The state’s top tight end prospect in the 2021 class, Robbie Ouzts of Rock Hill, has cut his list to a final two of Alabama and Virginia Tech. Ouzts shared the news first with AlabamaOnline. By narrowing his focus to the Tide and Hokies, Ouzts said no to USC, North Carolina, Duke, Georgia, Auburn and Ole Miss, the other schools in his short list of eight.
The chopping off of the Gamecocks by Outzs was a surprise considering how hard they had recruited him, and their recruiting dominance in his hometown. Rock Hill coach Bubba Pittman said it’s not that the Gamecocks did anything wrong or didn’t do enough. Ouzts just liked the other two programs more.
“Robbie, I mean, he’s always had a good relationship with Virginia Tech,” Pittman said. “They were one of the first ones to offer him early on. I think he’s always had a good relationship with those guys. I think he’s really liked Alabama and the attention he’s getting from them. So, you know, it does surprise me that that he has narrowed it down without South Carolina, but you know, it’s totally his decision.”
It’s certainly a feather in Ouzts’ cap to have Alabama as one of his finalists. He took an unofficial visit there last month with his father according to BamaOnline. The chance to play for a perennial playoff contender says a lot about a player who, a year ago, was well off the recruiting radar. Nick Saban is picky about his tight ends because they are valuable weapons in his offense. Pittman believes Ouzts would thrive in Tuscaloosa should he choose to go there.
“I think they like his athleticism, his physicality, his ability to catch the football, play in the backfield,” Pittman said. “He’s got so many weapons, so versatile in the things that he can do. I think they see the opportunity to use him in a lot of different roles.”
Last season Ouzts caught 32 passes for 465 yards. He’s rated a three-star in the 247Sports Composite and ranked 32nd nationally and #7 in South Carolina.
With Ouzts off their tight end board, the Gamecocks still have offers out to Bryson Nesbitt of Charlotte, Michael Trigg of Lake Wales, FL, Jalen Shead of Olive Branch, MS and Thomas Fidone of Council Bluffs, IA at the tight end position.