USC made the top 10 cut with four-star CB Keenan Nelson (6-2 180) of Philadelphia, and part of the reason for that was what Nelson saw when he made a virtual visit with the Gamecocks earlier this month. Gamecock secondary coach Torrian Gray has been recruiting Nelson, and he is making progress in forming a bond with a player he would love to coach for three or four seasons.
“The relationship is going good,” Nelson said. “I’ve been talking to coach Gray a lot. I had a virtual call and got to meet all the coaches, so they’ve been keeping in touch. The virtual visits and the Zoom calls with the coaches have been going real well. You could see at the school they are serious about football, and academics is very important there as well. They play in the biggest conference, so you benefit from both sides, so that’s good.”
Gray wants bigger, physical cornerbacks so he can play tight man-to-man coverage and take receivers off their routes. Nelson said Gray sees him as a perfect fit.
“He said I’m a physical defensive back that likes to play press at the line,” Nelson said. “He said that I would be great for man coverage. I like South Carolina a lot. They definitely piqued my interest after that virtual visit. After that I realized I was kind of interested in this school.”
Nelson said he has talked with Gray about an official visit to USC but nothing has been finalized yet. The other schools on his short list are Virginia Tech, Rutgers, Penn State, Tennessee, West Virginia, Notre Dame, Pitt, Maryland and Wisconsin. As he moves forward in the process, he wants his recruiters to show him the things he needs to succeed at the next level.
“I need to have great academics, because I know football is not going to last forever, so I need a degree,” Nelson said. “I need a brotherhood with the football players on and off the field. We can always chop it up and laugh at jokes and stay together at all times. I need coaches that I can go to for anything. If I need something, they’ll help me with it, help me achieve something.”
Nelson said he doesn’t have a timeline on a decision, and he has not decided if he’s graduating early. He is ranked the #12 cornerback in the class in the 247Sports Composite.
- Clemson target OT Kiyaunta Goodwin plans to drop a top 5 soon.
- Clemson offered 5-star SAF Jacoby Mathews (6-1 204) of Ponchatoula, LA. He’s ranked the #2 safety nationally in the class in the 247Sports Composite. He also played QB last season. He has a national offer list. He has named a top six of Oklahoma, Texas, Florida, Mississippi State, LSU and Alabama.
- USC offered DT Daniel Lyons (6-5 285) of Homestead, FL. He’s rated a four-star prospect in the 247Sports Composite and ranked the #19 defensive tackle nationally in the class. Some of his other offers are Florida, Florida State, Ole Miss, Georgia, Oklahoma, UCF, Virginia, Michigan, Arkansas and Arizona State. Last season he had 34 tackles with 10 tackles for loss and 5 sacks.