Former Kannapolis (N.C.) Brown defensive tackle Dantrell Barkley, now a standout at Independence C.C., landed a scholarship from one of his dream schools Thursday when South Carolina became the first Power Five school to offer.
"I didn't think they were going to offer me this early, but I was just being patient and what not," Barkley explained. "I talked to coach (Bobby) Bentley and coach (Will) Muschamp on the phone today. Coach Bentley has been recruiting me since high school. I talked to him towards the end of my junior year and he knew I was going to JUCO, so he knew I wasn't going to qualify, but he kept in touch with me. He's a great guy and a man of his word."
The 6-foot-4, 285-pound Barkley says his initial conversation with Muschamp went well and that the message was based around getting him to Columbia to get a better feel for the program soon, something he plans to do during his spring or summer break.
"I like the atmosphere and the players that they've put in the league like Jadeveon Clowney, Marcus Lattimore, Pharoh Cooper," Barkley said. "I just like the atmosphere."
Barkley has also talked to defensive line and assistant head coach Lance Thompson.
"I think he's a great coach from what I've seen at his past places and some of the people he's put in the league," Barkley said. "He's put some good players in the league and he's got a good resume."
Barkley also holds offers from Florida A&M and Alabama A&M, and is hearing from Syracuse.
Barkley would like to make a decision towards the end of this year.
"Getting back home would probably be nice, but I'm going to keep my options open," the Charlotte-area native said. "South Carolina is definitely a choice that I like a lot."