South Carolina starts spring practice this week, so Gamecock fans can expect a multitude of interested prospects to begin making their way to Columbia in order to check out practice drills and visit campus. Let's take a look at some 2015 recruits who plan on visiting Columbia during the spring and summer.
D.J. Jones of East Mississippi Community College (Scooba, Miss.) is a very interesting story. He was one of the top players in South Carolina in the 2012 class and played in the Shrine Bowl. However, due to his academic situation, Jones only had offers from UNC-Charlotte, Coastal Carolina, and Newberry as a high school senior. After a season in junior college, Jones has developed into one of the top prospects in the nation.
The 6'2, 305-pound defensive tackle now boasts offers from schools like Alabama, Florida State, Southern Cal, LSU and a host of others. Though he has yet to take a visit, South Carolina clearly has an edge for the big man. His Wren High School coach has noted that Jones would like to play close to home while competing in the SEC. And, as you may have noticed from the distinctive name of the city in which Jones is attending junior college, he is a teammate of 2014 South Carolina signee Dante Sawyer. The pair have discussed the possibility of playing together when they transfer to the FBS.
Deke Adams has been in touch and Jones is looking to visit for the spring game.
Austin Clark, a four-star offensive lineman out of Lexington (Va.) Rockbridge County, plans to camp at South Carolina's junior day on March 29. Clark speaks with Shawn Elliott often on Facebook and is looking forward to his first-ever visit to Columbia. The Gamecocks have Clark high on their list and will continue to push for the 6'6, 290-pound lineman.
Four-star outside linebacker Roquan Smith is one of the most sought-after defenders in all of the Southeast. The 6'2, 203-pound Montezuma, Ga. native visited South Carolina last season for a game, and his head coach has gone on record as saying that Smith has "very big interest" in the Gamecocks. Linebackers Coach Kirk Botkin offered Smith last season personally after attending one of his games. Look for Smith to make his way to Columbia this spring.
Shawn Elliott has ventured to the Pacific Northwest to offer 6'6, 285-pound offensive guard Shane Lemieux of Yakima (Wash.) West Valley. Currently, Lemieux has the Gamecocks in his top two along with Oregon. The three-star prospect plans on visiting Columbia the weekend of March 14. Lemieux's father is a nuclear engineer living in Lancaster, S.C. so he has made numerous visits to South Carolina and has strong interest after building a solid relationship with Coach Elliott.
Even though he lacks an official offer, three-star athlete Traveon Samuel has the Gamecocks in his top four along with Florida, Florida State, and Auburn. The 5'8, 180-pound Phenix City, Ala. native plans on attending the spring game and has been told he could be used in the Gamecock offense as a slot receiver similar to Ace Sanders.
Three-star dual-threat quarterback Marquane Goodman of Florence (S.C.) West Florence High School was recently invited to attend a spring practice by the South Carolina coaching staff. He has not yet received an offer from the Gamecocks, but plans to attend Junior Day in Columbia in March. At this juncture, his only offer is from Appalachian State, but he could be one to watch going forward if he is able to impress on the camp circuit.
Three-star cornerback Desmond Cain of Delray Beach (Fla.) American Heritage is considered a strong lean to South Carolina but has not yet pulled the trigger on a commitment. Cain has said that early playing time is a major factor in his decision. He attended the Black Magic camp last July and will visit Columbia again this summer.
After attending Clemson's junior day earlier in February, two-star weak-side defensive end LaSamuel Davis of Bamberg (S.C.) Bamberg-Ehrhardt has the Tigers out in front for his services. Though the 6'4, 205-pound lineman does not currently hold an offer from the Gamecocks, Everette Sands and Deke Adams would like for him to visit campus in a one-on-one situation, according to his coach Butch Crosby. Davis has said he plans to make a decision in June, but will make a visit to Columbia before then. Last year he had 112 tackles (38 for loss) and 7 sacks.