South Carolina recruiting: In-depth with 4-star DT Rick Sandidge

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.’”

Recruiting relationships

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’s 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.

South Carolina recruiting
Four-star defensive tackle Rick Sandidge will make his commitment in eight weeks. (Hale McGranahan/SEC Country)

The favorite

Sandidge is widely believed to be a South Carolina lean. That perception, though it may have turned off some schools, 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.

His timeline

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.”

Primary factors

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

Miss a previous edition of Spurs Up Surveillance?  Get caught up here.

The post South Carolina recruiting: In-depth with 4-star DT Rick Sandidge appeared first on SEC Country.

Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.