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June 22, 2013
ALSO SEE: Our insider analysis of Smalls as a player and person
Cornerback is a big position of need for South Carolina in the 2014 recruiting class. After landing four-star Wesley Green on Friday, USC was not finished.
It just so happens that one of the best prospects in the Southeast at that position resides in the Palmetto State's Lowcountry, and the Gamecock coaching staff has taken full advantage.
Summerville (S.C.) three-star Darin Smalls decided today to pull the trigger on a commitment to South Carolina after favoring USC nearly the entire recruiting process since offering back in December.
The 5-foot-11, 205-pounder drew 15 scholarship offers during the course of his recruitment and was originally planning on announcing a decision on signing day early next year. However, he recently changed course.
"Teams now can only sign so many people, so it's better to be early than late," he said of pushing up his decision timeframe.
Why South Carolina?
"They just recruit me the most out of all the teams and I get along with all the coaches well. Me and Steve Spurrier talk a lot. I just feel like I fit South Carolina the most," Smalls said.
For the Gamecocks, running backs coach Everette Sands is the recruiter of record.
"He's done a great job. He's always checking in on me, talking about school and asking when I'm going to visit there and getting me in contact with other coaches."
The ball-hawking corner is excited about having the opportunity to play for secondary coach Grady Brown and defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward.
"Those two are great coaches," he said. "I got to meet them twice. Just from those two times, I can see that I would love to play there and be coached by those two guys."
Smalls, a prospect that South Carolina likes as a boundary corner, may still hit the road despite his early pledge to check out some others.
"I'll probably take visits still. Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, maybe Tennessee, possibly Oklahoma, and Vanderbilt," he said.
This season, Smalls has some goals he hopes to accomplish as a senior for his Green Wave squad.
"Just ball out," he explained. "I'm trying to lead the state in interceptions this year, be in the top three to five in tackles on the team, do better on the return team. I'm playing a little receiver this year, so hopefully I'm going to make a little impact there too."
PREMIUM CONTENT YOU CAN ACCESS WITH YOUR SUBSCRIPTION TO GAMECOCKCENTRAL.COM:
Our insider analysis of Smalls as a player and person
CAMP SCOOP: News, nuggets, and scouting notes from the first day of Spurrier football camp
Our in-depth interview with four-star RB Derrell Scott; he talks about USC, FSU, upcoming visits, decision timeframe and more