In the Piedmont region near the Uwharrie mountain range, sits The Waxhaws area on the border of…
Getting to know: K.J. Brent
Height and Weight: 6-foot-3, 178-pounds
City, State: Waxhaw, N.C.
Senior Stats: 56 catches, Approx. 1,100 yards receiving, nine touchdowns
Scholarship Offers: South Carolina, Arkansas, Duke, East Carolina, Illinois, Kentucky, NC State, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
This interview was conducted before Brent enrolled at South Carolina for Summer I.
On moving in... "It actually has been crazy ever since I committed and even started getting recruited. But now that it's less than two weeks away, it's really started hitting me like a month and a half away, a month away, knowing that I'm about to go down to South Carolina to play football and be at that level on that caliber team, it's pretty exciting. There are definitely mixed feelings, because I never thought I'd play football in college because I didn't start playing until the eighth grade. It's kind of surreal for me but also real to me I'm going down there in a few weeks. But I am excited. I've been real anxious to get down there since I committed. I'm looking forward to next Saturday, to the drive down, packing all my stuff, to getting in my dorm the first summer semester."
On roommates... "It's me, Mason Harris, Drew Owens and Kyle Harris."
Majoring in... "As if right now it's journalism, but I'm not like fully set on that because I don't if I want to do that, if I want to keep doing journalism. It could change but as of right now it's journalism."
On expectations for 2011 season... "I'm pretty excited about it. I've heard about all the hype they have for next year. And I have no doubt that we'll live up to those expectations. I'm looking forward to being a part of that for the next four years. Ever since they started recruiting me my junior year that's when I really -- I had watched them a couple of times before, they were slowly building, so once they started recruiting me, they were immediately in my top two, top three -- so I started watching them and I could see them start to become more of a powerhouse like they are now in the SEC. So I'm really excited about being part of the tradition in a program that is building tremendously. I think the next four years will be pretty exciting."
On committing early... "When I committed I had people telling me it was going to calm down, and I had other people telling me it was actually going to kick up because it would lead even more schools to want you. Stanford was the only one that really kept trying to talk to me. My mom said she kept getting several emails a day from Arkansas about their passing game, but they weren't really trying to talk to me. It calmed down, a lot actually, which is one of the reasons I committed early. Ever since I started getting recruited, I wanted to commit early before my senior season so I could just focus on the season, so I would have that weight off my shoulders, so I could have a stress-free senior year. I had more fun with it, I guess you could say."
When did you know you were a Gamecock? "I had that feeling -- they offered me in October or November, I think it was end of October of my junior year. -- I went to a Vanderbilt game, that was the Homecoming Game that year. I immediately fell in love with the stadium, the fans, the atmosphere, so that kicked it off right off the bat. And then probably I knew I wanted to go there after junior day probably. After the Georgia [basketball] game, we toured the campus, got the feel of the campus -- they were actually still working on the Dodie Center -- got to see the campus, I had already saw the atmosphere of the game. After that I fell in love with it and I knew that was where I wanted to go. All my friends knew that was where I wanted to go, but I knew that they would keep it on the DL. I didn't tell anybody that I knew it would get out. So probably around January is when I knew that's where I really wanted to go."
On learning recruiting secrets... "Drew Owens, I talked to him a lot because he lives down the street from me. So I talked to him a bit. I was talking to him one week, a few months before he actually committed, if I recall, I was like 'do you know where you're going?' And he said it was most likely going to be South Carolina. I guess he trusted me enough not to say anything to anyone. That's the only really secret or thing I had to keep on the DL really. Mason Harris, actually, I had to work hard because I think it was a couple of days before signing day he took a trip to Miami, so I was like, 'what are you doing?' He's like, 'I'm just going down to visit.' So I was like I don't want to see you decommit. He started saying how he loved it and stuff like that. So, I was working hard because we were planing on rooming, so I'm like, 'Dude you can't back out, the next four years are going to be good, we're building.' He was kind of questioning things. I was like they've got stability, Coach Spurrier's there, they're building a program, what else could you ask for? It's in the SEC. That and the fact that we were roommates, that kind of sealed the deal. Those were the only two things really."
On playing receiver for Spurrier... "It's a huge opportunity -- that's one of the things that caught my eye at first, when I went to the Vanderbilt game. I never really watched how they played when I watched them my previous years. When I watched how they played offense, I immediately saw how much they passed. For a receiver, that's a receiver's dream, passing that many times in a game, so my eyes opened big-time on that one. Just the fact that the reason they were so interested in me was because of my build -- I grew up a Florida fan and just how they played. I liked Florida and the way they played. I kind of wanted to go there -- But as I started the recruiting process I was like that's not really for me. The receivers aren't my style. And I watched South Carolina and they were my size, my speed. I'm no where near Alshon (Jeffery), but kind of his style of play is kind of how I think I can play too. I'm not going to compare myself to him obviously right now. But those are the things that caught my eye. I looked a lot into that, the characteristics they look for. Florida, teams like that, they've got speedy [receivers]. They've got tall guys [too] but South Carlina was the absolute best fit for me out of all the offers that I had. But the opportunity is great and I can't wait to get down there, learn their playbook and do what I can do contribute to the team."
On playing with Damiere Byrd... "We're actually real close. Me, Damiere and Mason -- I'm probably closest with those two. I hit up Damiere all the time, texting. We talk probably every week at least. We were going to room together but he decided to room with the Jersey boys but he'll definitely be one of my closest friends on the team."
On his personal workouts before enrolling... "I got (strength coach Craig Fitzgerald's workout plan) a week or two after I signed, so I got on that in the next week. It's a great workout. I've got kids from the team that are going to be back playing with my high school next year that were asking if they could come workout with me instead of the team. ... But it's just a great workout. The conditioning, I've been doing with my receivers coach. But it's a good workout."
The ultimate goal for the 2011 class... "That we left accomplished. Coach Spurrier's plans for these next couple of years is to win all four of the championships: the SEC, the SEC East, the so-called state championship against Clemson every year and national championship. That's what this class is coming in preparing for, because they want to leave a legacy behind us so that the fans will never forget our class -- that we brought the first national championship, all these great accolades and keep building this program that Coach Spurrier is building right now."
Message to the fans... "I'm going to come in and work my hardest with my class coming in to bring you our best the next couple of years, bring you a championship, bring all the wins that you could want and hopefully we'll succeed. I love the atmosphere and the fans. I cant wait to get into the stadium and play in front of that crowd. I'm going to do what I can to bring the fans what they want."
Just for fun...
If not playing football, you're... "I like to hang out with my closest friends, my girlfriend. I like to play X-Box a little bit. Just chill, go out with my friends, drive around and be with the team I guess."
Secret talent... "Not a lot of people know that I can play the piano. I started taking lessons when I was 10, but I had to quit my sophomore year because of sports. But I'll still try to learn a song on the piano. That's probably one thing that a lot of people don't know about me."
Favorite pro team/athlete... "Carolina Panthers, unfortunately, right now. They're not so great right now. All-time favorite athlete is Jerry Rice."
Hottest actress... "Halle Berry. I'll say that one for my dad. That's my dad's. My mom actually knows it. He kids around all the time that that's hit dream date."
Nicknames... "At my high school, they call me 'Superstar.' Either that or 'Prettyboy.' I don't know why.
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