"I knew USC was the right place for me"

The secret is out - Charles Whitlock, the Palmetto State's no. 3 overall prospect, has officially decided to stay in-state and play for the Gamecocks. Read inside as the explosive athlete discusses what factors played into his decision to become a Gamecock and what he believes the future holds for the South Carolina football program.

The 5'11", 175 pound Whitlock received over twenty scholarship offers during his recruitment, including tenders from major programs like Florida, Georgia, LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma, Clemson and several others. However, after taking multiple official visits and exploring all of his options, the 4-star performer decided that South Carolina was where he felt most at home.

"All of the official visits I took seemed the same, but there was just more that stood out to me at South Carolina. I knew USC was the right place for me when I went on my official," said Whitlock.

According to Whitlock, who plans to graduate early and enroll at South Carolina in January, the opportunity to play on both sides of the ball was another factor that attracted him to USC.

"I like that they recruited me as a receiver. I like the ball in my hands. I'll basically play both sides (wide receiver and cornerback). When I get there, they're going to try me on (kickoff and punt) returns too," he said. "Coach Spurrier told me that he's excited and that I've got a great chance of coming in early and starting. Enrolling early, that's the advantage that I might have to start."

Whitlock has also developed a strong relationship with his USC recruiter, which helped give him even more of a comfort level with the home state school.

"Coach (Ron) Cooper was my recruiter. He's nice to talk to about stuff. We don't even necessarily need to talk about football. We always joke around or whatever. He's nice."

The versatile playmaker has been selected to take part in the annual Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas later this month, and he's looking forward to competing alongside some of the top talent in the Palmetto State.

"It's going to be a great experience for me. I'm just going to go in there and do my best to try and start. They're going to play me at corner and probably running back punts too. It's going to be a great experience."

Whitlock, who is a cousin of former USC cornerback Jon Joseph, closed by passing on an enthusiastic message for the Gamecock Nation.

"Be looking forward to seeing me on the field next season. In one to two more years we're going to be real good because we're a very young and talented team."

The following is Scout.com's player evaluation of Charles Whitlock:

Whitlock is a scary athlete who could easily play five positions in college. His ability to change directions is one of the best in the country, he has excellent top-end speed, and has a great head on his shoulders for the game of football. Whitlock is a very patient player, letting the game come to him and not over-reading or overreacting to plays. He has great hips as a corner, breaks well out of backpedal, and just makes plays on the ball.

To discuss this article, visit GamecockAnthem's premium forum - The Golden Spur.

Gamecock Anthem Top Stories