South Carolina landed a top target for the Class of 2015 on Tuesday when Bluffton High rising junior Shameik Blackshear committed to the Gamecocks.
"South Carolina really wants me and no other school checks on me the way they do," Blackshear told Scout.com. "I believe I can be the face of the program early and that is what I want. Columbia is like a second home for me and it is a good fit for me."
The 6-foot-5, 235-pound Blackshear is regarded as one of the top players in the entire 2015 class nationally.
Blackshear had been favoring the Gamecocks throughout the recruiting process but gave no indication he planned to make such an early decision, according to his coach Ken Cribb.
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"That's kids for you," Cribb said. "After talking with him I thought he'd wait awhile but everything may have been overwhelming for him. He may have known who he liked and where he wanted to go and just said let's go ahead and get this part off me so I can concentrate on Bluffton Bobcat football."
Cribb said the timing of Blackshear's commitment surprised him - but not the fact that he chose USC.
"Honestly, I think he's been a Gamecock fan," Cribb said. "He wears Gamecock stuff all the time. He likes all the coaches. Everette Sands been recruiting him hard and he likes coach Sands. Back yard, local, home favorite. He just liked everything about them."
Blackshear is the second 2015 commitment for the Gamecocks, joining Atlanta receiver Dexter "D.J." Neal.
Blackshear is 15 years old and is still working to master his skills. He had 97 tackles with 17 for loss and 5 sacks last season.
"I'm just going to be honest with you, he can play any position on the field," Cribb said. "He's 6-5, 235. He's been timed as a 4.6 but Friday night (in the spring scrimmage) he ran the ball and I guarantee you he was 4.5 or better. It was incredible. He hit a gear I hadn't screen. And he's incredibly strong, he's agile and explosive. Can run it, catch it, throw it. He has no limitations."
Blackshear has a dozen offers with Clemson, North Carolina, NC State, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio State and Southern Cal also on his list.
Also Tuesday, Bluffton rising senior DL KJ Ford announced a commitment to NC State.