USC got the news today that 6-7 Brian Bowen will not be eligible this season by the NCAA and thus will not return to the program. That leaves Frank Martin currently with a 10 man roster that includes one grad transfer and three freshmen. However, Martin has his sights on a potential replacement for Bowen in 6-7 AJ Lawson of Brompton, Ontario and after his visit last weekend things look positive for the Gamecocks.
“We had a ball, they set the table so high, I really connected with the coaches,” said Lawson’s father Anthony who has strong ties to the state.
He was born in Baltimore but grew up in Summerton and played football at Scott’s Branch. While in the Air Force, he was stationed at Shaw and lived in Columbia. And he still has plenty of family around the state.
“They really have a good plan for AJ and made us feel right at home,” he continued. “There’s a trust factor in that the questions we asked for weeks and weeks now, if I asked them twice or three times they come back with the same thing. And meeting all the staff and sitting down together, It was very, very good gathering. And what’s good is I’ve got family all around there. I hate to let my boy go but it’s looking good for there to be honest with you. I can’t say yes but I’m probably 90%.”
Lawson said they may take a couple of more visits just to have something to compare to USC. Creighton, SMU and Oregon are possibilities. They’d like to make their decision by July.
AJ Lawson originally was in the 2019 class and USC was following him while recruiting another player from his school, GTA Prep. But he recently decided to move up to the 2018 class and the Gamecocks offers and stepped up their interest. He averaged 21 points per game last season.