South Carolina defensive line signee Kelcy Quarles failed to make a qualifying score on his most recent standardized test, leaving his status for this season “up in the air,” his father said Thursday.
Buddy Quarles, who played at USC from 1984-87 for Joe Morrison, said Quarles fell 40 points short of the 840 score he needed on the SAT to be eligible immediately with his current high school GPA.
Quarles would likely head to prep school if he does not qualify, with the goal of enrolling at USC in January and participating in spring practice. Buddy Quarles said there could be a silver lining in terms of playing time if Quarles does not qualify this summer.
“He’s kind of disappointed, but he’s keeping an uplifting mood about it,” Buddy Quarles said. “He figures when he does come in, with all the seniors on the line, he has a pretty good chance to start.”
Quarles joined USC freshman tailback Marcus Lattimore on the Parade All-American team after earning all-state honors at Greenwood High. The 6-foot-3, 267-pound Quarles finished with 77 tackles, nine sacks, 17.5 tackles for loss and two blocked kicks as a senior.
Quarles played in the Shrine Bowl and the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Buddy Quarles said his son took a summer school class to try to improve his GPA in his core courses. But Buddy Quarles was unsure whether his son’s GPA was high enough to offset his SAT score under NCAA eligibility requirements.
“He took (the SAT) about three times and couldn’t get over the hump,” Buddy Quarles said. “I thought he probably had it memorized or figured out how to get past it. But it just wasn’t enough.”
Buddy Quarles said former Gamecocks linebacker Eric Norwood recently spoke to Quarles about his difficult path to USC. Norwood was turned down three times by the school before being admitted on appeal.
Norwood went on to become an All-American and the school’s all-time sacks leader before graduating in December in 3 ½ years.