Brandon Wilds does not have to travel far to get home as the rest of South Carolina’s signing class. As the only Midlands product among Gamecock signees, the Blythewood High running back will take his talents straight down I-77.
“It’s just a home environment where all my family can come,” he said. “Anytime my family wants to come to a game, they can. It’s not that far.”
The short distance allowed Wilds to make every home game in USC’s 9-5 season, which included an SEC East championship and a victory over then-No. 1 Alabama in Williams-Brice Stadium. He hopes to be a part of the program’s upswing.
“It was (exciting) knowing that for the next four years we’ve got top recruits coming in,” Wilds said. “It’ll be a nice class.”
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He had conversations with fellow recruits such as Dixon brothers and also made his own pitch to Jadeveon Clowney along the way.
“It was nice. We kind of got better acquainted at the official visit a couple of Saturdays ago,” he said.
As Blythewood’s all-time leading rusher with 2,700 yards and 33 touchdowns over three seasons, Wilds played in the North-South All-Star game, where he captained the victorious North team. He had 10 100-yard rushing games in his career and became the first running back in the school’s short history to post a 1,000-yard season.
A 6-foot-1, 225-pounder with 4.5 speed, he believes that he brings a number of attributes to the USC running game, citing a combination of power and speed along with good field vision.
Also recruited by Arkansas, Maryland, Illinois and East Carolina, Wilds hopes to make an immediate mark, although he realizes Marcus Lattimore, the SEC Freshman of the Year, returns for his sophomore season at tailback.
“Hopefully, I won’t have to redshirt,” he said. “I want to come in and make a big impact on the team my freshman year. Of course, Marcus is going to get a lot of carries. But, hopefully, I can be that second guy and get a lot of carries, too.”
Wilds signed his letter of intent Wednesday morning alongside Blythewood teammates Davante Harris and James Robinson, both defensive linemen who are headed to FCS powerhouse Appalachian State. Blythewood offensive lineman Allan Spry has already enrolled in Southern University.
Wilds originally planned to enroll early at USC, but he had to wait so that he could get a higher grade in one core course.
Wilds and Lake City’s Shon Carson are the only running backs in this USC class.