The recruitment of Abu Lamin might not be over, technically, but according to the 6-foot-4, 300-pound defensive tackle out of Fort Scott Community College, his commitment last Monday to South Carolina is as solid as can be.
“I tried to call my position coach and (defensive coordinator Lorenzo) Ward picked up, and then he had Coach (Steve) Spurrier call me,” Lamin said. “And he said was excited I wanted to be a Gamecock, but he said to make sure and watch out because other teams weren’t going to stop recruiting me and would still bad-mouth South Carolina.
“I have one more official visit left that I could take, that I’m keeping in my back pocket, but the recruiting is over as far as I’m concerned.”
Lamin, a four-star prospect from Fayetteville, N.C., took his four official visits to South Carolina, Nebraska, Florida and Arkansas. Alabama also came in with a late offer, but Lamin wanted to make his decision before the season so he could focus on football and his grades.
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Lamin redshirted last season at Fort Scott and hopes to graduate in December and come to Columbia with three years of eligibility remaining.
“When he got here last year, he was lazy … he wasn’t one of our best players and that’s why we decided to redshirt him,” Fort Scott coach Curtis Horton said. “And after that, his work ethic went through the roof and he had a great spring. But he still hasn’t played a down of football for us yet, and I think that motivates him. He wants to prove himself.”
Lamin has spent the last year transforming his body and working on technique — he came to Fort Scott at 330 pounds and has trimmed down to his current weight.
“I wasn’t used to the 5 a.m. workouts and the running and the film and all the things that go with being a college athlete when I got here,” Lamin said. “I was used to just showing up to the field and being the man.”
Current Gamecocks Chaz Sutton, Kelcy Quarles, Victor Hampton and Jadeveon Clowney made Lamin feel at home on his visit.
“Hampton is somebody I know, from before, because he’s from Charlotte and I’m from Fayetteville,” Lamin said. “We talked a lot about football, obviously, but they made me feel really comfortable. That and talking with Spurrier really sealed things for me.
“I think I handled the whole recruitment pretty well, and I knew I was going to disappoint people no matter who I picked, but (Deke) Adams and Ward did a good job recruiting me.”
Lamin spent his summer training and working manual labor around southeast Kansas. Camp starts Monday for Fort Scott and the Greyhounds open the season Aug. 24 against Highland Community College.
“I’m not used to doing repairs on houses and stuff like that, so it took some getting used to,” Lamin said, laughing. “But I’m a college kid, so anything to get some extra money with the school year coming up.”