5-11, 167-pound Southwest Dekalb HS (Decatur, GA) safety Sharrod Golightly claims eight offers to his credit with tenders from South Carolina, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and Tennessee among those.
The head-hunting, in-the-box safety was impressive at the Scout.com Atlanta Combine and could possibly pick up more offers with a big senior year, but says the time to make a decision is quickly approaching.
"It's getting down to it," he says. "I'm going to make a decision by the beginning of August."
Golightly wants to be done with the recruiting process and concentrate on his senior season. He has narrowed his possibly schools down to a list of three: Vanderbilt, Ole Miss and South Carolina.
"The thing I like about the Vanderbilt program is I like the fact they have a good education," he says. "And after your graduation you're bound to find a good job and impress. I also like the campus."
Golightly visited Nashville in June and enjoyed him time there.
"Hanging out with Bobby Johnson he was really cool. Hanging out with my position coach, [and defensive coordinator Jamie] Bryan was cool."
Running Backs Coach & Co-Special Teams Coordinator Des Kitchings is recruiting Golightly for the Dores and had made an impression.
"Coach Kitchings, he's a real cool dude," he says. "He shows me a good time, so me and Coach Kitchens are real cool."
He plans a return visit to Nashville this month. Golightly also enjoyed his time in Ole Miss on a visit he took a few months ago.
"Ole Miss, it's really a good program," he said. "I went there sometime in March for a junior day and got to hang out on the campus and stuff and it was real nice. I got to talk to Coach Houston Nutt. And I got to hang with my position coach, so that was cool."
Golightly has never visited South Carolina before, but the Gamecocks were still able to crack his top three. Something about the USC program has grabbed his attention.
"The thing with South Carolina right now is curiosity," he said. "I know a little bit about them, but I don't know a lot. So hopefully, when I go up there sometime in late July I can see, and hopefully I can get a better feel for them."
Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward is recruiting the talented safety for the Gamecocks.
"He's actually a real funny dude," Golightly said. "He seems like a fun coach to play for. I've just got to meet the rest of the staff and make an overall decision."
Golightly, who describes himself as a roaming safety but says he has also been working on his man-to-man coverage in the offseason, is looking at a couple of factors.
"I really am just looking for the opportunity to play when I get down there," Golightly said. "I'm trying to avoid riding the bench for three years then playing. Whoever offers me that opportunity to play, and the atmosphere as far as on and off campus, that's important."
While it is a small lead, he says one program currently holds a slight edge.
"It's kind of getting down to the point where whoever I went to last is on top," he says. "So the last place I went to was Vanderbilt, and they really kind of swept me off my feat with the notion of playing in the SEC against the best and getting that education."
But he says that could always change with a good visit to Columbia.
"I think they have to offer a good education," he said. "Show me how they do their program as far as if I leave there early do you still get the chance to finish your education, or if I try to get my masters how they do that. And just show me that South Carolina is the place to be as far as just competing in the SEC, period. I think if they can do that, I'll be all for South Carolina."
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