It took him a little bit longer than originally expected, but four-star OL Na'Ty Rodgers -- who had South Carolina as his leader for a long stretch of the recruiting process -- committed to South Carolina via Twitter Monday afternoon.
Na'Ty Rodgers Tweeted this image.
"I really just wanted to get it over with (today)," Rodger said. "I had a feeling when I went to bed last night and I woke up and had the same feeling, so I just went ahead and pulled the trigger. I really liked the school and that's just where I want to be for the next four or five years."
The 6-foot-5, 295-pound prospect chose South Carolina over his other favorite, Maryland, but also had offers from Arkansas, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Oklahoma, Nebraska, North Carolina and Washington, among other programs.
"I would like to thank all the coaches (and) all of the fans and reporters for covering me (and) supporting me during this process," Rodgers said via Twitter.
The McDonough High standout from Pompfret, Md. was recruited to South Carolina by quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus with offensive line coach Shawn Elliott heavily involved as well.
"They really weren't trying to pressure me into anything, they were just talking to me as if I was going there, just as if we were all family, asking me how my night went, asking me, what do I feel like doing, what am I hungry for," Rodgers said of the two coaches on his official visit this weekend. 'They were just talking to me on the official visit. There really wasn't much to be said at that point, I'd been down there so many times, so it was just us getting to know each other more".
Rodgers took three unofficial visits to South Carolina during the season, and seemed like a lock to end up in Columbia at the time, but wanted to take his official visits before announcing a decision at the Under Armour All-America game.
Rodgers took an official to Oklahoma on Sept. 21 and to Washington on Dec. 11, but it was his official to Maryland on the next weekend that provided the Gamecocks' biggest competition.
Rodgers went to Orlando for the Under Armour game planning to make a decision but ultimately decided to hold off on making his announcement. Reports at that time had Rodgers picking Maryland.
G.A. Mangus landed another major out-of-state prospect in Na'Ty Rodgers.
"Maryland made a real good push at the end, because I hadn't been in South Carolina by myself, so I couldn't really see myself there by myself, not with my parents," he said. "I had been to Maryland, so I could see myself going to class at Maryland, or going to get something to eat in the morning, just living there. So when I went down this time, that was pretty much all I wanted to see, was if I felt comfortable enough to stay down there by myself, to wake up in the morning by myself, all that type of stuff."
Rodgers followed through with his plan to officially visit South Carolina on the weekend of Jan. 18 on the Gamecocks "Big recruiting weekend" and gave the visit high marks, but wanted to go home and think about things before naming a leader. While the Gamecocks had positioned themselves in a good spot throughout the process, he needed the program to pass that final test on the official visit.
"I wanted to see if I could see myself going there and living there without my parents, my mom, or anybody being there." Rodgers said. "I got that cleared up."
He went home, spent time with family, and a day after getting back announced his commitment to South Carolina.
Maryland was already scheduled to visit his house today.
"They already came," Rodgers said. "They just talked to me. Of course, they still want me to go there, but I'm committed and that's what I'm going to stick with."
Rodgers now turns his attention to four-star LB target Yannick Ngakoue, who also visited South Carolina this weekend. While the two are friends, he's not going to pressure the Friendship (D.C.) product to go to the same school as him.
"We're not going to do anything like, 'You go here and I'll go here.' It's just going to be whatever the best fit is for both of us, that's where we were going to go," Rodgers says of Ngakoue.
Rodgers is South Carolina's 20th commitment of the class and fifth offensive lineman. The Gamecocks are now finished recruiting offensive linemen for the class.
"Really I just want to bring a great attitude," he says. "I want to come down there and compete and win the respect of my teammates and everybody."
Rodgers is the No. 19 OT in the country and No. 7 prospect in Maryland for the 2013 class, according to 247Sports.
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