A little more than 24 hours after 4-star defensive tackle Dennis Briggs wrapped up his official South Carolina recruiting trip, SEC Country caught up with his coach.
These days, Gateway High School (Kissimmee, Fla.) coach Marlin Roberts has been busy trying to figure out how to replace his star defensive lineman, but he’s certainly happy that Briggs (6-4, 252) has options for the next level.
Briggs is ranked by the 247Sports composite as the No. 24 defensive tackle in the Class of 2018. Off the field, he’s a “quiet kid,” but on it, he’s “an animal.”
“Great player. I mean, just a standout player. Great player, great kid,” Roberts said. “We’re really going to miss him.”
Briggs, who had 83 tackles, 34 tackles for loss, 9 sacks as a senior, made his first trip to South Carolina over the weekend.
“[We] texted back-and-forth Saturday and he was telling me that it was real nice up there and liked it or whatever, but we really haven’t sat down and talked in-depth about the visit,” Roberts said.
The in-state options
Miami has already had him in for an official and Florida State is up this weekend.
When asked if staying in-state was a factor in the final decision, Roberts said Briggs “never made that a priority.”
“I think just going somewhere where he’s going to fit in with teammates and also get coached by a good coach that’s going to develop him into a better player,” Roberts said. “Out of the three schools that he’s choosing from, all three of those defensive line coaches are first-class and top-notch coaches, so he can’t lose with all three, so I think that’s just part of what he’s looking for.
“Who’s going to develop him into maybe reaching the next level after college? And what school is the best fit for him to get a good education?”
The South Carolina recruiting effort
This much is certain: Roberts thinks South Carolina defensive line coach “is a really good recruiter.”
“[Thompson] built the relationship over the past year or so with Dennis and it’s been a really good one,” Roberts said. “He’s a great coach. Actually, he’s helped me out with some of my other players, so I know he’s the real-deal, made a few calls to some JUCOs for me, for some of my other players.
“They [have] developed a relationship and he’s been recruiting the hell out of him for the past year.”
South Carolina coach Will Muschamp stopped by for a visit last Tuesday. Miami coach Mark Richt and Florida State coach Willie Taggart are both expected to stop by next week.