Felder, a 6-foot-7 forward from East Georgia State College, has signed to play for JSU and will be taking his official visit this weekend.
It was the comfort level he felt with the JSU coaches that led him to commit before visiting.
“I watch actions more than I listen to people talk,” Felder said. “If they tell me they’re going to do something I’m not going to believe it until I see it.
“They were here since Day One. I felt they were really interested. Every big game, they were there. Even some of the games there weren’t a lot of people here, they were here. I was really impressed.”
He had gotten interest from numerous Division II schools as well as programs in the Ohio Valley Conference, Sun Belt, MAC and SEC.
East Georgia coach Neil Bailey described Felder as a “tremendous” inside defender.
“He’s not a shot blocker, but a good low post defender,” Bailey said. “I think it’s a great fit for D.J."
Felder typically was his team's top scorer in high school, but accepted a different role for a third-year program that went 31-3 last year. He averaged 14.5 points, eight rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots a game.
Those numbers would seem to add a strong inside complement to returning forward Nick Cook, who averaged 4.8 rebounds and had 48 blocked shots.
“I think I had a pretty good year,” Felder said. “I played my role. I did what I was supposed to. I concentrated on winning the game. They (JSU) want me to come in, run the floor, rebound and score. They’re bringing me in because they’re ready to get to the tournament.
“I’m really looking forward to getting up there. I want to run and play with them.”
Felder has to compete 15 hours of junior college work before joining the Gamecocks, because some credits from his year at a Florida junior college that eliminated basketball didn’t transfer, but both he and Bailey are confident it will get done.
The Gamecocks are expected to sign three players during this signing period.
Al Muskewitz covers Jacksonville State sports for The Star. He can be reached at 256-235-3577.