Five-star Damian Prince visited South Carolina last weekend for his third official visit. The offensive tackle from Forestville (Md.) Bishop McNamara has the Gamecocks near the top of his list along with Florida and Maryland.
"The visit was good," said the 6-foot-5, 292-pound Prince. "It was kind of what I expected as far as seeing the campus the players and the facilities. I don't have anything bad to say about it. Out of the three official visits I've been on I would probably say this visit is the third best."
When Prince sat down with the South Carolina coaching staff, they were totally truthful with him.
"I talked to Coach Mangus, coach Spurrier and coach Elliott," he said. "I appreciated their honesty. Coach Elliott, the offensive said that I would have to learn all five spots because both tackles are coming back next year. Realistically, he doesn't see me starting over two guys who have been in the program for 4 or 5 years. I probably wouldn't redshirt but I probably wouldn't be starting.
"It wouldn't be a bad thing because it's a learning process," Prince said. "It is definitely something to think about because my playing time would be limited. At other programs I would have the opportunity to start. It's not the be all and end all but that is definitely a question mark."
Prince seemed to really enjoy the campus and hanging out with Na'Ty Rodgers, his host, and the rest of the players.
"The campus was nice," he said. "Everything kind of spread out and that was something I liked. Other schools have everything piled up in one spot. The campus was beautiful at this time of the year.
"It was to see Na'Ty again and he showed me a good time," said Prince. "We want the best for each other, whether that's at his school or another. He just stayed honest with me. He told me how it really is down there. They were all cool guys. They actually had a lot of freshman. There wasn't anybody that was crazy or weird."
The Gamecocks, Terps and Gators are Prince's top three schools but there are other schools that are starting to pique his interest.
"To be honest, this thing is getting messy," he said. "Now everybody is coming out of nowhere because it's crunch time. A lot of other schools are pushing their way in the door. Nobody is getting pushed out right now but things are getting a little shaken up right now. My opinions are starting to change about certain schools so this week I'm going to have to sit down and push certain schools away. I just need to buckle down and figure out what I'm looking for."
Prince's official visit to Florida will be his fourth and the odds of him scheduling a fifth official visit are increasing.
"I'm taking my Florida visit on January 31 without a doubt," Prince said. "There is a possibility that I'm taking another visit some time during the week. It could be at the end of this week or some time in the middle of next week. LSU, Penn State and Auburn are in contention."
Prince was visited by a number of coaches last week, including coaches from Penn State and Auburn. He is looking forward to meeting James Franklin from Penn State and enjoyed his conversation with coach Lashlee from Auburn but he seems very intrigued by LSU.
"LSU's new offensive line coach, coach Grimes, I've known since my freshman year," he said. "He recruited me hard when he was at Auburn and Virginia Tech. I've known him personally. He has a national championship and he has produced a lot of good offensive linemen. They don't really recruit out of their area unless you show interest in them but as soon as he got the job at LSU he talked to the coaches about me and the whole recruiting thing was on. I started getting mail and talked to coach Miles and the offensive coordinator. They want me to come down on an official visit and there is a possibility that it happens. They have a really good team and they have a lot of players coming back but they don't have many offensive linemen coming back."
For the second week in a row, Prince's school will be busy with some high profile coaches coming in for meetings.
"On Wednesday coach Malzahn is coming," said Prince. "Florida is coming on Thursday. Coach Franklin from Penn State is coming on Friday. Coach Miles is supposed to come tomorrow. It's going to be a confusing week."
Prince added that Les Miles may not be able make it on Tuesday because of the possibility of snow in Washington D.C. area.