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.
Contact with Champ
Rick Sandidge is among the 2018 prospects pegged by Muschamp as must-get guys. The 4-star defensive tackle from Concord (N.C.) High School receives texts from him every day.
“You’re a priority, and you’ve got a big opportunity at South Carolina.”
That’s the gist of Muschamp’s message, and it certainly resonates with Sandidge, a 6-foot-5, 290-pound defensive tackle who would play tackle and end along the Gamecocks line.
“All the schools are like that,” he said. “I’m just worried about — I’m going to get my degree wherever I go, and I know I’ve got to compete wherever I go, so it’s just where I feel at home, where I can live at for the next 3-4 years.”
Those types of things mean more to Sandidge. Comfort, relationships — the intangibles, at least in the eyes of college football fans. At one stage of his recruitment, several college recruiters thought South Carolina had created too wide of a margin in those categories.
Sandidge said some schools sort of stopped recruiting him “because they thought, ‘Oh, he’s going to South Carolina.’”
Perhaps that’s why contact fell off with North Carolina coach Larry Fedora. Sandidge still has regular contact with defensive line coach Deke Adams, a former South Carolina assistant whose son is committed to the Tar Heels.
But that’s not the only school from his top 5 — Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina and South Carolina — that’s demonstrated inconsistent contact.
Former South Carolina defensive lineman Chris Rumph, who’s made several job changes over the last decade, recently left Florida for a job at Tennessee, so there hasn’t been much coming from Florida.
Georgia has been steady with Tray Scott, who first recruited Sandidge when he was on staff at North Carolina. That could be Sandidge’s longest-running relationship with a coach.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has a role in the Wolverines’ pursuit, but defensive line coach Greg Mattison is certainly involved, too.
Sandidge is widely believed to be a South Carolina lean. That perception, while it may have turned off some programs, doesn’t really bother him.
Folks are free to think what they want.
“To be honest, I really don’t care, because I know it’s my decision, me and my family,” he said. “They’re going to help me make my decision. [Other people] can say what they want to say, but at the end of the day, it’s wherever I sign on the dotted line, really.”
That date, of course, is Feb. 7. And that’s when Sandidge will let the world know where he’s going to play college football.
Waiting until the last possible moment to make a decision was something Sandidge decided he wanted to do a long time ago.
“I didn’t want to commit to a school and [have] regret,” Sandidge said. “I didn’t want to say, ‘I don’t feel the same thing I did.’”
So, he decided to wait and has held firm with that decision.
With less than two months before his decision date, Sandidge is still enjoying life as a single man, which has certainly helped him avoid any potential heartache along the way.
“It’s just too much drama and I felt like I should wait to commit,” he said, “Take as long as I can, really.”
For Sandidge, the right feeling probably isn’t much different than what other recruits encounter, while going through the decision-making process.
“Feeling at home, having a good relationship with the coaches and players,” he said. “That’s about it, really. Feeling at home.”
In eight weeks, we’ll find out, for sure, which school that is.
South Carolina recruiting updates
- Monday Sandidge update
- The latest on Bryce Thompson
- Updating Jovaughn Gwyn
- Channing Tindall mulling plans
Miss a previous edition of Spurs Up Surveillance? Get caught up here.