Highly recruited LB Bryce Steele (6-1 195) of Raleigh spent Thursday on a visit to USC, two days after visiting North Carolina. The Gamecocks and Tar Heels are his final two from an offer list that also included Ohio State, Michigan, NC State, Penn State, Virginia, Notre Dame and Nebraska. He plans to announce a commitment either April 14th or 16th.
“I’ve been to the (USC) campus five or six times,” Steele said. “This time my whole family came with me. This was the time for my dad to get down there and see the campus and meet the coaches. When we first got down there, I was able to go to some team meetings. I was able to personally meet with Coach (Rod) Wilson, Coach (Kyle) Krantz, Coach (Will ) Muschamp and Coach (Travaris) Robinson as well. Then I went out to watch practice. Practice was good. I love the physicality of practice. You play like you practice and they practice hard. I think that’s going to translate into game time, just the aggressiveness. After practice, I was able to meet with some academic advisers. I want to be a sports agent. They talked about how strong the program is and how many connections they have beyond college. Overall it was a good day. It seems every time I go down there, every time I leave I tend to love South Carolina more.”
Steele is doing his homework on both programs and that includes checking out the depth chart. He’s learned there’s a need for linebackers at USC, and they talked to him about playing both the Will and the Sam along with stepping in at the Dime spot.
“They are pretty thin at the linebacker position, so I’ll be able to come in and early playing time right away if I come in and do everything I’m supposed to do,” Steele said. “I could see the field pretty early. That’s a big factor for me, an opportunity to possibly play early and develop as a player. They expressed they not only want me but they need me to be a part of the team, not only as a player on the field but as a leader on the field and off the field.”
Mack Brown is in his second recruiting season at North Carolina and his stated goal is to close the borders and keep the state’s top players at home. Steele has heard that pitch loud and clear and it definitely resonates with him.
“I’m feeling great towards them,” Steele said. “I love Coach (Mack) Brown as a coach. He’s doing a good job of keeping all the in-state players. So far they’ve had a lot of big-time commits from the state of North Carolina. The first thing he told me was it starts with the players in state. He’s been sticking to his word as far as getting the in-state guys to stay home with the possibility of winning a national championship with in-state players.”
Steele said he will take official visits to USC and North Carolina before making his decision. Those dates have not been set.
Steele attends school in Alexandria, VA. He missed all of last season after having surgery to remove a benign mass from his chest. In his sophomore season he totaled 43 tackles with 6 sacks.
He will sign in December but will not graduate early.