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This coming weekend is the first time that recruits will be able to take official visits in about a month. Five-star Damian Prince is taking advantage of that by flying south to visit South Carolina Gamecocks.
"I leave on Friday with my uncle. Everything is still good with South Carolina," the 6-foot-5, 292-pound Prince said. "I talk to Coach (Shawn) Elliott, Coach (G.A.) Mangus and Coach (Steve) Spurrier all the time. Things are going well. I'm just happy to be able to go down there and see everything for myself.
"I think we're going to a basketball game. It's going to be different because usually on visits I'm around the team and see what they do in the pregame. This is my first time taking a visit that wasn't a game day, so I guess I'll just hang out with my host and some of the players. Na'Ty Rodgers is going to be my host."
Rodgers and Prince have friends for a while and grew up not too far from each other.
"He has been telling me that it's different from home and there is a different atmosphere," Prince said. "It's definitely a football town and the people there really like the football players. He also said the coaching staff is great and they really care about you. We've talked about how it compares to home."
The Gamecocks have a great opportunity to make Prince feel welcome in Columbia.
"I'm really trying to figure out how I fit in," he said. "The biggest factors for me are how I fit in and if I fit in. It's a little different being in the south than it is being in the north. I just want to make sure I feel comfortable there. There isn't really anything specific that will tell me that. It's just a vibe I'll get when I'm there."
Prince and Jalen Tabor always said they wanted to go to school together, but that seemed impossible after Tabor eliminated Maryland. Now that Tabor has flipped his commitment from Arizona to Florida, their dream of playing together could still happen.
"I knew Jalen's switch was coming," said Prince. "It definitely plays a factor for me. I'd be lying if I said it didn't. My best friend going to a school I'm considering is going to help. I will say that we are picking schools based on different factors. We both do want to play early, but his coaching staff situation is different than mine at Florida. Jalen's choice will play a small factor in my decision. It just needs to be the right decision for me."
Prince also has an official visit to Florida on Jan. 31, but before he goes on any visits he is hosting a number of coaches on Thursday.
"Coaches from Florida are coming to my house on Thursday morning and coaches from South Carolina, Penn State, Auburn and Maryland are coming to my school," he said. "Penn State and Auburn have a shot with me. (Penn State) Coach (James) Franklin might come down. I'm not making them any promises. I was upfront with them and told them I have my three schools that I'm looking at, but I will listen to what they say. There is a chance things will change on Thursday but not much. There is a chance I schedule another official visit."
South Carolina, Florida and Maryland are Prince's top three schools.
Adam Friedman is the Mid-Atlantic Region football recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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