GAFFNEY Gaffney High standouts Shaq Davidson and L.J. Peak are heading in different directions for their collegiate athletisc careers.
The pair of rising seniors made their joint announcement Tuesday evening in a crowded Gaffney gymnasium, with Davidson headed to South Carolina to play football and Peak going to Georgetown to play basketball.
Speculation had centered on the two friends picking the same destination, but when the time came to let everyone know their decisions, Peak took off a USC cap and threw it on the gym floor and put on a Georgetown cap. Davidson followed by putting on a Gamecock cap and sticking with it.
The 6-foot, 170-pound Davidson led the Indians to the Class 4A Division I state championship last season. The 6-foot-5, 190-pound Peak won Class 4A basketball state championships his eighth-grade and sophomore seasons before he transferred last year to Whitney M. Young, a magnet school in Chicago. He came back to Gaffney before the end of the school year.
“I really thought about going to South Carolina. They were my second school. But I just figured Georgetown would be the better fit for me,” Peak said.
Davidson felt the same way about coming to Columbia.
“I just feel at home there,” Davidson said. “They’re very welcoming there and very caring.”
Davidson long had favored the Gamecocks over many top-flight programs, and he picked them over Auburn, Florida State and North Carolina. He expects to find a home on the Williams-Brice Stadium field as well.
“I fit in good down there at wide receiver,” he said.
Both stated they were ready to get the recruiting process over.
“I really didn’t want to lead anybody else on, and I already had made up my mind,” Davidson said.
Davidson can’t sign an official NCAA letter of intent until February 2014, while Peak will not be able to sign until November of this year. Although the two announced their choices together, they had no issues with making different decisions.
“We didn’t really talk about that. I’m sure he’s happy for me just like I’m happy for him,” Peak said.
Davidson wasn’t disappointed that Peak decided against joining him on the USC campus.
“He has to make his own choice. We both made our choices and went with it,” Davidson said.
Peak stated that Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson III told him that “I could come in and start right away and that I could be a scorer.” The Hoyas will play in a reconstituted Big East by the time Peak arrives in Washington D.C. He doesn’t expect to change his mind before signing day.
“I’m all the way in. That’s where I’m going,” he said.