First Coast (Jacksonville, FL) standout linebacker Shaq Wilson visited Columbia this weekend for South Carolina’s annual Garnet and Black Spring Game, and after favoring USC for several months, the Sunshine State prospect decided to pull the trigger and become the Gamecocks’ first commitment in the 2008 recruiting class. Read inside for full story.
The 6’1, 210 pound Wilson, who was recently timed running a 4.55 second forty yard dash, talked about how he broke the news to the Gamecock coaches on Saturday morning.
“I committed to South Carolina earlier today,” said Wilson. “I was with both Coach Spurrier and Coach Nix, and they were telling me how I’d be able to contribute early to the team and how they haven’t won a championship yet. So I told them that I’d like to be the first commitment of 2008, and everybody just went crazy. They were very excited.”
Wilson, who chose USC over offers from major programs like Miami, Louisville, Maryland, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, and Illinois, shared what factors stood out to him about the Gamecock program.
“It was really how they showed that they wanted me the most, like I was a top priority on their list. The academics were important, and I just felt really loved at South Carolina. I believe it‘s the best place for me for my next four or five years in college.”
The talented linebacker prospect visited Columbia with former First Coast teammate and 2007 Gamecock signee Jamire Williams, and according to Wilson, the two enjoyed the atmosphere in Williams Brice Stadium at Saturday’s spring game.
“The spring game was great. The atmosphere was real good, and everybody was really showing us a lot of love. I didn’t see anybody blitz, but there were a couple of hard hits out there.”
When asked if he would be providing some hard hits for the Gamecock defense in the future, Wilson, who helps fill a need at linebacker in USC’s 2008 recruiting class, gave an enthusiastic response.
“Oh, yes sir. I’ll help bring some championships too.”
Wilson, who said he will now help recruit fellow First Coast prospects Nigel Carr, Avis Commack, and Jermaine Thomas to join him at USC, plans to be more than a spectator at next year’s Garnet and Black Game.
“I’m going to be there for next spring, because I’m graduating early. I’m graduating early, so I’ll be there for the spring next year. The coaches told me I‘d have a chance to compete right away.”
Fresh off his USC commitment, Wilson closed by sharing a message with the Gamecock faithful.
“Just look out for the Shaq attack.”
Wilson racked up an impressive 132 tackles, 9 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles as a junior last season, and he has worked diligently so far this offseason to further improve his game. He is projected to be initially rated as a 3-star prospect by Scout.com
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