Lake City running back Shon Carson (5-9 195) didn't make it to the USC-Alabama Saturday because he was taking the SAT. But that didn't stop him from getting caught up in the emotion of the game and deciding he wanted to be a Gamecock.
Carson committed to USC on Sunday afternoon, becoming the 20th commitment for the 2011 class.
He called his recruiter Brad Lawing, who put him on the phone with Steve Spurrier.
"This takes some of the pressure off me so I can focus on my senior season," said Carson, who has rushed for 1,300 yards and 20 touchdowns this season.
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Carson also is a baseball prospect and USC's willingness to let him play both sports was key in his decision.
"The baseball program recruited me hard," he said. "Coach [Chad] Holbrook was on me hard. He was at all my tournaments over the summer."
Carson also had offers from Clemson, North Carolina, East Carolina, Florida State, Tennessee, Alabama, Southern Cal, Kentucky, UCLA and Auburn.
But USC had been out front for a while and he knew he wasn't going far from home.
"I wanted to keep my talent in South Carolina," he said. "They use their running backs a lot. They gave Marcus Lattimore a chance to play his freshman year and I can take some of the pressure off him."
His former coach at Lake City, Justin Gentry, had high praise for Carson.
"He's a coach's dream, he's amazing," said Gentry, now the head coach at Chapin. "He has good hands and runs sweeps well. He has that good ability to cut back and see the field. And he knows when to lower his shoulder."
Carson joins Brandon Wilds of Blythewood as running back commitments for USC.