The South Carolina Gamecocks only recently emerged as a potential suitor for Lakeland (Fla.) Lake Gibson offensive lineman Errin Joe. Despite being a newcomer to his recruitment, this past weekend Joe took an unofficial visit to Columbia to watch the Gamecocks upset No. 1 Alabama.
"I had a great time," Joe said. "I really enjoyed it. There was so much energy throughout the game. I have never seen energy like that before, from start to finish, their fans were on their feet. They never stop cheering for their Gamecocks."
The 6-foot-4, 295-pound offensive lineman talked a bit about his experience leading up to the game.
"I met up with a few other recruits," Joe said. "I met with the strength and conditioning coach, walked through all of the facilities, had a chance to meet the athletic trainers, and we had a chance to talk with the offensive line coach, Coach (Shawn) Elliott."
Elliott spent a good bit of time talking one-on-one with Joe.
"We sat down and talked for a while," Joe said. "He told me that he didn't bring me up there for nothing. They haven't offered me yet, but he said they didn't bring me up there for no reason. Hopefully during our conversations this week an offer comes about."
"All he really told me was to take in everything and watch the offensive line," Joe added. "He said they run a zone scheme, which I am used to. He mainly told me to enjoy the visit and that he will talk to me later and see how I feel about South Carolina."
During the game, the three-star lineman paid close attention to the Gamecock's offensive line who helped running back Marcus Lattimore rack up 93 yards on the ground and protected quarterback Stephen Garcia, who threw for 201 yards and three touchdowns, against a highly touted Alabama defense.
"The offensive line was great," Joe said. "Coach (Elliott) knew from the start, when he was talking to me, that it was going to be a tough one because the offensive line was going against one of the best defensive fronts in the nation in Alabama, especially (defensive lineman Marcell) Dareus, he is an animal. It was great how they maintained against them, stayed on their blocks, and gave (quarterback Stephen) Garcia time. It was just great game play."
Entering the visit, Joe had Florida State in the lead with Georgia Tech the closet competitor. Following a great weekend, he isn't quite ready to shake up the list but Steve Spurrier's program has made a strong impression.
"It is still the same but like I told somebody else, South Carolina is going to get a serious look after what I experienced up there," Joe said. "They are going to be thrown in there. I am not sure what particular number, but I am going to give South Carolina a serious look."
Joe's next unofficial visit will be to Auburn on Oct. 23rd when Gene Chizik's club hosts the LSU Tigers. He also plans to visit Georgia Tech on Nov. 20th when they host Duke. At this time, he hasn't scheduled any official visits but said he intends to take one to Florida State and Georgia Tech.