Shamier Jeffery said he has always been competitive with his older brother, Alshon, and managed a few wins in one-on-one basketball games growing up.
Now they can renew their friendly sibling rivalry. Shamier signed Wedneday with South Carolina, where he is slated to play receiver after spending two seasons at quarterback and join his brother, an All-American at wide receiver this past season.
Alshon’s first advice: “Do your school work,” Shamier said.
Calhoun County High coaches say Shamier can jump higher and run faster. Alshon, who will be a junior next season, is more physical at 6-foot-4, 233 pounds. Shamier is 6-1 and 202 pounds.
USC recruiting coordinator Shane Beamer said Alshon might dispute which brother is faster. Beamer noted both have different running styles and Shamier played several positions in high school: “I’m looking forward to getting Shamier up here and seeing where he best fits.”
Shamier said he plans to work hard so he can get playing time right away even with several receivers returning. USC coach Steve Spurrier said that “will be determined on how Shamier comes in here and performs.”
Their high school coach, Walt Wilson, said Alshon never recruited his brother to make sure Shamier choose a school for his own reasons. That didn’t prevent Alshon from protesting that coach learned first that his brother picked USC, Wilson said.
The pair will be inseparable in college, his parents said. “I hope (Alshon) keeps him like he is up in Columbia — humble, respecting people,” said their father, Charles Jeffery.
Alshon’s experiences should help, such as when he was struggled for playing time early as a freshman.
“I asked, ‘Are you going 100 percent every day at practice?’ ” Wilson said. “And he was, ‘Well coach, um,’ and I said, ‘Your 85 percent in high school still made you the best thing around. But in college, 85 percent is not going to do.’ He hit that switch, you saw the difference. Alshon is not going to let Shamier to go through that.”
Shamier played receiver before switching to quarterback to give his team the best chance of winning, Wilson said. ESPN rated him a four-star recruit and 41st among receivers nationally.
“At the Shrine Bowl, people would say, ‘He’s rated too low,’ ” Wilson said. “I apologize because I hurt him by having him be unselfish.”