Jumbo receiver commits to USC

South Carolina picked up a surprise commitment from New Hampton prep school (NH) athletic wide receiver Tori Childers on Friday morning. GamecockAnthem.com caught up with Childers shortly after his commitment, and he talked extensively about his decision to attend USC. Read inside for all the details.

The 6'5", 220 pound Childers, who runs a 4.5 second forty yard dash and boasts a 35-inch vertcial leap, visited South Carolina last fall for the USC-Clemson game and has kept in touch with the Gamecocks ever since. On Friday he officially put an end to the recruiting process when he committed to USC coach Ron Cooper.

"I committed this morning, and I should be done with my paperwork by Wednesday. They're mailing out my letter of intent, and this morning I called Coach (Ron) Cooper and told him I'm ready to become a Gamecock," said Childers.

It's been a long process for Childers, who excels at both football and basketball. Childers led Rock Hill high school to a state championship on both the gridiron and the hardwood during his senior year, and he graduated in 2006 but didn't make the necessary grades to attend a D-I school. Childers then planned to go to Hargrave prep school for a year before transferring to North Carolina. However, that did not work out for the Palmetto State receiver - Something he is now thankful for.

"I originally planned to attend Hargrave Military, but the week before I was supposed to go there I was playing basketball in a gym in Charlotte. The players from the University of North Carolina were playing there, and the basketball coach from New Hampton prep was there. He asked me if I wanted to play pick up with the North Carolina guys, so after we were done playing the coach offered me a full scholarship to play basketball at New Hampton prep school. I played both football and basketball there, and I just qualified back in February. The recruiting process was long, but South Carolina's my school now, and I can't wait to get there. I'm thankful things worked out the way they did."

Last fall Childers totaled 40 catches for 700 yards and 12 touchdowns for New Hampton on the football field. In basketball, he averaged 10 points and 8 rebounds off the bench.

Coming out of high school, Childers claimed offers from South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee, and Auburn jumped into the mix with him after his impressive showing in the prep school ranks. However, Childers ultimately decided that Columbia is where he wants to play his college ball.

"I visited Auburn last weekend, and the visit was great. They're switching to a spread offense, which I was very interested in. But when it came down to it, South Carolina is just my second home. I'm really close with the players. I'm really close with the coaching staff, and I just believe that Coach Spurrier can help make me into a really good wide receiver."

Childers, who plans to focus solely on football at USC, has five years to play four.

As far as what Gamecock fans can expect from him on the gridiron, Childers said that he'll bring a dynamic jump ball presence to the USC reciving corps and will also do the dirty the work as a blocker.

"My size and speed makes me dangerous as a receiver. I have a 7'1" wing span, and I'm going to use that to my advantage against the smaller defensive backs. I love to block as well. I would do anything to spring Mike Davis loose on a big run or whoever else is playing tailback. That just shows that you're a team player, and I'm willing to go that extra mile with my teammates."

Childers, who plans to enroll at South Carolina for the first session of summer school in June, closed by passing on an enthusiastic message for the Gamecock Nation.

"I can't wait to be a Gamecock. Williams-Brice fits 85,000 people, and I can't wait to make those people smile. I hope I can help out any way I can to win games and win an SEC title and maybe even a national championship."

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