Shaq Roland’s Wednesday morning signing ceremony at Lexington High School followed the pattern of his entire recruitment – low-key and drama-free.
Roland, who committed in July, became the fourth straight Mr. Football in the state to sign with the University of South Carolina.
“I knew ever since (the summer) I was going to be a Gamecock, and I never looked back on it,” he said. “No other school tried to contact me. After I made my commitment, the recruiting process has been easy. I just relaxed and focused on what I needed to do. It’s a great day for me, shows all my hard work. I give thanks to all my family and friends. It’s just a great day.”
Roland, 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, is considered a five-star recruit by Scout.com and a four-star recruit by the other major recruiting services. Although he lives only 30 minutes from Columbia, he said the biggest factor in his signing was South Carolina’s recent success, including the 2010 SEC East title and last year’s 11 wins.
“They had a great recruiting class, and I just wanted to be a part of that,” he said. “It’s a place where I can go and come in early and play as a freshman and all my family and friends can come see me play and that’s why I chose them.”
Roland also is a standout basketball player at Lexington High School but will play only football at South Carolina. He will not have to have surgery on a nagging shoulder injury, coach Scott Earley said, and will enroll at South Carolina in late June or early July, he said.
Roland is close with fellow wide receiver recruits Kwinton Smith and Jody Fuller, he said.
“I think (the Gamecocks) are a team on the rise,” he said. “Next year they can do great things.”
Roland was one of four Wildcats to sign college football scholarship agreements Wednesday. Wide receiver Taquan West signed with South Carolina State. Wide receiver Jalen Cook signed with Newberry, and linebacker Rivers Bedenbaugh signed with Newberry.