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Poona Ford says South Carolina is still in the mix

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Even though Ford committed to Louisville over the summer, the talented defensive lineman from The Lowcountry has renewed interest in the Gamecocks.

Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

It's a fascinating year for South Carolina's defensive tackle recruiting. Abu Lamin signed last week as an early enrollee JUCO transfer with three years to play three. Both of the Gamecocks' biggest unsigned targets are currently committed to other schools--one, Dexter Wideman, is even considered by some to be leaning to USC despite publicly maintaing his pledge to Florida State. The other, Poona Ford of Hilton Head (S.C.), announced a commitment to Louisville on Aug. 6 but has recently decided to give the hometown Gamecocks a second look.

"I might set up an official visit with USC," Ford said. "It depends on how my official visit with Louisville goes." Ford said he's continuing to get a strong push from the Gamecocks. "I talk to coach Sands pretty much every day," he said. "He's been asking when I'm going to take my visit. I like Louisville but South Carolina is my hometown team. Everything is based off my visit to Louisville. At the Shrine Bowl, I was chilling with some of the South Carolina commitments (Shaq Davidson, Kevin Crosby Jr.) and we kind of bonded. But as of right now, I'm committed to Louisville." And a third school in the mix, according to Ford, is Missouri. He'll make the final call on Signing Day.

While Carolina likely has a long way to go to unseat Louisville, it's clear that the Gamecocks do have a few factors working in their favor. If USC is able to flip Ford, he would be the third defensive tackle commitment in the 2014 class (along with Lamin and Donte Stallworth of Mobile, Ala.) and would position Deke Adams well to reload at his position group after losing 2013 All-American Kelcy Quarles to the 2014 NFL Draft.

At 6'0, 285 pounds, Ford is a four star prospect and the 22nd-best defensive tackle in the 2014 class according to the 247Sports Composite Index.