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January 21, 2013
South Carolina picked up a big commitment today from four-star Pomfret (Md.) McDonough OL Na'Ty Rodgers
The 6-foot-5, 278-pounder chose the Gamecock program over Maryland and numerous others such as Arkansas, Boise State, Clemson, Nebraska, North Carolina, NC State, Oklahoma, Rutgers, Southern Cal, Tennessee, UCLA, Vanderbilt, and Washington.
Rodgers first visited South Carolina last year during the spring and returned for a three unofficial visits during the football season.
This past weekend, he made his official visit to USC. That put things over the top for the Gamecocks, who led most of the recruiting process. He explained why he chose USC.
"It was just the atmosphere, the coaching staff," he said. "It's a place I can really see myself and it's where I want to be."
Rodgers took four official visits during his recruitment (Washington, Oklahoma, Maryland, and South Carolina) and was considering a fourth. This morning, he went on record saying that he was not taking any other visits. The big lineman was thinking of making a decision later in the week, but decided this morning to get it over with sooner.
"I slept on it," he explained. "I woke up and it was time."
When asked if Rodgers would entertain any other college coach visits or on campus visits, he said this:
"I'm done. I cancelled Florida State and everything."
Gamecock quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus played a big role in the decision. Rodgers is also excited about working with USC offensive line coach Shawn Elliott.
"He was there throughout the whole process and has been a good man to me and I respect him for that," Rodgers said. "Coach Elliott, the offensive line said on thevisit that they all love him. He's always fired up, ready to go. He's one of the most fired-up coaches they have on the team. Just to be able to have that defensive intensity as an o-line coach, that's something you don't find too much."
With his choice behind him, Rodgers may put on his recruiting hat and try to help the Gamecocks land his friend Yannick Ngakoue, who joined him in Columbia this past weekend.
"I'm going to try," he laughed. "Yannnick's going to make a good decision. He's a good dude. He'll get the best for him."
The four-star performer checks in on Rivals.com's rankings as 233rd in the country overall, the 21st-best offensive tackle prospect, and the sixth-best prospect in the state over Maryland.
With Rodgers' commitment, USC's staff now has five total offensive linemen in the 2013 class including Dillon (S.C.) linemen D.J. Park and Bryce King and Georgia's Alan Knott and J.P. Vonashek. Rodgers was recruited to USC by Gamecock quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus.
Want more insight on how Rodgers' recruitment went down? Check here in our inside notes for members only
If you have any questions about this feature or wish to discuss it, please visit The Insiders Forum, Gamecock Central's members-only message board for Gamecock fans.