Byrnes standout Chavis Dawkins is excited to begin his career at South Carolina after thinking for most of the recruiting process that he would not get the chance to play at his dream school.
Dawkins grew up a Gamecocks fan, but was set to commit elsewhere on Jan. 9 because he had yet to receive an offer from USC.
Dawkins finally received the phone call he had been coveting from the Carolina coaching staff the day before he was set to make his announcement.
“I was going to commit on a Saturday and they offered on Friday,” Dawkins said. “I was going to commit to North Carolina State. I called them like an hour before I committed and told them I was going to South Carolina… South Carolina was the school I wanted to go to since I was a little boy. It was a no brainer.”
The Shrine Bowler was one of the most productive receivers in the state his senior season, catching 73 passes for 1,319 yards and 17 touchdowns.
In the Shrine Bowl game, competing against top high school players from North Carolina, he was the leading receiver for the Sandlappers with six catches for 62 yards and two touchdowns.
Dawkins is hopeful that his success in high school will transfer over into college, but he knows there is plenty of competition for early playing time.
The Gamecocks signed five receivers in their 2016 recruiting class.
“It’s going to be a challenge. There are a lot of good receivers coming in,” Dawkins said. “I’ve got big goals for myself. I plan to get down there, hopefully start, hopefully be All-Freshman.”
Dawkins believes he has the work ethic to accomplish his goals. He said he prides himself in doing everything he can to be the best player he can be.
“I’m a hard worker, I don’t like to be lazy. I just hate people that are lazy,” Dawkins said. “I have good hands. I’m coachable. I don’t get an attitude with coaches. I listen. I’m good with directions.”
Dawkins is expected to play an outside receiver spot. He has the speed to get open down the field and the size and hands to make tough catches over the middle.
He is hoping to follow in the footsteps of another Byrnes receiver who had a productive career for the Gamecocks.
“Nick Jones helped us out (at Byrnes) this past year with receivers. I learned a lot from him,” Dawkins said. “He told me to keep my head on straight and practice fast.”
USC’s freshman wide receivers