Four-star linebacker Dax Hollifield has taken more than his fair share of South Carolina recruiting trips, but none were quite the same as last weekend’s official visit.
The time in Columbia afford the Gamecocks a chance to shine in several areas that are important to the No. 5 inside linebacker in the Class of 2018, according to the 247Sports composite.
Though Hollifield enjoys close relationships with several coaches on the South Carolina staff, he hadn’t really spent much time with the current players, other than freshman linebacker Sherrod Greene, who also served as his player-host.
Sophomore quarterback Jake Bentley was among the players Hollifield met.
“They work hard. … They were talking about during camp, each year during fall camp, they get up at like 5 o’clock in the morning and won’t go home until 8 o’clock at night,” Hollifield said. “I really like that. I like a team that’s going to work hard and knows they’re going to get better, stuff like that.”
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound prospect likes that the Gamecocks practice during the morning while in season.
“I’d rather practice in the morning, to be honest with you, get it out of the way and have the night off,” he said. “I like that a lot. That’s positive for me.”
Another positive: South Carolina’s 4-2 start this season, particularly the 48-22 win over Arkansas. It was the second time he’d been to Williams-Brice this season for a game.
“I was happy with it,” Hollifield said. “The two games they’ve lost they were close games. I think a couple of balls have rolled the wrong way for them, especially them missing like four field goals against Kentucky. It really killed them. I didn’t really watch the Texas A&M game, but I heard it went down to the wire.
“I’m happy for them to have some success like that. They really played well [against Arkansas]. On offense, I was really happy with it as well, because they didn’t have Deebo Samuel. Without him, that’s probably the No. 1 target for Jake Bentley — for him to play like that without him out there, they played really well, I thought.”
The message from Muschamp remains the same. Come in and compete for a chance to play early, because there’s not much depth at linebacker.
“They need me,” Hollifield said. “I really got to see their depth better. In their walk-thru, I really got to see how it was. I mean, Sherrod Greene started, so I know I can come in – Skai Moore’s leaving, so I know I can come in and play off the bat, so that’s positive.”
North Carolina will host Hollifield for an official visit this weekend. The following weekend, he’ll return to Blacksburg for his official to Virginia Tech. Stanford’s is scheduled for January. Florida State hosted him earlier this season.
“They’re fun. … I really don’t understand why anybody would not take all five official visits,” Hollifield said. “They’re awesome. I’ve had the time of my life on the two I went to.”
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