Though it's still very early and everything is subject to change South Carolina appears to have an early edge in the race for one of New Jersey's top prospects from the Class of 2012.
Kaiwan Lewis will not say that he has any favorites but based on his comments it's probably safe to assume that, at least for now, South Carolina has positioned themselves well. They will have to keep his attention and enthusiasm high for at least the rest of this school year, but so far they have done a good job.
Lewis visited South Carolina not too long ago, back in July, and he had an excellent experience in Columbia.
"It was an unofficial visit and I went down for the whole weekend to see the campus," he recalled. "I ended up staying for the Showcase they had and I did participate in that. I performed erally, really well. All the players down there enjoyed seeing me work out as well as the coaching staff, like coach [Ellis] Johnson.
"I'm high on them after seeing everything they have to provide. It's a great school academically and family-wise. It's a lot like home, a lot like my high school. They do a lot of the same kinds of things we do.
"It would be easy for me to play in the SEC as far as location goes because I have family in Georgia and South Carolina. My dad's from South Carolina and he's lived in Georgia before. I have uncles in Georgia and most of my family is in South Carolina. We've got family everywhere."
South Carolina has not yet offered Lewis a scholarship, but the 6-foot-2, 227-pound linebacker does already have offers from Rutgers and Tulane.
"I've got a lot of interest from South Carolina," he continued. "Florida has also been talking to me a lot. Penn State, too. A lot of teams are still in camp and getting ready for their first games so they aren't talking. They open up in about ten days so there hasn't been much contact.
"Coach [Steve] Addazio from Florida has been wanting me to get down there as soon as possible. They want some tape of me. They've made contact with my head coach.
"Also, Vanderbilt is showing a lot of interest."
Lewis knows he started taking the recruiting process seriously much earlier than most prospects do. Because of that he's less likely to drag the process out a long time. That's at least what he's saying now.
"A lot of kids probably start [the process] maybe after February of this coming season. I started back in winter time. The earliest I would [make a decision] would probably be after the recruiting period in May. All those schools will be coming to see me.
"I'm really open right now but I can say South Carolina stands out the most. I've seen their whole facility and where I'd be going to school at, sleeping at and training at. I've seen everything the campus has, like the stores, food and everything."
Lewis recorded 65 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and nine sacks last season.