Laurinburg (N.C.) Scotland County defensive end Byron McKnight recently took a trip to Columbia to check out the South Carolina Gamecocks with his highly touted teammate and close friend Travian Robertson. Like Robertson, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound McKnight found things to his liking.
"They really care about their football a whole lot at South Carolina, and I like that about them," McKnight said. "Coach (Steve) Spurrier is going to be taking them to a new level, and I think that would be something special to be a part of. Getting my college degree is very big to me, and they provide a lot of academic support to their players, so that caught my eye, too."
McKnight, who runs the 40-yard dash in 4.8 seconds, has also taken recent trips to North Carolina and North Carolina State.
"I didn't spend much time around the coaches while I was either place. I mainly looked at the campus and the facilities on both trips. I thought both of them were nice."
While McKnight hasn't yet garnered any scholarship offers, he does believe he has the skills to land plenty before all is said and done.
"I'm the kind of defensive end that can play the run and the pass. I have the speed to beat my man off the edge, but I'm also strong enough to get blockers off of me to make plays."
While football is important to him, McKnight is looking for something else in his future school.
"Like I was saying, I want to get my degree, so finding a school that cares about me as a student and can help me graduate is the most important thing I'm looking for. It would also be great if me and Travian could go to the same school."
One team currently sits atop his list.
"South Carolina my top school right now. I really like them a lot."