1st Recruiting Update Of 2003!

It may not be negative recruiting in the purest sense of the word, but it is fast becoming clear that there are coaches here and there using South Carolina's depth at defensive end in the war of words as signing day draws nearer. Two defensive end prospects in particular are being presented with depth issues from other coaches. And there are new prospects on the Hotsheet, as well as other news from the recruiting front ...

Charles Silas, as we reported earlier in the week, had reconfirmed his commitment to USC. But with every day comes new revelations as to how Silas is now thinking in terms of his commitment.

"I'm still committed to USC," Silas told TheInsiders.com. "But I am considering the depth at that position that they have right now. Because of that I am now considering Arkansas. Yeah, I'm looking at them because they have made it clear that they do not have so much depth there as the Coaches at South Carolina have.

Silas committed to the Gamecocks out of high school and was placed at GMA by Gamecock recruiter Dave Roberts.

Another defensive end prospect waivering to his early lean because of the perceived depth at that position in Columbia is Doug Lagenfeld. Known as "The Blur" and "The Creature" because of his amazing speed for a young man his size, Lagenfeld is coveted by the Gamecock coaching staff.

"Right now I am open," says Lagenfeld. "South Carolina is home, but the Gamecocks have a lot of defensive ends on their roster and I need immediate playing time."

According to Lagenfeld his leaders are South Carolina, Tennessee and Auburn ... and not necessarily in that order. Washington, which graduates three of its defensive ends this season, is also making a strong push for Lagenfeld and is letting him know that they have room to play him immediately.

Although the Gamecocks do appear to be in good shape in 2003 at the defensive end position, returning George Gause, Jason Capers and Moe Thompson ... the coaches are letting it be known that they need these two quality prospects on their roster and that they will have more than ample opportunity to receive early playing time, close to home, in the 2003 season.

Gamecock coaches are making a move for defensive lineman Freddy Saint-Preux (6-6 298) of Dodge City JC, KA. Saint-Preux has scheduled a visit with USC on their big weekend, January the 17th He does not have a favorite. Saint-Preux is a native of Brooklyn, NY. He is also giving consideration to Alabama and Auburn and is projected to sign with a SEC school. Having played only one season at Dodge City, he will have three years to play three.

A teammate of Saint-Preux, Offensive lineman Travis Triplett (6-7 315) of Dodge City JC, KA has also set an official visit with USC for January 17th.

Tray Rogers, at the urging of the Gamecock coaches, will make visits to UNC and Clemson. The visits will only serve to raise his stock and to allow him the opportunity to feel comfortable with his decision to become a legacy player at USC. Rogers is the son of Gamecock Heisman winner George Rogers.

James Townsend, the heralded wide receiver out of New Jersey that we spoke of in our last update, has confirmed that South Carolina is his big leader. He has dropped UVA from consideration and he is making overtures that Iowa may be a bit too far out in the country for his tastes. Signing Townsend would round out our wide receiver class and would have to make this group of incoming ball-catchers one of the finest in the country. All of this forces us to ask, "when will we sign one wide receiver too many?" For that reason we believe we need to see Whiteside solidly committed within the next 5-10 days or we may not see Whiteside in the Garnet and Black at all.

And finally, Gamecock commitment Tremaine Billie has decided to visit Clemson. Billie cites Clemson as a place in need of his skills (a telling comment on his behalf) and he too has been peppered with the notion that the Gamecocks are loaded at his position. He will visit Clemson on the 10th and South Carolina on the 17th. He has stated emphatically that he is still committed to the Gamecocks - but we're not putting much confidence in Billie's current mentality. Something is going on with him that leads us to believe he and Summers will never play at the same school. And since we are 99% sure Summers is going to be a Gamecock ... what does that tell you?

A portion of this update was contributed by Phil Kornblut of Palmetto Recruiting.

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