DT Jamari Lyons (6-4 277) of Melbourne, FL narrowed his list to USC and Florida a few weeks back, and with a decision date set for October 6th, he’s looking forward to seeing each at least one more time before he makes the call.
Lyons made an official visit to Florida in June and also visited unofficially twice in the summer. He is going back to Gainesville September 18th. He made an unofficial visit to USC in mid-June and will make his official visit with the Gamecocks September 24th for his birthday weekend.
Recruiting reporters across the Internet are projecting Lyons to stay close to home and go to Florida. That may eventually happen, but he said it’s not a done deal yet as he’s still giving the Gamecocks equal consideration.
“They’ve got a chance, it’s between them and Florida,” Lyons said. “It’s just because I live in Florida that people think I’m going to stay here, because I do more interviews with them. It’s really between Florida and South Carolina. I keep trying to tell them that, but they keep saying, ‘You want to be a Gator.”
What has the Gamecocks firmly in the game with Lyons is the relationship he has developed with Shane Beamer and his staff, especially defensive line coach Jimmy Lindsey.
“My relationship with South Carolina has been growing, it’s swelled to the same size as Florida, so it’s come down to those teams,” Lyons said. “I like how they (Gamecocks) greet me, how they talk to me like I’m already on campus, like I’m already one of their players. They treat me with great respect and hospitality, both me and my family. Overall, I think Coach Lindsey is a great coach. On some days, we do chalktalks and stuff like that, some different moves that I display going against my opponents. I talk to him almost every day.”
Lyons also has high regard for Beamer.
“I think Coach Beamer is a great coach,” Lyons said. “He’s trying to change the culture of South Carolina around back to the winning seasons, back in their heyday. Right now, he’s doing great, and he’s turned their program around.”
Lyons plans to bring a lot of family with him on his official visit to USC, including his parents, grandfather, brother, sister and possibly a cousin. On the visit, he wants to further examine things inside and outside of the program that are important to him.
“I just want to see how the players live their lives, how their down with the coaches,” Lyons said. “I want to build a relationship with the players and more with the staff. Academics are very important to me and my family. Especially the academics probably win my grandparents or my mom over.”
Last season Lyons totaled 79 tackles with 10 sacks. He is rated a four-star and ranked the #49 defensive tackle nationally in the 247Sports Composite.