While some schools wanted Damascus (Md.) High's Jalen Christian to play cornerback and others voiced concern over his size, South Carolina recruited the four-star receiver to join the receiving corps.
That, and the fact the 5-foot-10, 170-pound Christian feels comfortable in Columbia, S.C., led Thursday's announcement he is verbally committed to the Gamecocks.
"Basically, the reason why is it reminds me of my home town," he said. "I felt very comfortable there, and I have great relationship with (assistant) coach (G.A.) Mangus and (receivers) coach (Steve) Spurrier Jr. I can see myself playing there pretty early. I think I can make a great impact, so that's pretty much why."
"It's an honor," Christian said. "It shows you don't have to be 6-foot-5 to be successful as a receiver. It gives me motivation and that is why I chose South Carolina. Coach Spurrier Jr. preaches to be that he plays the best players, and if you're 5-foot-10, you're going to play."
Although Christian didn't announce his decision until the end of a pep rally at his school, the South Carolina coaches already were in the know.
"They were saying they had on smiles, and it was a big day," Christian said. "They were excited."