Junior safety likes Gamecocks, hopes to visit

One of the top defensive prospects in the Sunshine State for the class of 2011 is Dillard (Fort Lauderdale, FL) safety Wayne Lyons. Already having several offers to his credit, the four-star DB spoke about what he will be looking for when making a decision and what the Gamecocks have going in their favor. Read inside for Lyons' exclusive interview with GamecockAnthem.com.

South Florida has been pretty good to Coach Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks during his tenure in Columbia thus far, and the class of 2011 could see that trend continue as one of the top defensive backs in the Sunshine State is expressing early interest in USC.

"I know Coach Spurrier is there and my mom loves him because she went to Florida. They compete every year," said Wayne Lyons of how familiar he is with the Gamecocks.

The 6-0, 180 pound safety claims over a dozen offers, with Notre Dame, Stanford, Tennessee and Ole Miss being among his early suitors.

"All of the schools that have offered are recruiting me about the same. Alabama and Florida have been recruiting me pretty hard too but they haven't offered yet."

South Carolina tight ends coach Jeep Hunter paid a visit to Dillard High recently, and Lyons was able to get some face to face time with his USC recruiter. Was an offer extended?

"(Coach Hunter) came by and we got to meet and shake hands. He seems like a real good guy. He got to see more of my film and said once he gets back to South Carolina they will send me an offer. I told him I want to come for their junior day in January or February."

South Carolina has been able to lure several out of state athletes to Columbia in recent years, but distance can sometimes be a key factor in one's decision. According to Lyons, that's not the case with him, though.

"Distance won't be a factor in my decision because my mom said she will follow me wherever I decide to go and she will be able to watch me on TV as well. If I feel comfortable, my mom will support my decision," he said. "I'm looking for good academics and early playing time (as key factors in making a decision)."

Lyons wears the #21 jersey on the gridiron, and that number has a special meaning to him, as he grew up modeling his game after a former University of Miami and Washington Redskins standout.

"I'm real aggressive; I'm trying to knock you out every time I go to make a tackle. I want people to see Sean Taylor when they watch me play."

Florida, Miami and Florida State have played hosts to the Dillard prospect for early unofficial visits, but Lyons said that several more visits will be made before he releases a top group of schools or makes a final decision.

"It's all an even playing field with me right now."

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