Four-star DE Kelvin Gilliam of Highland Springs, VA named his top ten earlier this week and USC was firmly entrenched in the short list. That’s no surprise as Gilliam’s history with the Gamecocks dates back to his 10th grade year. He has built an uncommonly strong relationship with Gamecock head coach Will Muschamp and assistant coach Kyle Krantz. He may be closer to the USC staff than any other, but will that be enough for the Gamecocks to land one of the highest rated prospects on their board?
“They are very, very very high on my list,” Gilliam said. “Just because of the contact we have been in. Also, SEC football, a great head coach. I think they are really going to do something special this upcoming year.”
Also on the short list are Oklahoma, Penn State, Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Virginia Tech, LSU, Cal and Kentucky. The Gamecocks would rank behind most of those programs in terms of recent and overall gridiron success, so they have to overcome their history in recruiting Gilliam with the promise of a bright future, and having him be a major part of it.
“Just for them being a high priority for me and them,” Gilliam said. “Talking to Coach Muschamp a lot now. Coach Krantz, we talk frequently, sometimes every couple of days, sometimes every day, which is great. Just seeing how I can be in their defense is just great. Me and Coach Muschamp have a great relationship. We talk about things other than football, how my day is going, just things like that. I consider them family at this point.”
Gilliam has yet to visit USC but will take an official visit there if he’s able to. He wants to take his other official visits as well before he makes his decision, but that’s all dependent on the NCAA and the recruiting calendar. Currently a dead period is in place thru the end of August. He’d like to make his decision later in his season, but it could come as early as the end of summer.
Gilliam was a major force last season with 37 solo tackles, 45 total tackles, 17 tackles for loss and 7 sacks. He’s ranked 7th nationally among weakside defensive ends in the 247Sports Composite, and the #4 prospect in Virginia.