By: Dave Pickren
Kendrick Lynch is a Gamecock!!!!!
One of the most exciting and versatile players ever to play the game in South Carolina High School Football gave his commitment to the Gamecocks Monday evening following a visit to the campus this past weekend.
It all started 4 years ago when a freshmen cornerback intercepted a Lexington pass in the 1999 State Championship at Williams Brice Stadium. That interception, with the Cavs trailing 24-0, sparked a comeback which led to an eventual 31-24 victory for the Cavaliers and first ever state football title for the West Spartanburg School.
Now almost 4 years later, Kendrick will be returning to the scene of that special game after deciding to attend The University of South Carolina in 2004. He is the 3rd top rated instate prospect (as listed by SC Pigskin Prep) to commit to Lou Holtz and South Carolina. (Sydney Rice #1 from Gaffney and Dorian Capers #9 from Battery Creek are the others). Lynch is currently ranked #2 by SCPP and many feel he was the most exciting and electrifying player in the Palmetto State this past season.
Kendrick Lynch is a special player, make no mistake about that. As a high school player, I would not trade Lynch for any player in the state the past season. Lynch is a difference maker. He will put the team on his back and say lets go win this game. Since starting as a true freshman 3 years ago, Lynch is an astounding 35-5 when he starts and plays. He has played hurt and still made the big plays. He is simply an astounding athlete on the field.
This past season in the game against Lexington, he had many people asking which RB was the All American. In the game he scored 3 TD (90, 55 and 40 yards), rushed for 212 yards, caught 6 passes for another 105 yards and 3 times pulled down All American Running Back Demetrius Summers one on one in the secondary playing cornerback.
Over the past three seasons Kendrick has played slot, wide out, flanker and now tailback. On defense he has played the corner and the free safety positions. This past season, Dave Gutshall (Dorman HC) decided that Lynch had to touch the ball 25 times a game and Kendrick was moved from wide receiver to running back.
Lynch has won 3 games for Dorman with late last second runs or catches. In 2001 against Byrnes he caught an impossible pass on a 4th and 27 with less than a minute to play that gave Dorman a 17-15 victory. Early in 2002 against Hillcrest, he had 145 yards and 2 TDs in his first 3 carries. Dorman has been ranked #1 in the state for 18 weeks during the past 3 years as a result of his play. Against eventual state champion Byrnes, Lynch had 2 first quarter highlight reel touchdowns that staked Dorman to a 14-3 lead before the Rebels recovered and won the game.
For the 2002 season, Kendrick rushed 128 times for 1356 yards, an average of 11.1 yards per carry. He scored 14 touchdowns rushing and 3 touchdowns receiving. Playing primarily as a wide receiver in 2001, he caught 52 passes for 1117 yards and 15 TD and rushed for 511 yards and another 8 TD. In 3 seasons he has accumulated 3900 yards of total offense and 47 touchdowns.
Kendrick chose South Carolina after attending the spring game at the campus this past weekend. After the game, he told Carolina Coach Dave DeGuglielmo that he felt at home at USC and wanted to be part of the Gamecock Family. One of the deciding factors according to sources was the manner in which the USC staff treated him and his mother as well as other members of the Dorman football program during the visit. Apparently the atmosphere and closeness of the Gamecock coaches to their players and the player's family was a huge factor in the decision.
Prior to the game on Saturday, Lynch stood on the sideline and met other recruits and signees of the Gamecocks. Upon meeting Carolina signee Freddy St Preaux (6'4 315 lbs.) and Woody Telfort (6'3" 305 lbs), Lynch (5'8" 168 lbs) stood between the huge linemen. Coach DeGuglielmo commented to Lynch that the linemen at Carolina were this large and they were there to protect him and he (Lynch) could hide behind the big guys and do his thing. Kendrick was also excited to see former Dorman All State Tight End Hart Turner speak so highly of the Gamecock program and staff.
Lynch attended the game with his mother, other family members, and with a few of his Dorman teammates. His commitment is solid and at this time he does not expect to take any other visits this fall. Kendrick is coached by Dorman Head Coach David Gutshall and position coach Todd White. His is a member of the Dorman Booster Club mentoring group led by Mr. Terry Belcher and Mr. Rick Smith.
Kendrick opens his senior season on August 29, 2003 against Lexington High School on the campus of Dorman High School.
We will have an exclusive one on one interview later week with Kendrick as he discusses his decision and his thoughts on his senior season at Dorman.
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