T.J. Brunson is staying home.
The Richland Northeast High School linebacker committed to the Gamecock football team Monday morning, a day after wrapping up his official visit at the University of South Carolina.
“I would like to thank all the coaches who’ve given me the opportunity to play football and represent their school and have recruited me through everything,” Brunson said Monday via Twitter. “I’ve often heard that it isn’t a four year decision but a forty year decision. After much thought and prayer, I’d like to make the announcement that I’ll be attending the University of South Carolina.”
Brunson (6-feet-0, 225-pounds) was a one-time Louisville commitment. He wanted to commit to the Gamecocks last spring but was told by members of the previous staff that they wanted to make sure he was recovered from offseason hip surgery. Brunson had surgery March 21 for femoroacetabular impingement, a condition that creates too much friction in the hip joint.
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Brunson thanked several folks via Twitter “for helping me recover from a surgery many didn’t think I would bounce back from.”
Brunson had a team-leading 138 tackles in helping RNE to its first playoff appearance since 2011 and first playoff victory since moving down to Class 3A. He also was the team’s punter and averaged nearly 40 yards a kick.
When Will Muschamp was hired last month, Brunson was the first prospect that USC’s new coach visited.
Brunson was named the Defensive MVP for the South Carolina squad in last month’s Shrine Bowl after a game-high 13 tackles, one sack and 1.5 for loss.
“It was really cool. I had a great time,” Brunson said Sunday after his USC official visit wrapped up. “The players made me feel at home. It wasn’t weird or anything, they just make you feel at home. I can be myself around them.”