A trio of college football powerhouses has emerged as co-leaders for four-star Bennettsville (S.C.) linebacker Robert Ayers.
“I know for sure I’m going to be visiting Florida State, Tennessee and South Carolina,” he said. “Those are my top three. They’re all on one level together. The other two (official visits), I’m not sure. It’s probably between N.C. State, Florida, Maryland and Ohio State.”
Ayers (6-3, 218, 4.68) is rated the nation’s No. 10 inside linebacker by Rivals.com coming off a junior season which saw him record 94 tackles, 23 tackles for loss, eight sacks and three interceptions. Through nine games at Marlboro County this season, he’s had 97 tackles and three interceptions.
Asked what put the Seminoles, Volunteers and Gamecocks at the top of his new list, Ayers said:
“With South Carolina, I like their defensive coordinator and linebackers coach a whole lot. Coach Cosh is really cool. When we talk, there’s a real natural connection between us. I feel real comfortable with him, and I could see myself playing for him.
“I really like Tennessee’s stadium, all those fans they put in there, and the tradition. They have a great winning tradition and they’re on TV a lot.
“Florida State is pretty much the same thing as South Carolina. I like coach Steele and the relationship I’ve got with him. They’re kind of like Tennessee, too, in that they have great tradition. It’s a combination of the things I like about South Carolina and Tennessee, so they’re in there real strong. I know they’re looking for some linebackers to come in and play early, too. I like that.”
Ayers has made unofficial visits to Tennessee (vs. Georgia), Florida (vs. San Jose State) and South Carolina (vs. UAB) this season. He said he plans to attend the Florida-South Carolina game on Nov. 15.
Academically, he carries a 2.6 GPA and will be taking the SAT again next month.