One of the faster rising prospects in the state of South Carolina is 2021 defensive end Justus Boone (6-foot-5, 240 pounds) of Sumter. Last season he played for Laurence Manning Academy. Friday night he debuted with Sumter High and in the win over Rock Hill recorded 7 1/2 tackles and 3 1/2 sacks. South Carolina knew about him from camp this summer, and defensive ends coach Mike Peterson reviewed his film from Friday night and offered him Tuesday night.
“Absolutely unbelievable, it really felt unreal at the time,” Boone said of getting his first offer. “I talked to my head coach Mark Barnes, and he sent me some information to call coach Mike Peterson from USC. I talked to him and he congratulated me on my first game and was telling me how well I did and to continue to be open to learning new things and make sure I’m doing everything I’m supposed to do. And he told me he was calling me to offer me.”
Boone performed in camp in front of Peterson, so the Gamecock coach already had an idea of what his game was about. His film from Friday night confirmed further Peterson’s opinion.
“He was telling me I could move really well and was real athletic, and how aggressive I was,” Boone said.
Being the first to offer not doubt will be a positive for the Gamecocks when Boone gets around to making a decision. He could easily have committed right away but he wants the process to play out a little more since his recruiting is just starting to heat up.
“My family and myself have always liked the Gamecocks, especially my mom and family absolutely love them,” he said. “I was hoping to let my recruiting play out a little bit. Not saying that I wouldn’t be honored to play at South Carolina, but with me just being a junior I would like to see the other opportunities that I could get.”
Boone also camped at Virginia Tech this summer and his hearing from the Hokies along with Wake Forest and East Carolina. He plans to be in Charlotte Saturday for USC”s game against North Carolina, and he’ll attend some home games in Columbia as well.