USC won the battle for highly coveted OL Austin Clark (6-6 295) of Lexington, VA Thursday night when he announced a commitment to the Gamecocks on his local TV station. Clark picked the Gamecocks over Virginia Tech, Tennessee and Ohio State.
Clark visited USC for a spring practice and made a return visit May 31st for a final look. He developed a strong relationship with Gamecock offensive line coach Shawn Elliott and that was one of his primary reasons for picking the Gamecocks.
"Coach Elliott and coach (Steve) Spurrier were the ones who really, really sold me on the school," Clark said. "They talked about everything and I was able to see it in person. It wasn't one of those deals where they talk a good game but it isn't that way. Everything they said proved to be true. Overall, South Carolina was definitely who I felt comfortable with."
Clark also visited Tennessee and Virginia Tech in the days leading up to his decision to compare and contrast those programs with USC.
Never miss a local story.
"Just being down there at South Carolina, it gave me a great feel," Clark said. "I really like it down there. Comfortability was great. Academics, they have the number one international business school in the country. And depth chart, coach says I have a good chance of going in there and contributing early. I definitely think I've made the right choice. I talked it over with my parents and they agreed I made the right choice."
The Gamecocks will lose both of their starting tackles after this season and they eye Clark as a possible immediate replacement.
"I have a good frame and I can carry more weight," he said. "My footwork is good. My strength is run blocking because of the explosiveness in my hips."
Clark is the third offensive lineman to commit to USC for the 2015 class.