For Jarvis Giles, Tuesday was a special day. This four-star running back prospect was surrounded by his family, friends, teachers and coaches as he made his final announcement of where he was going to be attending college. The two finalists were South Carolina and Tennessee.
"I am going to be a Gamecock," announced Giles, as he put a South Carolina hat on. "Truthfully, I had a great visit there and I love the town and the people. They blew me away. There's a history there and of course I get to play for Steve Spurrier, one of the best coaches of all time."
It's been somewhat of a roller coaster ride for one of the nation's top backs. Giles, 5-11 and 176 pounds, has previously committed to the University of Tennessee. Then the Volunteers made a coaching change and Giles opened things back up. He visited South Carolina back in early November and Nebraska later on that month. All the while he was also waiting to see who would become the next coach in Knoxville. Tennessee hired Lane Kiffin and he finally had a chance to meet up with him this past Friday.
"Coach Kiffin, the A.D., coach (Stan) Drayton and coach (David ) Reaves came by and we had a good meeting. They basically said how much they could use me. There was nothing negative. They came after me."
So Giles had an interesting final weekend, deciding between the two SEC east rivals. So he devised a plan.
"I was real confused between them so I decided on whatever school I thought of first when I woke up on Monday I would pick them. It was South Carolina."
Giles's position coach will be Robert Gillespie. Gillespie played for Spurrier at Florida and is a young and up and coming assistant.
"I can't ask to play for two better coaches. "Coach Gillespie played back in the day for him and he knows that offense and what it takes to battle and win in the SEC."
Giles will graduate this month and enroll in South Carolina in early January. He knows he gets a head start but at the same time he has some work to do.
"I am a smaller back as you can tell. I am 176 pounds now and I would love to get to 190-195 pounds. I know the SEC is brutal and it will take a toll on you. So my main goal is to put some weight on."
Giles is one of the state's top running back prospects in a year loaded at this position in the state of Florida. He brings an explosive element to the Gamecock offense, something they need to continue to progress as a unit. This season he battled some nagging injuries (ankle, groin). Still, he rushed for 970 yards and 13 scores despite missing the first three games and missing some time in others.
"Jarvis is one of those guys that can change the scoreboard," said Gaither Head Coach Mark Kantor. "You hear about backs that can move the chains or pick up the big yards. Jarvis Giles is one of those guys that will change the scoreboard."