Gaither Is A Two Sports Star ... Now

<img src=http://media.theinsiders.com/Media/Player/372048_Gaither120.JPG width=120 height=160 align=left>This Gamecock commitment is also a 6-foot-9, 290 pound football-playing athlete that is quickly becoming a dominant force on the field, including five sacks in the last two weeks while playing with another dominate defensive end ...

One season after Derrick Harvey burst onto the recruiting scene in his first year of ever playing football, Eleanor Roosevelt (MD) defensive tackle Jared Gaither plans to do the same thing. Gaither is currently committed to play basketball for South Carolina, but may have other plans.

"What happened with his commitment situation is that the basketball signing period is coming up, and South Carolina wanted to get him in the fold when they could," says Eleanor Roosevelt football head coach Rich Houchens. "The decision will be up to him, ultimately. I think he knows that a 6-9 basketball player is pretty common, but a 6-9 defensive tackle is very rare in football."

Gaither now has a decision available with the first football offer on the table, which should end up as the first of many.

"Maryland saw the film on him and then when they saw him in person, they offered Jared immediately. Coach Friedgen sat him down and asked why he liked football.

"Jared said, ‘Because it is a lot more physical than in basketball. In basketball everything is really focused on you because you have to keep track of personal fouls, but in football you have to be rough.'

"Coach Friedgen looked at him and said, ‘With an answer like that, you are a football player.'"

This football player is a 6-foot-9, 290 pound athlete that is quickly becoming a dominant force on the field, including five sacks in the last two weeks while playing with Derrick Harvey (nation's number two defensive end) and George "Tre" Covington (Maryland commitment) as bookend defensive ends.

"Jared has really come on strong lately, and has become scary good. I have been blessed to have Derrick (Harvey) come out for football last year, and then Jared to come out this year."

Whatever college, should it be South Carolina for basketball or another team in football, picks up Gaither will be blessed with a diamond in the rough to plug the middle.

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