Terry Googer will suit up at quarterback Friday night for Woodward Academy.
Earlier in the day he made a commitment to play college football – as a wide receiver – for South Carolina.
“It was the perfect fit for me, location-wise and academic-wise, and they are headed in the right place,” Googer said.
Googer (pronounced Goo-jurr) is USC’s 13th commitment for the class of 2014 and the third from the state of Georgia. He held a midday ceremony at Woodward to announce his decision along with junior teammate Arrington Farrar, who picked Stanford.
The 6-foot-4, 216-pounder joins Gaffney’s Shaq Davidson as high school quarterbacks in South Carolina’s 2014 class who will play wide receiver for the Gamecocks.
Googer’s assets as a receiver are his size, athleticism and hands. He’s as tall as current scholarship receivers K.J. Brent and Kwinton Smith and already heavier than both.
“I feel like I have the best hands,” Googer said. “I can catch anything you put in the air. I really like the position. I feel like that’s my best position because I can catch and get open. I look forward to it.”
Googer is a four-year starter at Woodward, an independent school south of Atlanta that is coached by former USC assistant John Hunt.
He primarily played receiver as a freshman before making the transition to full-time quarterback as a junior.
“Our motto is to get the best player the ball all the time,” said Matt Brennan, Woodward defensive line coach and one of two recruiting coordinators. “He’s been asked to carry the load for us, and he’s accepted that role for the team.”
Googer had more than 20 offers and narrowed his final decision to South Carolina and Miami. The Gamecocks were his first offer, and he was recruited by USC defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward.
Brennan was with Googer on most of his camp workouts and recruiting trips, including one final visit to South Carolina in July. It was then they got a closer look at the school’s academics and sat down with Steve Spurrier Jr. to watch an hour and a half of film.
“They showed him what they can do with him in that Alshon Jeffery-type mold,” Brennan said. “It’s a great place for him. It’s close to home so everyone can go see him.”
Rivals and ESPN consider Googer a four-star prospect. He’s the nation’s 45th best receiver for 2014, according to 247Composite, which factors in all networks.
Brennan regards Googer as quiet and humble, with an internal drive that comes out during competition.
“The light comes on when he goes to play receiver at these camps,” Brennan said. “That’s truly what he wants to do. He understands what he has to do for us here at Woodward. When he’s allowed to catch balls, he changes. I think it’s going to be pretty fun to watch him at South Carolina doing that.”
While it’s time to concentrate on being a quarterback, Googer said the experience will help him at the next level.
“Quarterback has been fun,” Googer said. “I like receiver. The quarterback aspect helps me a lot because I know the coverages and where the holes and soft spots are going to be in the defense. It’s going to transfer over to wide receiver. I’ll know where to go.”
Googer at a glance
... Height: 6-foot-4
... Weight: 216 pounds
... The decision: Chose South Carolina over Miami
... 40-yard dash: 4.62
... Junior stats: 90 of 168 passing for 1,200 yards, eight touchdowns; 133 carries for 600 yards, seven touchdowns
... Sophomore stats: 59 of 102 passing for 800 yards, five touchdowns; 130 carries for 700 yards, six touchdowns; 11 catches for 175 yards, three touchdowns