COLUMBIA -- Will running back Kenny Miles be an understudy to Marcus Lattimore at South Carolina in 2012 or the first option at another school?
That question remains unanswered as Miles' high school coach said Thursday that Miles has yet to decide whether he will return for his fifth-year senior season.
"I think he's appreciative of what South Carolina's offered him, but I think maybe he might be entertaining the idea of going someplace else, if the opportunity presented itself," said Mark Crews of Brookwood High in Snellville, Ga. "But I don't know if he's made a 100-percent decision one way or the other. I know he's in a difficult situation because he's a real good player and he's playing behind a guy that's a better player.
"What else can you say? I think that anybody in his situation might be at least interested in seeing what some of his other options are."
Lattimore, a rising junior, is expected to be 100 percent after a knee injury ended his 2011 season in the seventh game. USC head coach Steve Spurrier has said a scholarship would be available if Miles wants to return. Miles is enrolled in classes at USC this semester, Crews said.
USC initially went with true freshman Brandon Wilds as Lattimore's replacement. But in the final two games of the season, Wilds got just seven carries, compared to 36 for Miles. Before that, Miles had just 18 carries in 2011 and missed four games with a wrist injury.
Miles participated in the Senior Night ceremonies before the regular season finale against Clemson, an indicator he was at least considering not returning for his final season of eligibility.
Before the Capital One Bowl, Miles said he definitely would play football somewhere in 2012, but he wasn't sure where. He didn't rule out USC and said he planned to speak with his family about his plans after the bowl. "I have another year left, so I definitely want to play," he said. "I'm a football player. I want to play somewhere."
NCAA rules allow a player who has already graduated to transfer for his final season without having to sit out. Miles graduated in December.
"When I talked to him a week or so ago, he wasn't really sure what he was going to do," Crews said. "I think maybe he'd listen if somebody else (another school) would talk to him. I don't know that he could be sure until he got some sort of firm offer from somebody else, and I don't think that's happened yet. He wants to make sure that he's got a safe place to land. He's not going to leave just to be leaving."
USC got good news Thursday when Jerell Adams, one of its top recruits in the Class of 2012, was academically cleared by the NCAA. Adams, a 6-5, 220-pound tight end from Scott's Branch High, originally signed with USC for the Class of 2011, but went to Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy last fall to improve his grades.
"I think he's flying up on Cloud 32 right now," said Leonard Johnson, Adams' high school coach.
USC has 24 recruits for the Class of 2012, which will sign on Feb. 1. That's one shy of the cap that the Southeastern Conference has put on recruiting classes. Adams is one of eight players in the class who received a four-star rating from Rivals.com. In the Class of 2011, he was ranked by Rivals as the No. 17 tight end and No. 11 player in South Carolina.
His other scholarship offers included Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Illinois, Michigan and North Carolina.