Scott's Branch tight end Jerell Adams signed with the Gamecocks on Wednesday.
One of three tight ends in this class, Adams (6-5, 220) played quarterback his final two seasons of high school. He began the transition to tight end in the Shrine Bowl, where he caught three touchdowns.
Adams, who picked USC over Clemson, talked Wednesday about signing with the Gamecocks, how he almost gave up football and what's ahead.
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It was close to home. It's a great population. Everybody's cool. Nice coaches, nice teammates. I felt like I was home. ... My family travels to all the games and supports me. Since it was close to home, I picked South Carolina.
Did you start considering USC this season or was it before that?
I've been considering them ever since I was little. I grew up a fan of them. They've always been the heart of mine.
With a lot of the top in-state talent going USC, did any of you get together and talk about going to USC together?
I talked to Phillip [Dukes of Manning] and we talked about it, but he never told me where he was going. Now I heard he's going to USC. I'll be glad to play with him.
When did you finalize the decision for South Carolina?
This past weekend. Me and my family discussed it and felt like South Carolina would be the best choice.
Is it a relief that the recruiting process is over?
I took it kind of easy when it first started. I never thought I would be recruited at South Carolina as a tight end. But it got kind of tough because Clemson and South Carolina really recruited me hard. ... I felt like South Carolina was the better choice for me.
Do you hope to play this season?
Yes, sir. If I don't, I'll just work hard in the weight room, and on and off the field.
Did you know there are three tight ends in this class?
Yes, sir. I just feel I've got to outwork them to get the position.
You decided against playing football after your sophomore season. What's the story with that?
I was playing basketball and I felt I was better at basketball. Then I sat down and realized my talent and my future were in football.
As you sign with USC, can you reflect back that decision to keep playing football?
It meant a whole lot. I'm glad I made the right decision to play football, because if I didn't I probably wouldn't have the chance I have now.
How good are you in basketball?
I'm ranked in the state I think, No. 2 or No. 3. I'm pretty good.
What do you have to work on going into this season?
Getting bigger, working on my skills and getting ready for the next level.
What makes you a good player?
I work hard on the field and offer encouraging words.
What position are you projected to play in college?
Tight end, but they're going to let me try out both tight end and defensive end. ... I think I'll be better at tight end. My athletic skills, I can get down the field and catch the ball, be a big target for them.
Talk about the transition to playing tight end.
During my high school career I played tight end my ninth and 10th grade year. I played quarterback the whole 11th and 12th grade year. Then I played [tight end] in the Shrine Bowl. I feel like I still got it a little bit. ... I showed my ability as a tight end.
Alshon Jeffery has had success from a Class A school. Is this a testimony that Class A football is just as strong as other classes?
Yes, they always kind of look down to a small 1A school, and I feel like we have something to prove.
Talk about signing that National Letter of Intent and being able to play college football.
It's very exciting, a dream come true. I've always wanted to play football on the next level, and I've got the chance now.
How are you feeling through the signing day process?
It's exciting. I've got my family with me. I'm a Gamecock.