LB Steven Soles (6-3 215) of Powell, TN, a town just outside of Knoxville, has grown pretty fond of USC from multiple visits there, and he’s returning for an official visit on June 2nd. Gamecocks’ defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Clayton White has been the point man in the recruitment of Soles, and the two have made a nice connection.
“We’ve been talking a lot. I’m high on the board. They are real interested,” Soles said. “I’m interested in them. Relationship-wise, everything is good. What he’s seen on film with the athleticism I have, and a lot of people he’s coached and seen me in them, it might be outside linebacker and let me get after it.”
Soles added that he’s liked what he’s seen in person with the USC program and the direction they are moving under Shane Beamer.
“Striving for greatness,” Soles said. “They are trying to be great. I like them. I’ve always somewhat liked them. I’ve been up there like two or three times. I went to one or two games, and I was just up there a couple of weeks ago. Obviously, they have top of the line stuff. I would assume they take good care of their players. It looks like they take good credit for what they are preaching to me, that they take great care of their players, and I wouldn’t expect anything different.”
Growing up just down the road from the Tennessee program, outsiders might assume the Vols would be heavily involved and have a major influence over Soles and his recruiting. He disagrees with that assessment.
“Tennessee plays no role in that,” he said. “No type of factor in that whatsoever, not even a little bit. I grew up five minutes down the road from UT. I could walk there, that’s how close I was. I guess it’s obvious I would lean more towards them, but no.”
Soles also visited Miami, South Florida and Virginia Tech this spring. Along with the official visit to USC, he said he’s also looking at possible visits to Kentucky, Miami and Mississippi State. He also holds offers from Kansas, Memphis, Alabama, Liberty, Connecticut, Charlotte, Middle Tennessee State and Austin Peay.
Last season Soles was in on 135 total tackles with 17 sacks.