USC entertained OT Keyshawn Blackstock (6-5 300) of Coffeyville JC, KS and Covington, GA over the weekend on an official visit, and they picked the perfect time to have a big home victory over Tennessee. Blackstock took that all in with his family with him in Columbia, and it all left a major impression on him.
“It was nice. It was electrifying,” Blackstock said. “From the coaches to the players, everything was genuine. It was nice.”
USC head coach Shane Beamer spent a lot of time with Blackstock, as did offensive line coach Greg Adkins, offensive analyst Lonnie Teasley and defensive line coach Jimmy Lindsey. They did a good job spelling out to him what their situation is on the offensive line moving forward and why there is a place for him in the program.
“They just told me who is leaving and who is coming back, and this is an opportunity for me to come in and play next year. I’ll be there in January and coming into the spring, they let me know my situation before I get there. That’s pretty cool. I need to know what I’m going into, what’s the best opportunity for me to go be successful. It was just genuine. All the coaches love me. They want me there. They are losing a couple of guys and they need me on the O-line. That’s the biggest thing they were telling me. The opportunity presents itself, really. They were like, you see what we’re losing and who is coming back, so we need some older guys to come in and step up and be a leader since we’re losing a lot of older guys.”
Blackstock was given a tour of the facilities as well as the campus and was dutifully impressed with what he saw. And he appreciated what he saw. But he said when it comes down to a decision, the brick and mortar is not what’s important to him.
“Everybody’s facilities are going to be nice at the next level. Everybody,” he said. “That’s cool and all, but I’m coming in to play. I ain’t coming there for the facilities or something like that. That’s for high school kids. I’m at the lowest at junior college. All I need is a good nutrition program and a good strength and conditioning program, and everything else is going to take care of itself.”
Blackstock has also taken an official visit to Illinois, and he will take one to Penn State December 10th. Auburn, Oklahoma, Mississippi State and Oregon are others making a strong pitch. The visit to USC put the Gamecocks even more strongly in the mix as he considers his options.
“They are up there,” Blackstock said. “I don’t really have any top school, but they are up there. They set a standard. Them and Illinois both set a standard for schools. Moving forward, schools that are coming at me, if they really want me, they’ve got to step their game up. That’s the bottom line.”
Blackstock will sign in December and enroll in January. He will have three years to play two at the next level.