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January 19, 2013
South Carolina's coaching staff is hosting some top uncommitted senior targets for official visits this weekend, but a few priority underclassmen were also on campus.
One of those was Dillon's Joe Blue, and he left campus today committed to South Carolina.
The 6-foot, 235-pounder earned a quintet of scholarship offers already from Auburn, Florida, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and the Gamecocks. Why did he pick USC?
"I couldn't turn it down. Me and my mom talked about it and she really wants to see me play," Blue explained. "If I went far away, then she couldn't. They play in the best conference in the nation and the program is on the rise.".
The Palmetto State prospect was recruited to South Carolina by offensive line coach/co-offensive coordinator Shawn Elliott, who was the first one to find out about the pledge.
"I walked up to Coach Elliott and told him I wanted to be part of the family. He was shocked, he didn't expect it right then. Coach (Kirk) Botkin walked up and said 'welcome to the family' as well."
Blue plays both running back and linebacker at the high school level; where will he play in Columbia?
"We discussed it, but we're still talking about it right now," he said. "I don't even think they know where yet I'm going to be playing."
With his decision behind him very early, the junior can now focus on his final year of high school both on and off of the field when the time comes.
"I can breathe better," he said. "I had so much on my mind and now I can think better. I know what I'm doing with myself."
Blue is the first 2014 verbal commitment for South Carolina. He joins fellow Dillon teammates D.J. Park (already on campus) and Bryce King from the 2013 class as Gamecock verbals. Former Wildcat receiver Kwinton Smith is a redshirt freshman receiver in Columbia.
Want more insight on how long this pledge has been in the works and how Blue will fit in at USC? Click here for our insider notes on the situation(subscribers only).
If you have any questions about this feature or wish to discuss it, please visit The Insiders Forum, Gamecock Central's members-only message board for Gamecock fans.