Sutton is a man on a mission

USC defensive end signee Chaz Sutton is considered by many to be one of the gems of South Carolina's 2008 recruiting class, and the Savannah, GA product is working hard in the classroom this spring to try and qualify. Read inside as Sutton tells how close he is to making the grade, how USC plans to use him early in his career, and much more.

Chaz Sutton, who was rated by as the no. 37 defensive end prospect in America last year, at one point looked like a long shot to qualify directly out of high school. However, thanks to a strong spring in the classroom and another attempt at the SAT, Sutton believes that his goal of qualifying is now within reach.

"Everything's turning out real good. There's just a few more wrinkles I've got to iron out, then everything should be OK," said Sutton. "Basically I just need to finish strong in my last two classes, and hopefully I'll get a good enough score on the SAT. I felt pretty confident on this latest one. If I get the score I need, I'll be at Carolina in the fall."

Sutton believes he'll know his fate by the end of the spring semester.

The talented lineman said he's running track this spring and has been a fixture in the weight room so he'll be physically ready to compete if he gets into USC this fall. At 6'4" and 240 pounds, Sutton will give the Gamecocks an explosive presence off the edge, and he believes he can contribute as a pass rushing specialist as a true freshman.

"I've been keeping in touch with USC. They're telling me there's a pretty good chance of me playing early. I've just got to come in there and work hard and make plays on the field," he said. "I'll probably play as a (pass rush specialist) my first year and then develop into a full time d-end my sophomore year. If I come in and do good, there will probably be more added to that."

Sutton took the time to describe what Gamecock fans can expect to see from him on the gridiron in the coming years.

"I'm very versatile. I can do a lot of different things. I can play with my hand down or up. I can rush the passer. I play the run strong. I'm fast and quick off the ball. I can read formations and tell what plays are coming at me and what plays are going away from me. That's the kind of player I am."

While Sutton is happy to be a Gamecock, he still feels betrayed by Florida, who he was committed to for over six months before the Gators cut ties with him in January out of fear he wouldn't qualify. Sutton is close to proving the Gators wrong in the classroom, and he's already circled USC's November 15th trip to Gainesville on his calendar.

"I'm looking forward to when we go down to Gainesville to play the Gators. It's going to be very significant because of how I felt about Florida and all the change of events that happened. I'm just eager to get out there and show them what they're missing out on. I want to show them that I'm one of the best out there."

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