DiMarco Believes USC Is a Contender

Lake Brantley (Altamonte Springs, FL) standout athlete Pat DiMarco managed to fly beneath the proverbial recruiting radar for much of his senior season, but the 6'3, 225 pound versatile prospect is a secret no more.

DiMarco committed to Coach Steve Spurrier and the South Carolina Gamecocks last month to fulfill his dream of playing SEC football, and he was recently awarded with Central Florida Offensive Player of the Year honors by the Orlando Sentinel.

"It feels awesome," said DiMarco. "It was me and Lorenzo Edwards. He got defensive player of the year, and I got offense. It‘s just a great honor."

DiMarco, who led his team to a 13-2 record and a state runner-up finish, talked about his stellar senior season.

"Our motto was, ‘Refuse to lose.' We just fought every game until the last second," he said. "I finished with 125 tackles, 18 sacks, and probably 35 tackles for loss. I also had eight touchdowns on offense, six receiving and two rushing. I had 30 receptions for around 450 yards, and I returned a punt for a score."

When asked what it was about South Carolina that stood out to him in the recruiting process, DiMarco gave an enthusiastic reply.

"The coaching was the biggest thing. I wanted to play under Steve Spurrier. I think he's going to get me involved in the offense. When I took my official visit there, the atmosphere was just awesome. Everything is on the up and up at South Carolina, and things can only get better. They're probably on the verge of winning their first SEC Championship, which I want to be a part of. I want to be part of a lot of new things at South Carolina."

According to DiMarco, South Carolina intends to use him in a unique role at the H-back position early on, but he could potentially play on the defensive side of the ball later in his career.

"They want me to play H-back, which is like a combination of fullback and tight end kind of spot. I could also play a little bit of defense, maybe a little linebacker. I'd like to play H-back at first, but probably when I get older I may go back to linebacker just because of my size."

DiMarco realizes there is no guarantee for early playing time at USC, but if he can't make an immediate impact on offense, he plans to contribute on special teams.

"They said there's a good chance I can play early. Their special teams have been weak this year, so if I'm not going to be a starter or a contributor, then I can probably be on special teams."

Coach Skip Clayton, who coached DiMarco at Lake Brantley High School, said that DiMarco possesses the versatility, leadership, and winning attitude that every coach wants in a player.

"He's a great all around football player," said Clayton. "He kind of did everything for us this year. He was our true leader on defense, and he made huge plays on offense for us when they counted, especially against both Edgewater and Boone in the playoffs. He's a hard worker, and he's very dedicated on and off the field. He did everything that a coach could ask of a football player."

As for taking his skills to the next level, Clayton believes that DiMarco's dedication and work ethic will help him be successful in the rigors of the SEC.

"I think he can definitely go in there early on and probably help some on special teams in his earlier years. Depending on where they want to place him, he's a kid that has a lot of places on the field where he can help them. He's definitely somebody that is going to go up there and work as hard as he possibly can for them. He's going to find a way to really help their program."

Lastly, DiMarco vowed that he will be ready to get after it when he arrives at South Carolina in the summer.

"I'm just going to go out there and work as hard as I can. I'm going to do the best I can to get on the field early. I'm starting training now. I'm going to get into great shape, so when I go up there in the summer, I'll be the best I can be."

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