Shamier Jeffery may ultimately join his older brother at South Carolina, but he wants people to understand that’s not a foregone conclusion.
The standout quarterback from Calhoun County and brother of USC receiver Alshon Jeffery has put up big numbers to start his senior season. Gamecock fans are hoping he’ll take those talents to Columbia, but Jeffery is a long way from making a decision.
“Is South Carolina my favorite?” he asked. “You could say that.
“I don’t want everybody thinking that I’m just going to follow in [Alshon’s] footsteps or trying to be just like him. I’m trying to do my own thing just like him. He made his name, and I’m trying to make my own name.”
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That may ultimately happen with the Gamecocks. Or it may not if the 6-foot-2, 190-pounder decides to take his talents elsewhere. He has a number of offers, though he doesn’t plan to start cutting them down until later this year.
His recruitment and decision will likely hinge on what position he decides to play. He’s put up huge numbers as a prep quarterback, but he may transition to receiver at the next level, where his size and 4.5 speed would present matchup problems.
Though he initially was interested in staying at quarterback, Jeffery has started to see the positives in a position change.
“I look at Shamier as an athlete,” Calhoun County coach Walter Wilson said. “We’ve talked about it. If you look at the big picture with him, it’s at wideout. You have to look at history. There are a lot of receivers at the next level that were great quarterbacks in high school.
“I see him as an all-American receiver. Honestly I think he’s a little better athlete than Alshon. That’s kind of scary, but he doesn’t have the ‘dog’ in him yet.”
Once Shamier develops the attitude of his brother – that demand-the-ball and never-back-down mindset – he’ll have the chance to be just as good, Wilson said.
Jeffery’s recruitment has slowed over the last few weeks, mainly due to his disinterest. He is focused on helping Calhoun County win an elusive state championship. When that run is over, he’ll start making some decisions about his future as a player and a student.
“To be honest with you, I don’t keep up with it and he doesn’t keep up with it,” Wilson said of the recruiting process. “When it comes down to it, he’s going to pick to pick five schools for official visits and he’s going to take them.
“Right now his mind is on leading this team to a place we’ve never been. That’s his biggest thing right now, and everything else will fall in place.”
USC fans may hope that Alshon leans on his brother when it’s time to make a decision, but Shamier doesn’t expect that to happen.
“He told me to make the best choice for me,” said Jeffery, who expects to choose a school sometime in January. “He’s never told me to come to South Carolina or told me what’s wrong with other schools. He just said make the best choice for me.”
And right now that’s no choice at all.