The 2015 recruiting cycle is starting to kick into high gear for the baseball program and South Carolina landed one of its top targets on Tuesday night when outfielder Danny Blair (Bel Air, Md./Gilman) committed.
Class of 2015 outfielder Danny Blair committed to South Carolina after a two-day visit that wrapped up on Tuesday afternoon
The Gamecocks won the recruiting battle over Florida for Blair, who also had offers and interest from Miami, Virginia Tech, Maryland and others. Recruiting coordinator Sammy Esposito made the 5-foot-11, 185-pounder one of his top priorities.
The love that the South Carolina staff showed Blair paid off and, after a two-day visit concluding on Tuesday afternoon, he became the sixth commitment of the 2015 class.
“Coach Esposito was awesome through the whole recruiting process,” Blair said. “He came to some of our games last weekend when we were playing. I know all the coaches came out and all really liked how I played. They wanted me to stop by again for another visit. They were all a big part of my decision. They’re all great coaches and I really feel comfortable around them.”
Head coach Chad Holbrook saw Blair last winter at a camp run by the EvoShield Canes and invited him down for a game this spring. Blair visited the second weekend of the season when the Gamecocks took on Albany. Even though it wasn’t a marquee series, he left with a favorable impression of the atmosphere and the facility.
“I came down for a baseball game and loved the atmosphere,” Blair said. “It reminded me of a football game and I really liked that about South Carolina. We went through the campus and I really loved doing that. It was in the city, it’s an old campus, and I loved the Horseshoe.”
Blair throws left-handed and also hits from the left side. One of his main tools is his speed, which sees him impact the game both offensively and defensively. He typically mans centerfield for his high school and showcase team and also hits in the leadoff spot in the order.
“The first thing coaches always love is my speed,” Blair said. “It’s one of the biggest parts of my game. It helps me out in the field running balls down in the outfield. Even if I don’t hit a ball hard, I can do some damage on the bases with my speed.”
Blair is ranked as the No. 11 outfielder in the country by Perfect Game for the 2015 class. He’s also considered the No. 53 prospect nationally regardless of position.
“I have a little bit of power for a leadoff guy,” Blair said. “I will usually hit gap-to-gap though. As a leadoff hitter, I like to see pitches for the rest of my team. can see myself as a leadoff hitter in college but it’ll be whatever can help the team win.”
This summer, Blair is playing with a few future teammates in the Garnet and Black. Shortstop LT Tolbert (Piedmont/Wren), right-handed pitcher Kaleb Bowman (Purcellville, Va./Woodgrove) and utility player Tyler Romanik (Blythwood/Blythwood) all star for the EvoShield Canes’ U16 team.
Blair is the fourth commitment from the squad and the Gamecocks are still recruiting several players on the team.
“It’s definitely exciting. We have a great team now and we compete nationally,” Blair said. “I think we can really do some damage. In the recruiting process, it did have an effect. South Carolina, there are three or four guys I already know who are committed there and it impacted my decision.”
Blair is the second outfield commitment of the 2015 class joining Kep Brown (Wando/Wando).
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