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Crootin’ Notebook: Ryan Hilinski’s one last push to get Chris Steele to South Carolina

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If Hilinski has his way, one of his friends from out West will be joining him in Columbia.

247Sports

St. John Bosco (Ca.) 4-star cornerback Chris Steele is a player South Carolina really, really wants.

But despite the Top 10 corner holding five teams in his top 5 - Florida, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina and Southern Cal - the Gamecocks have a bargaining chip on their side in the form of quarterback commit Ryan Hilinski. And while Hilinski, a star at Orange Lutheran, and Steele’s teams are state powers and have locked horns over the past several years, they’ve built a friendship off the field.

“It’s just what Chris really wants out of his college experience,” Hilinski said. “And I know Florida is going to be there on Wednesday for an in-home visit. I’ll be working out, doing runs with Chris Steele Thursday. So I’m going to get a little bit of the rundown on how he feels.”

According to Hilinski, it’s down to South Carolina and Florida for the one-time Southern Cal pledge, but each team is preparing their final pitches. Will Muschamp was out West to visit with Steele during an in-home visit on Sunday, while Oklahoma was in last night and Florida will be over today, according to SportsTalk. Steele will announce where he will be attending college during the All-American Bowl on January 5.

Down to Gamecocks and Penn State for 3-star OL

According to an interview with his coach on InsideNoVa.com, Nokesville (Va.) Patriot guard Jakai Moore will choose between South Carolina and Penn State when the early signing period opens on December 19. The Nittany Lions have an in-home set for tomorrow, while Muschamp and the Gamecocks have their turn the next day.

“That’s all part of the strategy,” Bicknell told InsideNoVa. “[Muschamp] wants to be the last one to talk to Moore.”

Moore is the No. 26 offensive guard and No. 13 player in Virginia, according to 247Sports.com.