Charlotte (N.C.) Ardrey Kell tight end Drew Owens made his pledge late last night. The 6-foot-5, 227-pounder picked South Carolina over offers from Arkansas, Clemson, Michigan, North Carolina, NC State, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin and others.
"It was really tough between NC State and South Carolina," he said. "I thought South Carolina was the best fit for me with the players, the program the way it's going and the need for tight ends on top of that along with the academics, it's the best fit for me."
Owens informed South Carolina of his decision last night.
"I called Coach Graham and woke him up about 10:50," he said. "He wasn't too happy at first, but then I committed and he was pretty excited and pumped. He told me it was a big need for them at tight end and the whole program was excited about it.
"Then, I called Coach Spurrier today. He was really pumped. He let me know I made the right decision and he's glad I'm on board."
It was no secret Owens was favoring the Gamecocks throughout much of his recruitment, what made him pull the trigger?
"It's the program and the way it's going, the frequent bowl visits, the coaching, the staff and the need for tight ends," he said. "I felt like they have a family as a coaching staff and all are really close, they hang out outside of football and there is a continuity they have in the program. Also, the coaching is great, the tight end coach is really personable and we meshed great. He's going to get the best out of me and I'm really pumped about.
"The fact they like to swing the ball around to the receivers and tight ends was good too. They let them make plays down field and run pro-sets which allows the tight ends to block and show their range and versatility."
Of course, the chances for playing time were big as well.
"They have two tight ends right now, actually three, but one is graduating and the other two are fullbacks," he said. "It really depends on me and how I can get acclimated to the system. They have no intentions of redshirting me it just depends if I keep progressing and get my weight up."
Owens gave a final take on his choice.
"I'm excited to join the Gamecock nation and I'm on board 100%, I'm ready to make this happen."