Charlotte Christian quarterback Garrett Shrader, who holds more than a dozen offers, has traveled the country visiting schools that are recruiting him, including Alabama, Penn State and Mississippi State.
He has been a frequent visitor at South Carolina and will make another trip to Columbia on March 2.
What is it about USC that keeps bringing him back?
“I’ve probably been down there a dozen times in the past year and a half or two,” Shrader told The State on Wednesday. “Just seeing how other places stack up to it and trying to compare and feel it out. And mainly because it’s so close to home I can easily get there and back in a day.”
Shrader said that proximity to home will play a small factor in his decision, although it won’t be the deciding factor. But there are other reasons why he “loves” South Carolina.
“Coach (Will) Muschamp’s done a great job, a nine-win season last year, won a bowl game,” he said. “From where they were under coach (Steve) Spurrier during the last part of that staff, he’s done a great job.”
The class of 2019 signal caller is also a fan of the recent coaching moves the Gamecocks made.
USC promoted Bryan McClendon to offensive coordinator after its Outback Bowl victory against Michigan and hired former Ole Miss co-offensive coordinator Dan Werner as its quarterbacks coach in January.
Shrader has a strong relationship with McClendon and area recruiter Bobby Bentley, and is continuing to learn more about Werner.
“I’m excited to see what they’re going to do, especially bringing in coach Werner and McClendon,” he said. “They’re working on the offensive side of the ball. I know coach Werner did a great job when he was there in the SEC in 2014 (at Ole Miss). He put up a ton of points on (Alabama).”
Shrader hopes to “keep talking to coach B Mac and Werner and really just get to know them and what they’re going to do on offense,” during his next trip to USC. He plans to make a decision in the next couple of months, but definitely before the start of his senior season.
In addition to his trip to South Carolina, he has a visit planned to West Virginia in March.
Shrader, who is rated by 247 Sports composite as the No. 12 dual-threat quarterback and No. 474 overall player in the country, passed for 2,302 yards with 24 touchdowns and six interceptions in 11 games in 2017. He also rushed for 791 yards and 10 scores, averaging more than 9 yards per carry.