Alfy Hill is happy that his goal of playing football closer to home is almost a reality.
Hill (6-5, 274), a North Carolina native who attends Los Angeles Valley College, committed to South Carolina on March 30.
Hill is from Shallotte, N.C., and played at West Brunswick High School. He was a four-star prospect when he signed with Alabama in 2010 and took part in preseason drills before his career took a few detours.
The NCAA Clearinghouse ruled him ineligible because of an online high school core course. He enrolled at East Carolina but left there for Itawamba Junior College in Mississippi. He withdrew from Itawamba after the spring semester of 2011 and enrolled at the Los Angeles school, where he joined two former teammates.
He decided in mid-March that he would visit South Carolina while on spring break. Hill said he committed to N.C. State earlier this year but decided to switch his pledge to USC.
Hill is recovering from a knee injury suffered last season. He hopes to enroll at USC in January - though it could be summer of 2013 - and will have two seasons of eligibility when he gets to Columbia.
The Gamecocks have four commitments for the 2013 class. Hill was the second pledge.
Why South Carolina?
Coach Brad Lawing is a long friend of my high school coach. I feel comfortable with that. I went down there and visited and I liked the way he teaches his defense. I sat in his meetings and the meetings were pretty good.
I’ve got one more year in California. The depth chart, when I get there [to USC], will be in my favor. And I like coach Steve Spurrier. He’s a legend.
The defense is fit for my skills. I’ve been away from the home for awhile and I want to get back to the East Coast.
How is California different from the Carolinas?
It’s a big difference. The people are different, and the food. The lifestyle is different, the weather. Everything is different.
Is there sweet tea in California?
No, not at all.
How often have you talked with Brad Lawing since being away?
We just started talking in the last couple months. When I went out to California I told myself I was coming back to the East Coast and it was going to be out of schools closer to my home.
Did you know a lot about South Carolina?
They recruited me out of high school, so I knew enough about them already.
I read that you grew up liking Clemson. Talk about that.
I first started playing football when I was 9 years old. The color of my team was orange. I played for a team called the Buccaneers. When I first started watching football, Clemson was the first school I watched on TV.
What convinced you to switch your pledge from N.C. State to South Carolina?
It’s kind of obvious. It’s the SEC. You’ve got to choose the SEC over the ACC any day.
Do you have any regrets that your Alabama career didn’t work out?
No sir, I really don’t. The way I look at it, God has a plan for me. If he didn’t want me to be there that specific time, whatever God has planned for me will work out for me one day.
What makes you a good defensive end?
My speed, my skill, my reading ability and my knack for making plays.
What’s football like in Los Angeles?
It ain’t country football, but there’s a lot of speed.
You’re recovering from a knee injury. When you did play, what did you do well?
They didn’t really rush me to the passer. I played linebacker a lot. I got my coverage skills up when I was out there and other aspects of the game I need help with.
What’s the latest with your knee?
I’m in rehab right now. During the season I dislocated it and messed up some of my cartilage. Doctors went in and cleaned it up. I’m good right now.
What are your physical and school goals the rest of this year?
My physical goal is to stay around 270 or 275 and my school goal is to graduate in December.
What are you most looking forward to about returning to the Carolinas?
I want my family and friends to be able to come see my play. I’ve been away from home for a long time.