USC thought it had won the recruiting war for 5-star defensive tackle Jordan Burch when the Hammond School product announced to a gym full of family and friends, and to a nationwide audience, a commitment to the Gamecocks on December 18th. The fact he did not sign his LOI that day was no doubt annoying to Gamecock head coach Will Muschamp, his staff and Gamecock fans, but Burch assured all during an interview at the Under Armour All-American Game check-in December 28th that he didn’t sign because he wanted to join his teammates in signing February 5th, and he was 100% committed to the Gamecocks.
Should you throw that baby out with the bathwater?
The fact Burch decided to take an unofficial visit to LSU Saturday proved without a shadow of a doubt that he’s not 100% committed to the Gamecocks and is by no means a lock to sign with them next month. And so, the question is why? Why would you go on national TV, declare for the hometown team, not sign the letter-of-intent, and then pay your own way back to see a school that you had visited officially in late October?
LSU media sites were reporting in the last couple of days about Burch’s pending visit, and Saturday afternoon the USC insiders for TheBigSpur and GamecockCentral confirmed the visit was on. A source with LSU ties also confirmed to us later Saturday night that Burch was in Baton Rouge.
Remember, when Burch announced for the Gamecocks, he said LSU was second on his list. The source added that from his information coming from LSU, the Tigers believed that USC was not the player’s first choice.
Clemson may actually have been Burch’s preferred school at one point, but the Tigers backed off after he announced for the Gamecocks. LSU, however, has kept up its pursuit, and the run to the national championship hasn’t hurt the Tigers’ chances.
USC still has a chance to fix this. Burch hasn’t taken his official visit with the Gamecocks. There’s one weekend left before the February signing period and the speculation is Burch will visit the Gamecocks next weekend. Of course, as he has operated under the cone of silence, we won’t know that Burch is actually on the USC campus until he’s spotted there.
But will Burch still be open to overtures from Muschamp and company? Was his heart really in his earlier commitment, or was that just appeasement?
A clandestine visit to the Bayou may be the answer to both of those questions, and it may not be what the Gamecocks want to hear.