Donell Stanley is ready for the next chapter in his life. The story continues this week.
The four-star offensive lineman from Latta moved in at South Carolina on Wednesday.
“I want to get to Columbia and get to know everybody and have everybody get to know me,” Stanley said. “I'm just ready to try out new things, meet new people and start practicing, start school and everything.”
Stanley’s move-in experience in Columbia is his first time on campus since the spring game. He spoke with offensive line coach and recruiter Shawn Elliott last week.
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“He gave me a schedule and made sure I was working out and staying in shape,” Stanley said.
Coaches give incoming freshmen a workout manual that includes different kinds of lifts and position-specific agility drills.
Also a baseball player at Latta, Stanley has spent the last two months working out according to USC’s direction while getting his body reacquainted with footwork and other football movements.
Stanley was listed at 6-foot-4, 346 pounds when he signed in February. He said he’s down to around 330 now and hopes to be closer to 315 or 320 when the season begins.
Elliott called Stanley a “big-time, highly touted recruit.” He was the third-highest-rated player in USC’s 2014 class, according to 247Sports’ Composite ranking, which factors in all networks.
“He’s going to be a big inside player for us, potentially both right and left guards,” Elliott said. “He’s a tremendous guy. He’s got a big great smile, fun to be around. I’m looking forward to getting him in here and working with him.”
Stanley was a finalist for the South Carolina Mr. Football award. He played in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas as well as the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
He committed and signed with USC over offers from Clemson, North Carolina, Florida, LSU, Alabama and others.
Stanley was thorough in the recruiting process and narrowing down his choices, said Chris German, his uncle. German estimated that there were more than 25 trips taken to college campuses. USC was a frequent stop.
“He did his research and asked all the questions that he had, ranging from current depth charts to a typical day in the life of a football player,” German said. “Because of all the attention, Donell’s work ethic has risen and he is not resting on just being good. He understood that he needed to continue work harder on and off the field and in the weight room.”
Stanley moved in at USC in time for the second summer semester along with fellow Class of 2014 signees cornerback D.J. Smith and wide receiver Terry Googer.
Stanley plans to major in sports management and hopes to wear No. 72 with the Gamecocks. He is looking forward to the next two months and his transition to college life.
“I want to go ahead and start off good academically and keep staying in shape and working out, and getting used to the program,” he said. “I want to get to know the whole routine of everything and get ready for the season. Whether I redshirt or not, I still want to be ready.”
It don't get much better than Columbia— Donell Stanley (@bigdonell72) July 3, 2014