Whenever Will Muschamp lands a commitment, the South Carolina coach drops a #SpursUp on Twitter. Come to SEC Country for the latest news, notes and observations in South Carolina recruiting. For previous editions of SpursUp Surveillance, check out the link.
Get to know the prospect
Central Cabarrus High School (Concord, N.C.) coach Kenneth McClamrock is modest when it comes to his phone.
Even though the second-year coach doesn’t own a top-of-the line cellular device, he can rely on other players if he needs to shoot video of 2019 linebacker Derek Boykins. That, McClamrock told SEC Country on Wednesday, speaks to the type of person the 6-foot-2, 225-pound linebacker is.
“Kids were fighting to be able to film him working out, so that it can be sent off. ‘I’ve got an iPhone 8. Well, I’ve got an iPhone 10. Mine is the best quality.’ They love the kid so much and Derek loves them so much,” McClamrock said, “So I think [college] coaches see those types of things – they hear about.
“I’m not worried about where he’s hanging out or what he’s doing on the weekend, because I know that he’s going to be doing the right thing. He works hard in his classes. He doesn’t have any missed assignments. The teachers love him. You hear all those things about him, after you watch his film and you can’t help but not love the kid.”
That’s why South Carolina coach Will Muschamp was so eager to present Boykins (6-2, 225) with an offer on Feb. 28, while on campus with his family. It’s also why Texas A&M, Clemson, Louisville, Tennessee and Wake Forest followed suit over the next few weeks.
Boykins has two younger brothers and a younger sister. One of his brothers, DeAndre, is a 2021 athlete who just reeled in an offer from North Carolina, but there’s not a long-running affinity for any school in that state.
You’ll have to look south for that. The family moved to North Carolina from Beaufort, S.C. when Derek was 7. Growing up, he was a South Carolina fan who “always dreamed” of playing for the Gamecocks.
Eye on the SEC
To go along with allegiance to South Carolina, Boykins watched plenty of SEC football before he became a prospect for the conference.
“I always wanted to play SEC football,” he said. “I grew up watching it a lot, watching Reuben Foster and them play, watching C.J. Mosley play, Jarrad Davis [from] Florida. I mean, that’s what I always wanted to do.
“That’s what I thought I was going to do. Just growing up, that’s what I prepared for.”
Since Boykins’ trip to South Carolina, he’s been to Tennessee, Clemson and North Carolina.
Muschamp serves as the primary recruiter for the Gamecocks.
“He talks to my momma. My momma likes coach Muschamp a lot and she likes South Carolina,” Boykins said.
But what does he think of South Carolina’s third-year coach?
“It’s funny, because I used to see coach Muschamp always on TV. To see him, it’s crazy, because I was like, hey, that’s coach Muschamp,” Boykins said. “He’s real to the point. He tells me, you come here and it’s going to be hard work. That’s not an issue. I feel like he really cares about my family and all that.”
Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt and quality control coach Montario Hardesty are in regular contact with Boykins.
“Talking to coach Pruitt, that was a really good,” Boykins said of his trip to Knoxville. “Seeing everything he did, his track record and all that. Seeing the stadium was crazy. It’s like 102,000 people putting the orange on. It was nice. I liked the campus and everything. My momma liked it. My brother liked it. Tennessee was straight.”
What about Clemson?
Speaking of orange, most South Carolina fans cringe at the idea of wearing the color. Not Boykins, who donned a Clemson uniform while visiting earlier this month.
The Tigers have certainly piqued his interest.
“It’s hard not to like what they’re doing at Clemson,” Boykins said. “When I was talking to Coach [Dabo] Swinney, they’re trying to not just prepare you for football, but trying to get you right, like become a man.”
Defensive coordinator Brent Venables, with whom he spoke with on Tuesday night, serves as the Tigers primary recruiter.
“He’s real intense. He’s high energy. He never has a down day or anything like that. … It feels like he really cares. He isn’t playing around,” Boykins said.
Up next for Boykins is a trip to North Carolina State. He hopes to see Kentucky, Texas A&M and Penn State later this summer.
“I’m trying to go everywhere, at least one time,” Boykins said.
However, if he doesn’t visit another school, Boykins would be comfortable in deciding about his stop at the next level.
“I’ve got what I think I need,” he said. “I’ve got my favorites and everything. My momma keeps telling me to just chill out, wait a little bit and see what else pops up. I mean, I could go tomorrow and make my decision, because I already know what I want to do. She wants me to wait, so I’m just going to wait and not say anything about it.”
The rationale behind that, Boykins said, is for him to not rush into a decision, to make sure it’s the right one. A few factors will be considered as he moves toward his decision this summer.
“Everybody is straight, football-wise. Everybody has the nice stadiums and all that, the weight room,” Boykins said. “The only thing that changes are the logo and the state, so it’s like wherever I feel the most comfortable at, I guess.
“The best fit for me, where I’m going to thrive at, that’s what I’m looking for.”
Miss a previous edition of Spurs Up Surveillance? Get caught up here.