USC made a recent offer to LB Chase Hattley (6-3 205) of Cary, NC, and even though he had already identified a top eight, it’s not too late for the Gamecocks to make a run at him. Gamecocks’ linebackers coach Rod Wilson is leading the recruiting effort. According to Hattley, Wilson had been doing his homework on him well before letting him know he had an offer.
“They popped up on my radar, but from what I’ve heard from Coach Wilson, he told me he’s been following me since my spring practice when school was still in session,” Hattley said. “He said I’ve been on his radar sense then which meant a lot, meaning he’s known who I was and it wasn’t like I popped up out of nowhere.”
Hattley had named a top eight of NC State, Florida State, Oklahoma, West Virginia, East Carolina, Boston College, Appalachian State and Liberty. But the USC offer opened up his mind once again, and the Gamecocks will be a factor moving forward.
“It was a huge. The biggest conference I think is probably the SEC, and I mean it’s big to get an offer from the SEC,” Hattley said. “That was my first SEC offer. That’s big. And I have a lot of connections with South Carolina. My sister went there (and she’s engaged to former Gamecock Rashad Fenton), so I know the campus very well. It’s a good distance from where I am but not too far. You get a little bit of independence.”
“They are definitely going to be up there when I narrow it down to whatever,” Hattley continued. “That was big for me, that offer. They are definitely in my mind. I’m definitely going to narrow it down soon to three or four, and from there I’m going to make my decision. It’s not that much longer at all. October 1st was when I was doing it before, so probably early October.”
Hattley primarily plays safety for Panther Creek High School, and last season he snared 9 interceptions. But he can also walk up and play closer to the line of scrimmage against the run. Wilson likes him as that swing defender who can attack the run but also drop back in coverage.
“Every school has a different name for it. Dime. Nickel. Outside,” Hattley said. “Kind of like an outside linebacker, strong safety, in-between there. He likes how diverse I am. He likes my size. I think he thinks I have a lot of potential to fill the role of the Will because that’s a big player in their defense. He does a lot. He’s covering outside, making tackles in the box. It’s just a big role in their defensive scheme.”
Hattley has visited USC several times for games, and he’s talking with Wilson about taking a virtual visit. He has also visited Penn State, North Carolina, Duke, NC State, Maryland and Virginia Tech for games. And he took an unofficial visit to North Carolina before the recruiting dead period was enacted.
Hattley said he does not have favorite at this point though he said two or three do stick out. He did not want to disclose those schools at this point.