USC replaces its lost receiver

Tapley picks UNC; Gamecocks jump late on Jacksonville defensive lineman

semerson@thestate.comFebruary 4, 2010 

Javon Bell

RIVALS.COM PHOTO

Perhaps the biggest news on signing day for South Carolina was the loss of receiver Sean Tapley, who reneged on his commitment and signed with North Carolina.

But to hear USC coaches tell it, it was hardly news to them.

"Sean's a guy that I think, early on in the process, I don't know if he was ever 100 percent committed," Beamer said.

"That wasn't a shock," coach Steve Spurrier interjected.

Beamer said there were signs last week that Tapley would switch. Beamer and receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr. talked about contingency plans, and the result was a receiver from Tapley's high school rival.

Javon Bell had committed to Florida International, but the 5-foot-11, 170-pounder was on the radar screen of Spurrier Jr., who recruits the Jacksonville, Fla. area.

The question now is when will Bell arrive on campus. Beamer said Bell is one of a couple signees who has some academic work to do in order to qualify.

Just Jerideau

Another late addition to the signing list was junior college transfer Byron Jerideau, a defensive tackle from Walterboro. But Beamer said it was hardly a last-second decision.

"There may have been a misconception out there that we just came into the office Monday morning and decided to sign a defensive lineman and picked one out," Beamer said. "That couldn't be further from the truth."

The Gamecocks knew Jerideau from his days at Colleton County High, which is part of Beamer's recruiting area. The quality of the film - not Jerideau's ability, the actual film quality - wasn't very good. But on Saturday, Jerideau posted some highlights on YouTube and called Beamer to alert him.

Beamer watched it with defensive line coach Brad Lawing, both came away impressed. Assistant head coach for defense Ellis Johnson already was familiar with Jerideau, so they conferred and agreed to sign him.

Jerideau could have signed in December and had some offers. But he was holding out for South Carolina, his dream school, according to Beamer.

"Stories like those that make recruiting fun and put a smile on your face," Beamer said.

Ace in the hole

Spurrier compared receiver Ace Sanders to current USC tailback Bryce Sherman, a former walk-on now on scholarship. Both are fast and short, though Sanders is probably an inch or two taller than the 5-foot-6 Sherman.

"He can juke around, make guys miss, something we've not had since Kenny McKinley left," Spurrier said of Sanders. "He's a guy that will have a chance to help us right away."

He said it

"We used to always say we'll find out how good the class is three or four years down the road. When I was down there, of course Florida has the No. 1 (ranked class) about every year now, but we only had two of them. And one of them was real good. ... The other No. 1 class we had didn't turn out quite as well. ... Recruiting is very important, but probably what's most important is what they do when they get on campus." - Spurrier Sr., when asked how much he buys into recruiting rankings

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