One on One With Paulk

Richland Northeast (Columbia, SC) standout linebacker Rodney Paulk was the first player to jump on board the Gamecock's 2005-2006 recruiting train last July. He went on to have a stellar senior season, in which he recorded over 170 tackles, 13 sacks, and 2 interceptions.

Rodney Paulk was widely considered to be one of the top linebacker prospects in the southeast, and his play warranted offers from Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Kentucky and East Carolina. However, Paulk stayed true to his commitment and signed with the Gamecocks in February.

In the first of a series of interviews with the 2006 Gamecock signees, Rodney Paulk recently took the time to answer several questions for

Question: Looking back, what were your thoughts on the recruiting process, and was there anything memorable that stood out to you?

Answer: "Well, I had a great time. I'd say the most memorable part about it was probably taking all the visits to different colleges to see what they had and meeting different people and different coaches. That was probably the most memorable thing about it."

Question: What did you like the most about South Carolina?

Answer: "I'd say the coaching staff. I felt really comfortable with the coaching staff. It was also close to home where everybody can come down there and watch me. It's only about fifteen minutes away from my house, and my mom works down there. I felt that everything I could want and need was right here at South Carolina."

Question: What is your favorite memory of your high school football career at Richland Northeast?

Answer: "I'd probably say winning the lower state championship against Spring Valley."

Question: What do you like to do off the field?

Answer: "I like to play basketball and play video games. Just stuff like that and hanging out with my family."

Question: What position are you anticipating on playing this fall?

Answer: "I'm playing outside linebacker."

Question: What has the coaching staff told you in regard to playing as a freshman?

Answer: "They said there is a real good chance that I can come in and play early. If I can get down the plays and have some good practices, then there's a real good chance I could play early. They said there is no guarantee that I will play as a freshman, but there is a great chance,"

Question: How would you describe yourself as a player, and what can Gamecock fans expect to see from you over the next four years?

Answer: "I'm a real aggressive player. I play off emotion. I really want to win, and I don't like losing. In my senior year we only lost two games, and I'm not really used to losing. I'm a winner, and I'm going to go out there and play hard every play. We're going to win us some games and hopefully win a national championship."

Question: Do you have any goals for your freshman season?

Answer: "My goal pretty much is to go in and start. My main goals are to do well, to learn the plays, to do well at school, and to start."

Question: What are you working on this summer to prepare for your arrival at Carolina? Answer: "I've been working out everyday except Wednesday. That's my day off. Every day I've been there after school working out, lifting, and running."

Question: What is your current height and weight?

Answer: "I'm 6'0, 212 lbs."

Question: When do you plan to arrive at Carolina?

Answer: "I report on June 28th."

Question: What jersey number will you be wearing?

Answer: "I'll be wearing #45 at Carolina."

Question: Is there any message you would like to send to all the Gamecock fans out there?

Answer: "We're going to make a big turnaround this year. We have one of the best coaches in the world in Coach Spurrier. He's a legend. We're going to do real big things down here at South Carolina. It's nowhere but the top for us."

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