Williston-Elko running back Kendric Salley is the Gamecocks' first and only commitment for the 2012 recruiting class.
The 5-foot-10, 215-pounder committed to USC in December. He plays for Dwayne Garrick at Williston-Elko High School.
He rushed for 1,751 yards and 31 touchdowns in 2010 without playing far into many second halves. Salley rushed for nearly 2,000 yards as a sophomore. He is mostly a “downhill” runner, doing most of his damage between the tackles.
Shane Beamer recruited the junior, who says he is "pretty much set right now" as far as his commitment goes.
Salley grew up a Gamecock fan and has lived in Williston his entire life. His school also produced current USC fullback Dalton Wilson.
He has no other offers, though Georgia Tech and Clemson have shown interest.
Did you like USC before the offer came?
I've always been a Gamecock fan growing up. That's one of my dreams: to play for the Gamecocks.
Were you surprised when the offer came?
Yes, I wasn't expecting it this early.
Describe the moment you learned of the verbal offer.
They called my coach at practice and he made an announcement. I was shell-shocked. I couldn't believe I had this opportunity at-hand this early.
What's the process of making a commitment like? Did you call Shane Beamer or did Coach Garrick call him?
Coach called him a couple days before the game against Auburn and let them know I was ready to verbally commit to them.
You got the offer and then made the commitment a week or so later. How long did you have to think about it?
Not that long because I've been waiting on that opportunity for a long time. When it came here, I was just ready to go.
Few football players at USC are actually in-state kids who grow up rooting for the Gamecocks. What's it like to be just that?
It's been something I've been waiting on. As a kid I grew up watching the Gamecocks and wanting to play in the garnet and black. Now the opportunity is here and I'm going to take it.
Who were some of your favorite Gamecocks growing up?
I liked watching Sidney Rice as a wide receiver. I like Alshon Jeffery too, guys like that.
Talk about being part of the Williston-Elko's high-scoring offense.
It's fun. It opens up a lot of opportunities for all the playmakers we have on the field. It makes my job a lot easier.
With some key offensive weapons gone, is there any pressure to duplicate or top that your season that just ended?
There's a lot of pressure to be good. But I'm just going to play and do what we do. The young kids will have to step up and do their job. Everyone will have to give their effort.
What's your running style? How are you as a pass catcher?
I've developed some better hands since my freshman year. I like to run hard. I'd rather run over you than around you.
What are you working on heading into the season?
In the offseason I'm going to stay in the weight room, day in and day out, and get the underclassmen in here.
What has USC running backs coach Jay Graham said to you?
He said both me and Marcus [Lattimore] run hard and break tackles. He said I have a burst that he likes. He said me and Marcus would be a good 1-2 punch when I get up there.
What did you think about Marcus Lattimore's season this past year?
He had a real good season. As a freshman it was a standout season.
What are some of the goals for your senior year?
I want to have another good season like I had this past year. That's going to be pretty hard. Hopefully we can make it work and make it back to the state championship - and hopefully win it this time.