It’s the fourth quarter in the recruiting game for WR Jonathan Paylor of Burlington, NC. USC has had the lead most of the way, but NC State, led by receivers coach Joker Phillips (a former USC assistant) has rallied to make it close at the end.
Paylor made his official visit to State last weekend. This weekend he and his family will be in Columbia for one more closeup with the Gamecocks before he makes the final decision.
“I’m just really, really excited to get down there,” Paylor said. “The love is still there, like always. When I went down there before, I didn’t get to see the track coach. I really want to see the track coach and see what the track program is about and see more academics.”
Paylor last visited the Gamecocks in early April. Since then, he’s visited North Carolina for their spring game and an official visit, and Maryland and NC State for official visits. All the while, he’s remained in regular contact with USC head coach Shane Beamer and receivers coach Justin Stepp.
“Right now, their message has been to stay healthy, stay in the books and really just have fun when I’m on these visits,” Paylor said. “Don’t have too much fun but have fun enough because you’ll only get this once. But overall, it’s been pure love between those two and really just keeping in contact with me, telling me we want you and we need you.”
Paylor also has visited NC State multiple times during the recruiting process. He said his official visit there last weekend was very good and proved to be beneficial for both him and State.
“They showed me everything such as the track program, the academics and what they can do for me as a student-athlete,” Paylor said. “What really took it over the top was spending time with KC (Kevin Concepcion). KC is a freshman there and he really showed me the ins and outs of being a student-athlete as being a student and as being as a player. It was really good getting there and getting that experience from here and how the transition would be.”
The USC visit is expected to be the final one for Paylor with a decision coming later this summer.