Taylor Loftley, the 6-foot-2, 255-pound two-star defensive end/defensive tackle from Chamblee, Ga., has basically narrowed his choices to South Carolina and Vanderbilt and visited the Gamecocks on Jan. 11.
"It was a great visit," he said. "I loved meeting with all the coaches and got to meet with the new defensive coordinator (Brian VanGorder) and he's cool. I could tell he means business. He's a super serious person. He used to coach for the Falcons and he knows the Georgia area too, so that's cool.
"I like coach Steve Spurrier too," he said. "He's actually really down-to-earth. I felt like I could pretty much talk with him about anything. He just seems like a real person. His philosophy is that they need to recruit better and bring in better players so that they can win a championship."
Loftley's host was sophomore linebacker Rodney Paulk and he says the Gamecocks are recruiting him for defensive end.
On Jan. 18, Loftley will be visiting Vanderbilt and says the Commodores are recruiting him as a defensive tackle. "I really want to see what Vanderbilt is like," he said. "I want to see if I'll be able to fit in and see what the school is like outside of football. I need to be sure I could live there for four to five years of my life.
"The number one thing for me is feeling comfortable overall and finding a place where I'd want to go even if I wasn't playing football."
Loftley favors South Carolina and Vanderbilt solidly over Central Florida and Duke, but admits it's "50/50 between South Carolina and Vanderbilt."
"When coach Ted Roof got fired (from Duke) that really deterred me a bit," he said. "They've started to recruit me a again, but I'm not really looking at them anymore."
All of his favorites have offered as well as Tulane, Middle Tennessee State, Stanford, Ohio and UAB.
Expect Loftley to make a decision shortly after his Vanderbilt visit.
As a youngster, he followed Georgia, but the Bulldogs didn’t recruit him.
Loftley finished his senior season with 50 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and seven sacks.
"I think I'm pretty mobile and have good quickness," he said. "I'm not the biggest guy so I use my feet and speed a lot. But I want to keep working on getting faster and if I'm going to play defensive tackle, I'll definitely need to get bigger."
He reports a 3.0 core GPA and a 1780 SAT.