April 4, 2009

OL Mack looking to see schools

Eric Mack said he's going to wait until National Signing Day to make his college decision but that hasn't stopped many top programs from getting involved early to try to make as many in-roads as possible.

South Carolina might have some early advantages because its campus is less than an hour from where Mack plays at St. Matthews (S.C.) Calhoun County.

Plus, Mack and Gamecocks' offensive line coach Eric Wolford have developed a strong relationship and former teammate Alshon Jeffery signed with South Carolina in February. Mack said he "loves it" that Jeffery ended up with the Gamecocks because the two are friends.

"The interest level is very high because of coach Wolford, I like the way he's talking to me right now," Mack said. "He tells me I can come there and start and he's trying to form a relationship with me not just as a player but kind of like a father-son relationship with me."

North Carolina is also making a serious push for Mack, a 6-foot-4, 315-pound offensive tackle who's included in the Rivals250. The Calhoun County standout was supposed to go to North Carolina's spring game but the trip was called off because Tar Heels signee Johnnie Farms said it was cancelled, which turned out to be erroneous.

Still, North Carolina has a good shot at landing Mack because of his relationship with offensive line coach Sam Pittman, who has been handling his recruitment.

"I talked to coach Pittman (Tuesday) and he told me it wasn't cancelled," Mack said. "Basically, I'm liking everybody. The interest level with North Carolina is kind of high too because me and coach Pittman, it seems like we had a bond from the first time we talked."

Plans are in place for Mack to attend spring games at Florida State and Alabama as well. Other trips might happen, too, but nothing has been finalized.

The main reason he wants to see the Seminoles is to learn more about the program and to see if he would fit in well. Alabama's coaches, Mack said, are saying he'll have a chance to start. That sounds fantastic but Mack rarely takes those kinds of promises to heart.

"Florida State, I am trying to get down there so I can see it because I don't really know anything about Florida State," Mack said. "Alabama, they're basically telling me what coach Wolford is telling me and stuff that I can come down there and start.

"I believe some of them when they say that but some of them I see what they have and what they're recruiting, if they already have some commits, I feel like they're lying."

Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Kentucky, LSU, NC State, Wake Forest and West Virginia are some of the other schools that have also offered Mack, who said his recruitment is still wide open.

"I'm still getting offers and I don't want to cut anybody off because I could commit to such-and-such place," he said.


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