Many believe that Brandon Shell has the potential to become USC’s best offensive lineman of all-time. He certainly has the size (6-6, 316) and pedigree (grand nephew of Hall of Famer Art Shell).
Q: How much of the South Carolina passion for Gamecock football did you experience growing up?
A: I liked South Carolina since I was in seventh grade. I watched them on TV. I don’t know, there’s something about South Carolina that I liked when I was younger. Then when I came to high school in ninth grade, I think they were the first to offer me a verbal scholarship, so then I was like, yeah, I want to go to South Carolina, I want to go to South Carolina. As the years went on, I still had South Carolina in my head, but then other schools started to come. At first, I really didn’t know. Then it was just South Carolina.
Q: Did you have favorite Gamecocks growing up?
A: I liked Sidney Rice and the running back, Mike Davis. I still have favorite players on the team now, like Alshon Jeffery and Marcus Lattimore.
Q: A lot of big guys want to get a chance to catch the ball or carry the ball. Have you ever wanted a shot?
A: I always asked (Goose Creek head coach Chuck Reedy) to let me get the ball, let me get the ball, but I kind of figured it wasn’t going to happen so I decided to stick to blocking and doing my job.
Q: Did they have any plays for you?
A: We had a play but we didn’t run it this year. It was called Shell special. It was a play-action pass and I go across the middle and catch the ball. I run a 10-yard in and catch the ball. I lined up as a tight end.
Q: Do you think you can play right away at USC?
A: If I work hard and stay in the weight room and compete hard, I probably can. That’s my goal. I would like to (start). I’m not saying I will. I can play left or right tackle. They (USC coaches) are talking about left tackle, but it’s just whatever fits me best.
Q: What do you remember about transferring from West Ashley to Goose Creek?
A: The reason was because I wasn’t focused at West Ashley, I wasn’t pushed to work. When I came to Goose Creek, I was pushed to work and pushed to focus and pushed to do good so I could get to the next level.
Q: What has your great uncle (NFL Hall of Fame offensive lineman Art Shell) helped you with?
A: When he comes down here, he helps me work on my steps and my pass protection steps. He doesn’t actually get down in his stance, but he shows me what I need to do.
Q: What was it like growing up with football?
A: Football wasn’t everything, but it was mostly everything. That’s all you did, football, football. We went in the front yard and we’d have our towels tucked in our shorts, trying to be like NFL players. We had the water bottles. When my uncle used to coach for the Falcons, he would send us stuff and he would play with us all the time. With football, now I know I have something I can do to help get an education and succeed in life.
Q: As a small child, you said basketball was your first love. What happened?
A: In high school I started playing basketball and football, and basketball wasn’t working out like football was for me, so I kind of stuck to football.
Q: What’s it like to be a folk hero in Goose Creek?
A: The kids on the football team look up to you, the kids in the community. You have to show them you can carry the team on your back. I notice that (people know who I am) all the time. It always catches my eye. It is not really weird. You get used to it after a while. I don’t see it as being famous. I just see it as being a person that everybody knows.
Q: What makes you a good player?
A: My attitude and work ethic.