Marlon Character sat down with coach Will Muschamp at the tail end of his official visit to South Carolina over the weekend.
It was a candid conversation between the three-star safety and the one-time Auburn defensive coordinator, who inquired about the Gamecocks’ chances of luring Character back to Columbia, S.C., with signing day just two weeks away.
“We were just talking,” Character recalled about the conversation. “He just wanted to see if they still had a chance. He just let me know I was really a need for them at their school. That was pretty good to know.”
Character, of course, flipped his commitment from South Carolina to Auburn in November due in part to the recruiting efforts of Muschamp and Auburn’s then-secondary coach Travaris Robinson, combined with the direction of the Gamecocks program following Steve Spurrier’s resignation.
It would appear his relationship with Muschamp and Robinson has not tapered off, either, as Character conceded he will give South Carolina some thought as he reaches a final decision.
“They still have a chance,” said Character, the No. 18 safety in the country. “They showed me some things and told me some things that were some key points with the stability that they’re having with coach Muschamp being there, possibly, for a guaranteed five years and all the coaches pretty much staying there. You know, they can’t go down with this movement. The only way is up for the program.”
Added Character: “They have things together and they’re making some changes down there and I feel like they’ll be very successful in the future.”
The 6-foot, 170-pound prospect from Atlanta was accompanied on the visit by his father, brother and grandmother. The return visit — his first since the summer — served as an opportunity to reconnect with not only Muschamp and Robinson, but recently hired receivers coach Bryan McClendon, who recruited him during his time at Georgia. Character’s existing relationship with the former Bulldogs assistant coach could prove just as important as any other.
“Coach McClendon and I have just about the same relationship as me and Coach Robinson, except I’ve known McClendon longer,” Character said. “Coach McClendon always knows what to say. He’s not always a recruiting coach to me. He’s kind of like family talking to you. You can talk to him about everything. That pretty much goes for the whole staff. I can talk to them about anything. He’s a great coach. All of them are great coaches to me, and I would love to be coached by all of them.”
Character is slated to officially visit Virginia Tech this weekend before heading to Auburn on Jan. 29. He chose to visit the Tigers last given they were without a defensive coordinator or secondary coach at the time he scheduled his trips. With Kevin Steele and Wesley McGriff now in place, Character expects his visit to go as smoothly as his trip to South Carolina.
He’ll decide soon after.
“I’m going to weigh the pros and cons of each school and I’ll make a decision off of that,” Character said. “I’m not going to let anything get by me. I’m going to ask questions while I’m down there just as I did at South Carolina. I just want to get all the information that I need.”
Character is expecting a trio of coaches to visit him Tuesday, including Steele and McGriff.
All rankings are according to the 247Sports Composite