Friday, January 4, 2013
UA Combine Notebook: South Carolina
By Kipp Adams
More than 150 of the top underclassmen prospects in the country were in attendance for the Under Armour All-America Combine, several of which are from South Carolina.
Top LB hopes to earn UGA offer
ESPN 2014 Watch List linebacker Christian Miller (Columbia, S.C./Spring Valley), the son of former NFL linebacker and Gamecocks standout Corey Miller, had a monster season as a junior.
The 6-foot-4, 203-pound prospect had 121 tackles, 14 sacks, 21 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles. Miller has picked up offers from South Carolina, Clemson, North Carolina, Duke, Boise State, Houston and Georgia Tech. He says he has been able to visit a few programs to date, but is hoping to check out a few SEC schools soon.
“I have visited South Carolina, Clemson and Alabama so far,” Miller said. “I plan to come back to Alabama for a junior day, and I kind of want to make my way down to Georgia sometime soon.”
The Bulldogs have yet to offer Miller, but they are a program he has a lot of interest in right now.
“I want to hear more from Georgia,” Miler said. “I love their 3-4 defense and I play 3-4 outside linebacker so it fits me well. Plus they are close to home and I really like Jarvis Jones and the way he plays. I could see myself playing that role.”
Miller says he hopes to make his commitment before the start of his senior year.
Palmetto State DT has three offers, hoping for more
Over the past two years, Dexter Wideman (Saluda, S.C./Saluda) has made over 120 tackles and 11 sacks as a defensive end in a five man front. The 6-foot-3, 275-pound defensive tackle is happy about the offers from Clemson, South Carolina and Michigan he has picked up so far.
“Those are all big offers that I really like,” Wideman said. “I want to get Alabama and LSU offers.”
As far as what he is looking for in a program, Wideman is still trying to wade through the possible options coming his way. He plans to travel to one possibility in the near future.
“I just want to find a place where I fit in the defense and a program I have good relationships with the coaching staff,” Wideman said. “I hope to visit Alabama soon.”
In-state battle brewing early for DT Pringle
Another talented defensive tackle in South Carolina is Naquez Pringle (Hemingway, S.C./Carvers Bay), who hails from the same program that produced Indianapolis Colts defensive end and former South Carolina standout Clifton Geathers and University of Georgia defensive tackle Kwame Geathers. Pringle, at 6-2, 270 pounds, is set to be next in line and he has two offers to date.
“I have two offers from South Carolina and Clemson so far,” Pringle said. “The recruiting process has been good and I have been learning new things as I go along.”
Pringle is hoping to see both programs soon.
“I want to see what Clemson and South Carolina really want out of me and their expectations for me in the future,” Pringle said.
Neither school leads at the moment, but Pringle admits one could pull ahead with the right pitch.
“Right now South Carolina and Clemson are pulling me by both ends, so it is pretty even right now,” Pringle said. “Whenever I feel like the time is right or a coach calls and says something I was looking for him to say, then I will go ahead and commit.”
Coaching change costs Auburn QB commit
Although he played with a sprained MCL, ESPN 2014 Watch List quarterback Jacob Park (Goose Creek, S.C./Stratford) was still able to throw for 2,239 yards and 24 touchdowns. Programs like Auburn, NC State, UNC and Tennessee have already offered the 6-4, 200 pound prospect, one of which came very close to getting an early commitment from Park.
“Auburn was sticking out to me and that is where I planned to commit Oct. 12 on my birthday, but I caught wind on what might happen and then it did happen and everyone got fired, so that kind of started my process over,” Park said. "I have not spoken to any of the new coaches yet."
As it stands now, the Tar Heels have moved into the lead for the talented passer, although another ACC program could easily take that spot if they were to extend an offer.
“I am really high on UNC right now,” Park said. “I really want to go to Virginia Tech so I hope they offer me soon. I have family around there, I grew up around there and I always thought about going there. If they offered I would most likely go there because they are my favorite.”
If the Hokies do not offer, Park is prepared to find a good landing spot elsewhere.
“Other than that I am open to anyone,” Park said. “I want to find a place where I can play early and get a good education. I have to like the coaches and have a good relationship with them. I love that most of the coaches want to develop me into a strong man.”