The offensive line is a major priority for the South Carolina Gamecocks in the class of 2011. While the Gamecocks have already landed two tackles and are thought to be in good shape with two more in Brandon Shell and Keith Lumpkin, they may have just become a major factor with another top lineman after Carver (Columbus, Ga.) OG Quincy McKinney visited for the Gamecock Showcase Camp last weekend.
Quincy McKinney, rated a three-star prospect and the No. 45 guard in the country by Scout, visited South Carolina for the first time last Saturday.
The highlight of his trip, he says, was getting to meet head football coach Steve Spurrier.
“I met Coach Spurrier. I ain’t going to lie I was kind of star struck,” McKinney said. “I’m like, ‘This is Steve Spurrier.’ I’m like, ‘Wow!’ He was saying my name and everything. I’m like ‘Wow!’ He was telling me he wanted me to come to South Carolina. It was kind of cool.”
The 6-3, 298-pound McKinney went into the visit not knowing much about the Carolina program, but he was impressed with everything he saw. His first impression when he got to the stadium proved to be a good one for the Gamecocks.
“I knew it was the capital of South Carolina, so I knew it was going to be a little busy,” he said. “I saw the stadium outside first, it was beautiful and I knew a lot of people could be in that stadium. That’s what I thought when I first got there.”
McKinney also enjoyed taking a look at the other facilities South Carolina has to offer.
“I went to the academic center, I believe it’s called the Dodie Center,” McKinney said. “That’s the new academic center, so it was real, real nice. Then after going to the academic center, [I realized] it would make me kind of want to go to the academic center to learn more because it’s nicer looking. I could see myself learning there a little bit more if I do go to South Carolina.”
McKinney, who was accompanied on the trip by his mother, also got the meet several South Carolina coaches.
“Coach (Lorenzo) Ward is the coach for my area, the d-backs coach, he’s a real laid back kind of coach to me so I’m laid back too, so we were just chillin’, we talked a little bit,” McKinney said. “He was trying to inform me about South Carolina, so that was cool. I met coach (Shawn) Elliot, that’s the o-line coach, this is his first year at South Carolina, so he was just telling me what he expects out of his offensive linemen and he just wants hard workers on his team and that’s what I am so.”
He says he will likely be back on the South Carolina campus for the Gamecocks’ Thursday night season opener against Southern Miss.
McKinney says he will likely narrow his group to five to eight schools in the next couple of weeks. He has offers from programs like South Carolina, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Rutgers, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Southern Miss and Western Kentucky. While he admits that the visit helped South Carolina’s chances, he wasn’t ready to name any of the schools who would make the cut.
McKinney also says he’s not sure when he will make a decision. But he is sure what he’s looking for in a school.
“Just to feel comfortable and know the coaching staff,” he says. “My best interest is in their heart, that they want to make me a better person and player. Just if I feel comfortable with the coaches and the players that are already there.”
McKinney also knows what he hopes to bring to the table for the school he ultimately chooses.
“Hard worker and great motor,” he says. “I just love driving an opponent on their back and making them want to give up.”
Wes Mitchell is the Publisher of GamecockAnthem.com. Follow him on Twitter @WesMitchellSC.