Jayden Scott, a 5-foot-10, 190-pound Class of 2024 athlete from Stockbridge, Georgia, was in Columbia Thursday for an unofficial visit to South Carolina.
During the trip, Scott said he had the opportunity to visit the 110,000-square-foot, $42-million Cyndi and Kenneth Long Family Football Operations Center, the 650 Lincoln Street Apartments, which house the football team and other student athletes, and the Horseshoe im Heart of campus to visit.
Scott spoke to the Gamecocks sophomore head coach Shane BeamerRunning Backs Coach Montario hardnessand several other participants in the program during his visit, including some players and team coaches.
Set the foundation
The fast-rising RB said he was very impressed with Hardesty. “I really liked the coach. He was very active and stayed on top of me. Hardesty showed great energy throughout the trip. Everything he did felt real and I feel like he really liked me as a player,” recalled Scott.
Scott and the Gamecocks’ sophomore were discussing together in the film room, and Hardesty shared that he could see how Jayden could potentially intervene in South Carolina’s offensive system.
“We went through a lot of zone pack running schemes that suit me very well. I feel I would have a very good opportunity there, especially considering my eyesight and ball carrying skills could match many of the packages installed,” he said.
The Gamecocks caught the running back with a wide array of offers including Arizona State, Boston College, Duke, East Carolina, Georgia Southern, Louisville, Marshall, Miami, Middle Tennessee State, Mississippi State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, South Carolina, Wake Forest, and Western Kentucky at the right time considering he was recently named a top performer at Rivals Atlanta Camp May 20-22.
At Rivals Camp Atlanta, the student athlete, nicknamed “Duke,” displayed a keen pace and impressed the Boy Scouts with his ability to shift gears with his speed. Scott also established a clinic against linebackers and defensive backs during route running drills.
Catch up with the boss
While Beamer was out of the office when Scott landed on campus, he was able to meet with the Gamecocks head coach at the end of his visit to Columbia.
Scott’s biggest takeaway from Beamer was his infectious personality. “He was a very sincere guy and showed that he cared about him,” said the student athlete.
Beamer’s family-centric mindset encroaches throughout South Carolina’s program culture, seeping through from the assistant coaches to the student-athletes and other staff members, a note Scott quickly sensed.
“He and the coaching staff are very hospitable. I have a feeling they are building something special over there. It’s a brotherhood and it’s a very loving environment between all the players,” he said.
The Gamecocks’ main recruitment spot? “A welcoming, winning culture,” he said.
That pitch shouldn’t be outdone by academics, something South Carolina sold just as seriously, he said.
“They want you to know that you are not alone in college and that they have a lot of help available in the academic department,” he said.
Scott is just beginning his own career. He finished last season strong, rushing for 500 yards in three games last season and finishing 3rd in the 100-yard dash at the 4A Georgia High School League (GHSL) with a stunning time of 10.8 seconds. Young RB has yet to announce his top schools, but it’s entirely possible South Carolina could be in that mix.
He also said that Gamecocks’ location in Columbia gives the school a distinct advantage over other universities in the area: city life.
“It’s very nice because it’s the only college in the area that’s in a city. I also like all the major attractions on campus,” he said, listing the most popular attractions including the Darla Moore School of Business, The Horseshoe and the Student-Athlete Housing at 650 Lincoln Street.
He said South Carolina is an extremely welcoming and friendly environment just within the football program but also across campus.
The running back, who has immediate goals to increase his personal best of 480 pounds in the squat and hit 1,500 rushing yards next season, plans to return to Columbia for a Gamecocks home game this fall.
“It’s a great matchday environment and I feel like I can bring the same energy as their fans,” he said.
Scott said he has no plans to announce his signing until next summer before the start of his senior season. However, he plans to trim his list of top schools soon.
“I haven’t announced any steps to do this yet, it’s still very early. But I’ll definitely be narrowing that list down soon,” Scott said.