Martay Mattox grew up in the shadows of Georgia's Sanford Stadium, but he'll spend his college years trying to bring anguish to the city of Athens.
The Clarke Central (Ga.) quarterback committed to South Carolina last May and will enroll in school this January, joining an unsettled battle behind center. Georgia was showing interest in Mattox, but he was never a big Bulldogs fan and didn't mind a change of scenery.
The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder, who also had offers from Maryland and South Florida, visited USC earlier this month for the UGA game.
"It was my hometown team vs. my future team," Mattox said. "My first game in the stadium.
"I was there, rooting on my future teammates. I love the atmosphere there. I like the play calling. They run a couple plays similar to what we do, so I was excited about that."
Gamecocks fans should be excited about the athleticism that Mattox will add to the fold. Current quarterbacks Stephen Garcia and Connor Shaw are capable runners, but Mattox is likely even more dynamic with the ball in his hands.
He accounted for 31 total touchdowns in 2009 - 16 of those were on the ground.
Through four games this season, Mattox has completed 58 percent of his passes, throwing for 702 yards, 10 scores and just two interceptions. He has rushed for another 163 yards (8.6 yards per carry). Mattox also doubles as a corner and returns punts.
Some recruiting analysts have projected Mattox as a safety at the next level, but the Gamecocks, at least initially, will give him a chance to play quarterback.
"He's certainly a great football player," Clarke Central coach Leroy Ryals said. "He's definitely in tune with the game. He's a smart football player. He's very good academically as well.
"He can play quarterback. He understands offenses. He's just so coachable and does things every day that he'll need to do to get better at the next level."
Unlike many dual-threat quarterbacks, Mattox hasn't been allowed to rely solely on his athleticism. Ryals has spent hours teaching him the finer points of playing quarterback, including the importance of footwork and making the proper reads in the passing game.
"... I think a lot of athletes don't have true quarterback qualities," said Mattox, who possesses high 4.4 to low 4.5 speed.
"I expect to get a shot at quarterback. But I'm a football player. Anywhere they decide to put me, I can contribute to the team."
If quarterback doesn't work out, Ryals believes Mattox could end up playing several different positions on offense or defense. He projects most likely as a free safety or receiver.
But Ryals doesn't want USC fans to think they are getting an athlete that plays quarterback. Instead, he says, Mattox is a quarterback who is athletic.
"Especially on Friday night, he's a big leader," Ryals said. "He doesn't like to lose, which is a great quality. He understands how the game goes. He kind of looks at the game like a coach."