#STRecruiting: What happened between #Gamecocks and one-time target OT Keyshawn Blackstock? NIL happened!

Keyshawn Blackstock

USC offered OG Keyshawn Blackstock (6-5 315) of Coffeyville JC, KS and Covington, GA on November 2nd and immediately became a major player for a player regarded by some as the top interior offensive lineman available in junior college this recruiting season. Blackstock included the Gamecocks in his top 12 and took an official visit the weekend of November 16th.

After the visit, Blackstock spoke highly of Shane Beamer and offensive line coaches Greg Adkins and Lonnie Teasley. He said relationships with the coaches was a big part of his decision. But the Gamecocks did not make his top five which he released earlier this week. He settled on Oregon, Southern Cal, Michigan State, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

NIL opportunities are important to Blackstock in the recruiting process, and according to his father, what USC showed him in that area did not match up with the competition.

“He’s not necessarily all about money.  He’s not one of those kids,” Keith Blackstock said earlier in the week before his son released his to five.  “You’ve got all these schools offering all these opportunities, and you’ve got South Carolina that’s literally at the bottom of the whole crop when it comes to what they can offer a kid.  It kind of sucks, you know.  It may be a great school.  It ain’t about money, but one injury and you can never play football again.  That’s one of the things at South Carolina, they don’t really have opportunities like some of the other schools do.  NIL stuff.  NIL opportunities.”

Schools have been warned by the NCAA that using NIL as a recruiting tool is forbidden.

“Other people are using that as a recruiting tool,” Keith Blackstock said. “I’m not downing anyone.  He did like South Carolina a lot. Other schools are offering opportunities for it and giving you examples. South Carolina just doesn’t have those things.  It’s nothing against them.  Other schools are using that as a recruiting tool, and me, personally, I don’t think that should be done.  Nothing is guaranteed. With any kid, you can’t really guarantee them NIL money, but they just give them examples of people who played their position or who was their size, something that can resemble that kid that gives them some intimate idea.  That’s some of the other schools whole selling point.  It’s not Keyshawn’s selling point, but when you have a coach that he really likes and then they bring that up, it looks good. But the main thing with Keyshawn though is depth chart.  He’s more concerned about a depth chart than anything else.  Even if you’re offering him two million, if he doesn’t get to play, what is two-million dollars?   But because he is who he is, he knows that football isn’t guaranteed.  He knows the chance of going to the NFL is slim, and you want to be compensated.  He wants help his mom out.  He just wants to be in a position to take care of his family.  I told him he shouldn’t have to think like that, but he wants to.”

Keyshawn Blackstock has taken official visits to Illinois, USC and Michigan State. His father said he is going to try to visit Oregon or Oklahoma before making a final decision next week.

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