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Rivals250 DT Xzavier McLeod commits to South Carolina

Xzavier McLeod
Xzavier McLeod

Rivals250 defensive tackle Xzavier McLeod announced his commitment to South Carolina during a ceremony at his high school in Camden, South Carolina. Georgia, Florida, and Michigan were his other finalists. McLeod broke down his decision with Rivals.com below.

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CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2024 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

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IN HIS OWN WORDS...

"I'll be going to South Carolina," McLeod said. "I just felt like coach Beamer is doing something big over at South Carolina. I think he's building something that I want to be part of for years to come. I want to change South Carolina back into a winning program and get them back on track like they were in the Jadeveon Clowney days.

"I really built a relationship with almost every single coach - coach Lindsey, coach Beamer, all the way to the offensive line and receiver staff." he said. "We've talked it up and I felt the love. Every time I come other there the whole staff is greeting me.

"They want to use me all over the defensive line," said McLeod. "They think I could be a game-changer here. They want to move me around on the inside and outside."

On whether commitments from Markee Anderson and Monteque Rhames helped South Carolina's case- "Yeah, it kind of did play a part. Knowing other big talents stayed in-state and are giving South Carolina a chance, I feel like I want to be a part of that too. I feel like, if they're staying in-state too, we can do something and change the program around."

RIVALS' REACTION...

The Gamecocks were consistent and those efforts really paid off. McLeod and the coaching staff are very close and the way they prioritized him early in the process went a long way. He is a disruptive presence on the interior of the defensive line that should find playing time relatively early in his career. Offensive linemen have a hard time consistently keeping McLeod out of the backfield. He does a good job disengaging from offensive linemen and has a knack for getting pressure up the middle to move the quarterback off his spot. The South Carolina coaches should be able to significantly increase his effectiveness as his physically matures.

This is a big win for South Carolina on the recruiting trail. Georgia wanted McLeod badly but the Gamecocks held them off and kept McLeod home to play with two of the other top four players in the state.