On Jan. 14, 2012, Dillon standout D.J. Park committed to South Carolina to become the Gamecocks' first 2013 commitment. Exactly one year and five days later, Park's former teammate, three-star LB Joe Blue became the Gamecocks first commitment of the 2014 class while on an unofficial visit to Columbia Saturday.
Like his former teammate D.J. Park last class, Joe Blue is the first commitment of the 2014 class.
The 5-foot-11, 235-pound prospect chose the Gamecocks over offers from LSU, Florida, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Southern Cal and Virginia Tech.
"I’ve known the decision," Blue said about the timing of his decision. "I was just waiting on the right time to make my commitment. I just got tired of waiting, so I just chose today."
Blue was recruited to South Carolina by co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Shawn Elliott, who he has an excellent relationship with.
"He played a big role," Blue said of his relationship with Elliott. "It feels like family. Coach made me feel like a big recruit. When I wasn’t a big recruit, he made me feel like a big recruit. He always kept me close."
Blue has a comfort level with the South Carolina program after taking multiple unofficial visits with his teammates.
Blue, who said recently that he was growing tired of the recruiting process, not only has ties with Park, who enrolled at Carolina last week, but Dillon three-star OL Bryce King is committed to South Carolina, and will enroll in the summer, and former Dillon WR Kwinton Smith is a redshirting freshman at Carolina.
"I wanted to commit for myself," Blue said. "They would always tell me to come along with them, but they didn’t play a big role. I wanted to commit to the best school for me.”
Blue is rated the No. 20 ILB in the country by 247Sports but could find himself in the offensive backfield at South Carolina.
“It’s up in the air,” Blue said. “Coach Elliott was talking to me that they really don’t know what position I can play. They just know I can play somewhere but they don’t know what position.”
Blue noted that he plans to work hard for South Carolina on the recruiting trail. His first call will be to Donell Stanley (Latta/Latta), a four-star offensive lineman from just up the road of Blue's home town.
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