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Monday, July 29, 2013
Juco DT Lamin ready to play near home

By Damon Sayles

One of the nation’s top junior college prospects is returning closer to home.

Junior college defensive tackle Abu Lamin (Fort Scott, Kan./Fort Scott Community College) took to Twitter late Monday morning to announce that he has verbally committed to South Carolina. He later confirmed it via phone call, becoming the 12th member of the Gamecocks’ 2014 recruiting class.

The commitment means Lamin, a 6-foot-4, 300-pound lineman, will get a chance to play SEC football very close to those who watched him shine as a high school standout. Originally from Fayetteville, N.C., Lamin said the proximity of South Carolina from his hometown -- roughly a 2½-hour drive -- proved to be a major factor, as he entertained nearly 20 offers.

“It feels great. To be back in the Carolinas, that’s amazing,” Lamin said. “I’m definitely happy that I get to head back to where I’m from and play in front of family and friends. The whole state can see me play, just like it was in high school.”

Lamin chose South Carolina over offers from Florida, Georgia, Nebraska, Tennessee and a host of other powerhouse schools. He also chose the Gamecocks over the two-time defending BCS national champion in Alabama.

Lamin picked up an offer from the Crimson Tide over the weekend, and while some expected it to throw a wrench in his recruiting plans, he always had South Carolina as his first priority. Lamin did admit, however that the Alabama offer made him think about his process for a short time.

“I sat down and thought real hard about it. I mean, Alabama’s a great program,” Lamin said. “But I just had to think about everything. They run a 3-4 [defense]; I’m not really a 3-4 guy, but it’s not like I couldn’t do it.

“At the end of the day, I wanted to go to South Carolina and be closer to home.”

Recruited by South Carolina defensive coach Deke Adams, Lamin said he is excited about what he can learn from Steve Spurrier and the rest of the Gamecocks’ coaching staff.

“The coaching staff was pretty much my thing,” he said. “I really liked them; they were kind of like my dudes. They are real down to earth, but on the field, they’re about that work. They are guys you can talk to on and off the field.”

Lamin will have three years to play three seasons, a plus for the Gamecocks. After graduating from Trinity Christian School in Fayetteville in 2011, he went on to play one season at Gray Military Academy in West Columbia, S.C. After that, Lamin transferred to Fort Scott and redshirted the 2012 season.

Lamin is a 300-pound lineman who bench presses 405 pounds and squats 585. He also runs the 40-yard dash in 4.9 seconds.

Lamin has taken four of his five permitted official visits, traveling to South Carolina, Florida, Arkansas and Nebraska. Lamin said he is considering taking his fifth visit to either Alabama, Georgia or Tennessee, but nothing is set in stone.