Shaq Roland says he is a Gamecock.
The state’s top football prospect this season announced on his Facebook page Saturday that he is going to South Carolina, which offered him a football scholarship as a freshman at Lexington High.
“Its finally done .. and I decided to commit the south carolina gamecocks,” the 6-foot-1, 180-pound wide receiver wrote.
Roland confirmed his decision with USC recruiting coordinator Steve Spurrier Jr. He narrowed his choices to USC, Alabama, Georgia and Florida. The four-star prospect visited each of the campuses over the past two months.
Roland’s decision to choose South Carolina was not a surprise to his high school basketball coach, Bailey Harris.
“The conventional wisdom was that he would choose to be close to home,” Harris said. “But he took his time to look around. He said he liked all of the campuses and all of the coaches. They were all SEC schools, and they all were good choices.”
But USC had been after Roland the longest, Harris said: “They showed him a lot of love.”
He was expected to announce his decision at month’s end, but Harris suspects Roland wanted to end the distractions before he started his senior year of high school.
Roland also is considered one of the state’s top basketball prospects. Harris said Roland was told at each college that he could try playing basketball in addition to football.
Roland will watch the progress of Bruce Ellington, who plans to play both sports at USC this season, Harris said.
“I think he’s talented enough to do either,” said Harris, adding that Roland would choose football if he had to pick one sport.
Last season at Lexington, Roland caught 58 receptions for 1,033 yards and 10 touchdowns; rushed for 684 yards and 21 touchdowns; and nabbed three interceptions for two touchdowns. He also led Wildcats’ hoops squad by averaging 19.8 points and seven rebounds per game.