what my weight trainer, we talk about football all the time, what we think, South Carolina is probably going to have one of the best years their program has ever had this upcoming season. And I'm sure it will only get better from there. I remember when Spurrier was at Florida, and they did great things down there then. So, I know it's going to come out at South Carolina, too."

Hood's girlfriend is considering transferring to South Carolina from Georgia Southern, which is another reason the talented prospect finds USC attractive.

USC cornerbacks coach Shane Beamer is recruiting Hood for the Gamecocks and has quickly earned Hood's trust.

"I like him a lot. He's a really nice, up-front guy. He's really honest with you and everything,"

Hood, who will play some defensive end, offensive line and tight end for his high school this year, says the Gamecocks are willing to let him play the position he prefers. He says how he fares on the field this year could determine which position that is.

"I love defense; I think that would be great. Tight end's kind of been a dream position, and I get to play it this year for my high school, so I get to see what my chances are. If I do it this year and I feel like I can't compete on the college level at that position then obviously I don't want to do it. I know I can be a great offensive lineman, because I know I can put on the weight that I need to."

Hood says his weight is down to 253 pounds right now due to summer basketball, but he will likely play at 265 this fall.

The versatile jumbo-athlete is still in the process of narrowing things down and says he has no leaders at this time.

"I've just been kind of visiting to see the schools I like, and what's going to help me decide where I will take an official to," Hood said. "I haven't made it official on anything. I've just been kind of focusing on my upcoming season this year and where that's going to go."

Hood, who is rated the no. 19 tight end in the nation by, says he doesn't have a timetable for a commitment, and he will likely just commit when he feels comfortable.

"I don't know if I'll take all five [officials], I may, I may not," he said. "It just depends when I know 100-percent that a certain school is going to be it for me. If on the first official I know there's not anywhere else I'm going to go, then I'd go ahead and commit. But it may take the third, fourth or fifth visit. Say after five I'd have to sit down and discuss my options, and look at what would be the best for me, then that's what I would do. I'm not rushed to make a decision, and I'm not wanting to drag it out either."

The 3-star prospect says he doesn't know what schools he will officially visit, but that the Gamecocks have a good chance of receiving one.

"I think there's a pretty good chance," Hood said. "I grew up a Spurrier fan. The Gamecocks are a great program on the rise, so there's a very good chance."

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