It didn’t take long for Williston-Elko High tailback Kendric Salley to jump on his first scholarship offer.
Growing up a devout South Carolina fan, the Class of 2012 standout was simply waiting for an offer from the Gamecocks. Almost as soon as he had one in hand last December, he ended his recruitment before it ever really started, committing to USC shortly after the completion of his junior season.
Salley, who is also running track this spring, and his teammates with the Class A Blue Devils opened spring practice Tuesday. Williston-Elko coach Dwayne Garrick joined The State for a Q&A beforehand:
Question: What has Kendric done to improve this offseason?
Answer: He’s worked really hard in terms of his physical conditioning, both his running and in the weight room. He’s also worked really hard on his academics as well.
Q: Do you think the early commitment was beneficial?
A: Yeah. That’s where he always wanted to go. He’s not one of these really flashy kids, so he didn’t have to wait until signing day and put on four or five different hats. He knows that’s where he wants to go. He’s gotten it out of the way, and I think for him that’s going to be a positive so that he can really focus on doing well his senior year.
Q: Has USC asked him to improve in any specific areas?
A: No. They like what they see. There isn’t anything they’ve discussed with him in terms of things he needs to do. He’s gained some weight. He’s up to about 220. He’s still about a 4.65 (40-yard dash) and his grades are good, so he’s doing well.
Q: Did he have any specific strength deficiencies that he needed to improve on?
A: No. He’s well over a 300-pound bench guy. He’s a 400-pound squat guy. In terms of strength, he’s probably well above where most guys his age are supposed to be right now.
Q: What kind of expectations do you have for him this season?
A: He’s going to be a go-to guy for us without a doubt. I think he’s already scored 71 touchdowns. I think he’s going to get to the point where he’ll have a chance to break the state record possibly (Lexington’s Demetris Summers scored 127). I just want him to go out, play hard and enjoy his senior year. Hopefully he’ll have chance to get into the playoffs and then we’ll focus on getting him ready to come to (USC) and make an impact in his first couple of years.