Tyrone Haughton visited South Carolina for a football game and had the time of his life in September.
The visit left him tired, worn out and sick. It also left him with no decision other than being a Gamecock.
"It was perfect," Haughton said of the visit, "and I had a good time. I really enjoyed the team, and they treated me like family. They showed me a lot of love, and they made me feel like I can fit in."
The school bells rang to conclude a routine day for Haughton at Dr. Krop (Miami), and a collegiate decision had been on his mind all day, so he called up the South Carolina coaches and notified them of his decision.
"The coaches were just really happy and cheering," he said. "They had to go to practice, though, so the talk was really short."
So after his commitment, where does that leave the 6-foot-9 big's mindstate?
"It feels great," Haughton said. "There's a lot of pressure off my back. A lot of pressure."
One thing that sold Haughton on South Carolina was not only the relationships he built with head coach Darrin Horn and assistant Neill Berry, but also, the bond he garnered with the team while on campus.
"It was mostly Malik Cooke showing me around," he said. "He showed me a good time. Damontre (Harris), Eric (Smith) and R.J. Slawson were also real cool. We had a good time."
The players did a good job growing a bond with Haughton after he departed Columbia, as well, and the fans did a real good job of making him feel at home.
"I liked the city, and the fans showed a lot of support," he said. "They showed me a lot of love. I love fans."
Several schools were vying for Haughton's services — such as Alabama, Marshall and Virginia Tech —but South Carolina was the main one to assert themselves to Haughton.
"I felt like I was being used," he said. "A lot of teams that were recruiting me hard over the summer, I felt like they were going after someone else and making me wait, and South Carolina never backed down.
"I could've waited, but I'm the type of person that can't wait. So I had to do it. I wanted to sign early, and I don't have any time to wait."
Haughton is the third player to commit in the 2012 class. He joins the Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville, Fla.) of Ian Baker and Carlos Morris.
"South Carolina is going to get a 100 percent player every night and every game," Haughton said. "They are going to get a tough player every game. I don't back down."
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