Defensive back Israel Mukuamu (6-foot-4, 180 pounds), the former Berkeley High standout who played this season in Bossier City, La., will return to his native state for his college football career.
Mukuamu announced a commitment to South Carolina Saturday afternoon, completing a recruiting turnaround that saw him first commit to Florida State before the coaching change there. Continued recruiting love from Will Muschamp convinced him to join the Gamecocks.
“Just being comfortable with the staff and coming back to the state of South Carolina to play football,” Mukuamu said.. “It was God’s plan. I guess he had to take me out of the state for me to realize that South Carolina is the place for me to be.”
Mukuamu said Muschamp recruited him as a cornerback and laid out plans for him to get early snaps on the defense and special teams his freshman season.
“I see a very bright future. I believe I’m going to be a standout player there,” he said. “I believe that we can win an SEC championship as well as a national championship there. I just have to go in, work hard and trust in God. I know I’m going to fit in very well. The SEC has a lot of big receivers, and they like to throw the ball downfield. With my length and speed, I think I match up very well. I just have to put in the work.”
Mukuamu also considered Indiana, Purdue and Georgia along with USC and Florida State. He will visit USC next weekend to watch bowl practice. He will be an early signee and plans to enroll in January.
Mukuamu is the Gamecocks’ 19th commitment for the 2018 class and the fourth for the secondary.