Gamecocks land South Fla. linebacker

The linebacker position is a top priority for South Carolina in the 2009 recruiting class, and Coach Robert Gillespie and the Gamecocks picked up a commitment from American Heritage (Plantation, FL) athletic linebacker Brent Singleton on Thursday evening. Read inside as USC's newest commitment talks with and discusses his decision to play his college ball at South Carolina.

Brent Singleton, who measures in at an athletic 6'1" and 204 pounds, decided to put an end to the recruiting on Thursday when he called up Coach Robert Gillespie and let him know he's decided to give his pledge to South Carolina.

"I went ahead and committed to South Carolina today," said an enthusiastic Singleton shortly following his commitment. "I love Coach Gillespie, he's great. He's a great coach, and he let me know that I'll have a chance to get in there and play as a freshman. That really caught my ear. South Carolina was my second offer so they've been there the whole time. Plus Akeem Auguste is one of my friends, and it'd be great to play with him. He's a great, great player."

Singleton has not yet visited South Carolina to see the campus and facilities in person, but the words of his friend Auguste helped him decide to go ahead and pull the trigger for the Gamecocks.

"He told me it's great. He loves it. He said it's not too much different from Florida so it won't be a big change. He just really loves it up there. That was great to hear that," he said. "I'll be visiting there by the end of the summer, probably in August. I just want to get up there and meet the coaches and see how the facilities look and stuff like that."

The South Florida standout, who runs a 4.58 second forty yard dash, said the opportunity for early playing was also a deciding factor in his decision to commit to USC.

"They told me how much they need linebackers, and that played a big role in my decision. Coach Gillespie told me they're having three linebackers graduate and that I'll have a great chance of playing next year. He was like, 'That's why I'm recruiting you, because I know you can come in and play.' They like me at (weakside) linebacker."

When asked to describe what strengths he brings to the field as a linebacker, Singleton let it be known that he's the complete package on defense.

"I'm very explosive, and I get to the ball very quick. I have very long arms. I've just got the whole package, and hopefully everyone will see that coming up this fall."

Singleton, who chose the Gamecocks over offers from Syracuse, Indiana, Minnesota, Colorado State, Vanderbilt, and others, said he is "solid" in his commitment to South Carolina.

He closed by passing on an enthusiastic message to the Gamecock Nation following his commitment.

"I'm excited. I'm coming in to play, coming in to start."

Singleton racked up 60 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, and 5 sacks in his junior season last fall. He also rushed for 780 yards and 15 touchdowns on offense. He becomes USC's fifth commitment in the 2009 recruiting class.

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