#STRecruiting: Notes from #Gamecocks official visits this weekend (UPDATED with DT Nick James)

USC played host to a dozen prospects on official visits over the weekend. It was the second big weekend for official visits this month for the Gamecocks who are past the halfway point in building their 2022 class. We’ll post visit reaction from the players here on Sunday as we reach them.

DT Nick James (6-2 270) of Prattville, AL & IMG Academy: “I had an amazing time at South Carolina.  They showed great hospitality to me and my family.  I liked the coaching staff and the people.  I like the players.  Everybody was so nice to me and my family and I really enjoyed that.  I really could see myself playing in that uniform.  I could see myself playing in the Garnet and Black. I’m still talking to my family about it.  I want to feel like I’m at home, and I want to get developed.  Those are the two main things I’m looking for.”  James is scheduled to announce on July 3rd with USC, Ohio State, Florida, Texas A&M, LSU and Oregon under consideration. He has taken officials to USC and Ohio State and will visit LSU and Oregon officially in the fall. He is not shutting down recruiting after he commits. He has been to Texas and Florida unofficially.

WR Dane Key (6-2 170) of Lexington, KY: “I thought it was a great place.  I really enjoyed it.  The people around the facility was great.  The facilities were great.  Everything about the visit, honestly, blew me away.  I was expecting a lot because I’ve done a Zoom call with them before and I’ve gotten to know coach (Justin) Stepp thru phone and FaceTime.  I was expecting a lot and I got a little bit more than I was expecting, so it did blow me away more than I was expecting.  I think highly of South Carolina.  I really like what Coach (Shane) Beamer and that whole new coaching staff is doing, with Coach (Marcus) Satterfield as the OC and Coach Stepp as the receivers coach, and just everybody around the facility.  I’m going to keep taking visits and go to a lot of games and see the game environment.  Hopefully make a decision in the middle of my season. No rush at all.”  

TE Oscar Delp (6-5 220) of Cumming, GA: “It was awesome.  It exceeded expectations.  I had a really good time just meeting everyone and getting to hang out with everyone.  I really enjoyed it.  The offense they run is a tight end friendly offense.  The tight end is really the focal point of their offense.  That’s a big thing I took away.  My mom (a grad) loved it.  All the stories she was telling us when she was there, and all the connections she had with the school, she really really enjoyed it.  (Grandparents came for a little bit).  It definitely puts them up near the top of my list. It was good.  We had a good visit.  It is definitely going to make my decision a lot harder.  I’m going to take the next couple of weeks and chill out and evaluate everything and see where everything is at. Maybe in July, not sure yet.”  

CB Chris Graves (6-2 180) of Fort Myers, FL: “It was great. It’s a school with everything that you want.  The people, the facility.  But mostly the people.  It was better than I thought going in.  We’ll see, I’ll drop a final four on Friday.  Just see who is recruiting me the most.  Commit on July 9th.  We’ll see (on South Carolina).  Can’t say too much right now.  Everyone is equal. I don’t have a leader right now.”  

LB Mason Thomas (6-3 225) of Fort Lauderdale: “I liked the culture. I was around the coaches a lot, the players who hosted me, my family and all the other recruits.  It was a great visit.  I want to say top two in my recruiting process with Iowa State.  Going to make my decision early July, or kind of soon, whenever God says it’s right.  Iowa State likes me as a defensive end, edge rusher. And then South Carolina likes me as a linebacker, Buck, defensive end, the versatility I can bring.  I’d say I’m leaning to Iowa State.”  

CB Keenan Nelson (6-2 180) of Philadelphia: “I had a good time.  Got to see everything the school had to offer academic-wise and athletic-wise.  I had a good time.  They want me to play corner, but I could play safety or nickel.  They are up there.  I’m glad I came down to see the school to see what they had to offer.  I’ll announce in July. I want to go home with my parents and talk about it.  It’s really Penn State and South Carolina.”

SAF Emory Floyd (6-1 165) of Powder Springs, GA: “”Everybody on the coaching staff, they treated me like family down here.  Top three, really.  I really love South Carolina a lot.  I’ll be back down real soon.  Georgia, Florida and South Carolina.  Me and my family want to come back to a game and see how everything is with the atmosphere.  I don’t have a set day (for a decision).”

CB Nikai Martinez (5-11 170) of Apopka, FL: “Family based, the coaches and players and the facilities.  I’d play the slot corner and nickel.  They are in a good spot.  They are in the top three with Florida and UCF.

DE Tomiwa Durojaiye (6-5 255) of Middletown, DE: “Everything went pretty well.  Saw everything I was looking for and got a feel for the program.  I really enjoyed myself.  Puts them in the top five (with West Virginia, Georgia Tech, Kentucky and Vanderbilt).  Those five are good fit for me.  I’ve seen them all except Kentucky so far. I really just during the dead period narrow it down and find the best fit for me.  I would like to make a decision in August but it all depends on if I make it to Kentucky in July.”  

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