Last weekend 2025 6-4 Jaylen Cross of Greensboro, NC made an unofficial visit to USC. USC head coach Lamont Paris and assistant coach Eddie Shannon had watched him closely on the trail in the spring and summer. On the visit, special assistant to the head coach Carey Rich also became involved, and at the end of the day, Cross left Columbia with an offer from the Gamecocks.
“I talked to Coach Paris to start off my day, just really trying to get that introduction going,” Cross said. “I went on a tour of the campus, went to the arena and coliseum, and eventually got to take a little photo shoot and watch practice. It was all building up to getting to the scholarship because it felt like relationships were growing at a rapid pace. I talked to coach Shannon and coach Paris a lot throughout that visit. Coach Carey really helped me get around and showed me the campus. After I watched practice, we had a great sit-down talk in his office, and he offered me the scholarship and that was great to hear.”
Paris and company obviously saw traits in Cross on the AAU circuit they feel will work well within their system. Cross got a good look at how the Gamecocks play while watching the Saturday practice, and he felt the same way.
“Looking at their practice, seeing how I play in transition and defense, and have high energy and intensity, the main takeaway I can take from their practice is that they communicate a lot and have high intensity,” Cross said. “When they watched me play, they saw that in my game, especially a lot in the summer. That’s really why I fit in a lot with them, being able to be a guard and get out there in transition and locking down on defense.”
Cross also holds offers from Wake Forest, LSU, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Richmond, College of Charleston, High Point, Appalachian State and East Carolina. He’s got a long way to go until he gets down to a decision next spring, but the offer from USC puts the Gamecocks right up front with the other big boys in the hunt.
“At first I didn’t know too much about South Carolina, but after the visit, it was a great visit and we built great relationships,” Cross said. “I’ll definitely be back down there to watch a game, for sure, especially when they get into conference play. This has definitely stacked up as one of the top schools out of all the offers I’ve got. Just going to go see them and watch a game, I feel like will be the next step in building our relationship.”
Cross has also visited NC State, Wake Forest, Richmond and Appalachian State. This weekend he plans to visit Tennessee, and he said that will be his final visit for the football season. He’ll pick back up on his travels once basketball games begin.
Last season Cross averaged 17 points per game.