The class of 2011 in South Carolina is shaping up to be a strong group and one of the biggest names in the bunch is Bennettsville (S.C.) Marlboro County linebacker Lateek Townsend. Townsend is already playing like a senior, leading one of the top defenses in the state and helping his team to an unblemished 8-0 record.
"The defense has been playing well," Townsend said. "I had over 15 tackles in the last two games. The last one I had 15 and then the one after that I had 22. I just go to wherever the ball is and I just make plays wherever the ball is."
Not only has that playmaking ability helped Marlboro County to an undefeated start but it has also been a big part of some dominating defensive results. It is also a big reason why Marlboro County has a big target on its back these days, a burden that Townsend enjoys.
"We're 8-0 with five shutouts in a row," he said. "We're a favorite in a lot of the polls but we're just taking it game by game. If we win every game we'll be good. I kind of enjoy the pressure. They focus on us so much and they focus on key players and they don't realize we've got a lot of key players and it gives those guys opportunities to make plays."
With all that success on the field, Townsend is beginning to enjoy plenty of recruiting attention off of it as well. Already with offers from Clemson, Illinois and NC State, Townsend recently added an offer from Maryland and will soon be getting an official offer from South Carolina as well.
"South Carolina, that came last Thursday, I didn't get the letter yet but Coach Johnson said that he was mailing it out, it just hasn't gotten in. I feel pretty good knowing that I've got two offers from both of the in-state schools now."
What are his thoughts on the Gamecocks?
"I think the program is good," he said. "They play in the SEC and there's a lot of good programs in the SEC."
Along with the schools that have offered, Townsend has also received significant attention from Duke.
"Duke has been writing me a lot and telling me about the school and trying to get me down there. I'm trying to get down there and see it."
While it looks like Townsend will have plenty of schools to choose from come National Signing Day in 2011, he has two schools he hopes to add to his list.
"Georgia and Florida," he said when asked what school he hopes will offer. "I like both of those schools, just everything about them. Nothing really sticks out. I went to Georgia last year but I didn't get to meet any of the coaches. I just went and looked at the field."
This fall Townsend has attended games at South Carolina and at Clemson and has plans to make another trip to Columbia for a game. He also already has plans to compete in the U.S. Army All-American Combine in San Antonio where he will have an opportunity to perform well and add even more schools to his list of options.