Defensive tackle Jamarkus McFarland recently narrowed his focus to Texas and OU, favoring the Longhorns and Sooners over LSU. But another school has made its way onto the coveted DT’s radar. The USC Trojans are now among the teams McFarland is considering and he recently paid Southern Cal a visit.
Also see: 4 Texas coaches make the trip to Lufkin
“I’m kind of open,” said ESPN’s No. 3 ranked defensive tackle. “I was looking at (Texas, Oklahoma and LSU), but I like California, I like the school, and right now, I’m looking into it. I came in looking to see what it was like at a school that wasn’t in the states around me. Some of the things I saw on my visits were the same, and I wanted to make sure there wasn’t something different I might have missed that would have amazed me. I had a good time and enjoyed myself.”
According to McFarland, what stood out most was the atmosphere the Trojan coaching staff provided, both at practice and at the Coliseum.
“(The coaches) are a fun bunch, they continue to win, they have a good work ethic and they make it enjoyable to come to practice,” said McFarland. “And the players look forward to getting work done. They have fun before the games, but they get the players wired up and ready to play the game.” The point man for SC in McFarland’s recruitment has been linebackers coach Ken Norton. This was the Lufkin DT’s first trip to USC, but Norton has been in contact with him for a while leading up to the visit.
“Coach Norton is a really cool guy. He doesn’t have to be doing this (coaching) after 13 years in the league and the money he made. But to come back, help make players succeed and provide for their families, is outstanding and a big part of him showing he’s a man,” said McFarland.
After the football game against Notre Dame on Saturday, McFarland was hosted by USC safety Shane Horton, and Horton introduced McFarland to the city of Los Angeles.
“We went out to basically get a feel for L.A., what they had to offer with the town outside of the school’s area,” said McFarland when asked what he and Horton did on Saturday night.
During his official visit, McFarland was also introduced to the academic aspects of the University of Southern California.
“I didn’t know USC was a private school, to be honest,” said McFarland. “Their student body isn’t as big as some and you need to have a 4.1 GPA with the student body being so fluent.”
McFarland was asked if USC was too far from home and if USC has a legitimate shot at signing him.
“Yeah, My cousin is being recruited (by USC) for baseball and it might be nice to be around a family member,” McFarland said. “You can’t look at the distance, but look at the people they take and what they produce.”
Interview conducted by Scott Schrader of WeAreSC, ESPN.com’s USC affiliate.