Earlier this month, Marlon Character openly expressed his concerns about the direction of the South Carolina program.
Now, with the sudden departure of Steve Spurrier, the 3-star safety from Atlanta, is trying to make sense of it all.
“I haven’t really taken it all in,” said Character, who heard of the news late Monday night. “I’m trying to process it. I don’t really have a comment on the situation.”
Character, who has been committed to South Carolina since August, openly admitted in a recent interview that he doesn’t speak too often with co-defensive coordinator Jon Hoke. And with Spurrier’s presence gone, the only firm relationship he has is with secondary coach Lorenzo Ward, his primary recruiter.
The added uncertainty on the coaching staff, even in light of co-offensive coordinator Shawn Elliott’s promotion to interim head coach, will play a vital role in Character’s recruitment.
“I can say the coaching standpoint will have an impact on my decision,” Character said. “That can change the whole team. Especially with the head coach (leaving).”
Interestingly enough, Character spoke with Spurrier a week ago. He originally met the Head Ball Coach at Grady High School at the beginning of his recruitment. But Character maintained that he didn’t commit to South Carolina because of Spurrier, though it certainly seemed to have helped.
“He’s a great person, to me,” Character said. “It’s kind of sad to see him leave like that.”
Following the news of his retirement, Character said he heard from a few South Carolina players whom he’s close with, including linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams. He also spoke with a handful of South Carolina commits and he admitted a few have considered the possibility of decommitting. P.J. Blue, 4-star linebacker from Montgomery, Ala., decommitted shortly after the news broke.
So, what is next for the 6-foot, 170-pound safety? Character said he will reserve further comment until it’s determined who will replace Spurrier, whether that’d be Elliott, whom he acknowledged he doesn’t know, or another candidate.
The impact of Spurrier’s departure could also open the doors for Auburn, too. Character took an unofficial visit to the school earlier this month and told the AJC’s SECCountry.com that his relationship with the Tigers was “getting stronger.” However, he said his status with Auburn is the same as it was two weeks ago.
Character will return to the field this Friday for the first time in two weeks after sustaining a separated shoulder. Grady faces Marist High School (Atlanta) and the 3-star defensive back confirmed that Auburn secondary coach Travaris Robinson will be in attendance.