Defensive end Rodricus Fitten of Atlanta announced a commitment Wednesday to South Carolina for the 2019 class.
Fitten (6-3, 220) had been recruited by USC’s Bryan McClendon for more than a year and the two built a strong relationship. His high school coach feels the Gamecocks are getting a versatile defender, a leader and a kid of high character.
“He’s a player-coach,” said Washington High head coach Derrick Avery. “He listens, he has knack for the game, he loves the game and he’s very coachable. He eats and breathes football 24 hours a day. South Carolina is getting a good one.”
Avery said he likes to move Fitten around on his defense, playing him at end, in the middle and standing him up on occasion.
“We make people game plan for him,” the coach said. “He’s the best thing we have on defense and we make teams account for him.”
Avery said he brought Fitten and some of his other players to USC last April, and that’s when he picked up his offer. He had also visited USC for a junior day in February.
“Once we got back, everything was about South Carolina. Bryan McClendon and coach [Lance] Thompson came to see him in the spring and they developed a relationship, and he was very fond of those two guys.”
Fitten added offers Thursday from Indiana and Missouri. He also has offers from Iowa State, North Carolina, Louisville, Western Kentucky, Arkansas and Indiana State, among others. Florida also is showing interest and his coach said Alabama likes him as a running back, which he plays from time to time.
Of course, it’s a long way to the signing day for the 2019 class and Avery knows the recruiting of his star player is far from over, especially with Georgia yet to make its big push.
“They always do,” he said. “The best is yet to come with this kid because he works so hard and he’s gong to develop and get bigger, faster and stronger, so probably at some point they are going to try to come knocking. But I think something really has to happen, something drastic has to happen for him to change his commitment to South Carolina.
“He’s very fond of Coach Thompson and Coach McClendon. He just likes South Carolina for some reason. I think it’s because it’s close to home and his folks can can come to see him play on the weekend.”
Fitten is USC’s second commitment for the 2019 class, joining linebacker Ahdarrious Gee of Cordele, Ga.