BOILING SPRINGS - Boiling Springs quarterback Dylan Thompson and offensive lineman Logan Stewart couldn't help but thank everyone in sight during their National Signing Day ceremony at Boiling Springs High on Wednesday.
While giving the usual accolades to their parents, friends and teammates, the pair of Shrine Bowlers made sure to recognize the person they felt had the most influence in helping them reach the next level.
"I never thought I'd play football at Vanderbilt," said Stewart shortly after signing his national letter of intent to the SEC school. "If it wasn't for (Boiling Springs) coach Bruce Clark, this wouldn't have happened."
"Coach Clark is the best coach I've ever had," said Thompson, who signed with South Carolina. "He's taught me more these last two years than I ever knew about football."
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Clark said he was honored by his players' comments.
"I wasn't ready for those comments to be honest," he said. "This is the most special place with the most special kids I've ever seen in my life. They mean what they say. Honestly, they do as much for me as I've done for them."
Stewart also gave credit to Thompson's father, Danny Thompson, for converting him into an offensive lineman.
"Dylan's dad talked me into playing the offensive line in the seventh grade. It worked out for me," he said.
He added that he's ready to get started in Nashville.
"This is the best class Vanderbilt has had coming in," Stewart said. "We've got defensive lineman Kyle Woestmann, (Green Bay quarterback) Aaron Rodgers' younger brother (Jordan Rodgers) who they say can really throw it, and a four-star running back (Rajaan Bennett) out of Georgia."
Thompson said he's equally ready to take the field in Columbia.
"I can't wait to be a part of the Gamecocks' family," he said. "Carolina has the best fans of anybody. (Sept. 2) gives me cold chills. It will be emotional."
Thompson added the trash talking has begun between him and Stewart as well.
"We won't be on the field at the same time since we both play offense, but we talk junk," he said. "Hopefully, we can get the best of them."