Coffee pulls the trigger

Coach Shane Beamer and the Gamecocks picked up a huge commitment on Tuesday evening from Fort Walton Beach (FL) athletic outside linebacker Matt Coffee. GamecockAnthem.com caught up with Coffee shortly following his commitment, and he talked in-depth about his decision to commit to South Carolina. Read inside for all the details.


The 5'11", 215 pound Coffee, who is rated by Scout.com as the no. 39 strongside linebacker in America this recruiting year, made an unofficial visit to South Carolina over the weekend and emerged following that trip with the Gamecocks as his clear leader. However, after returning home and talking things over with his family, Coffee decided to put an end to the recruiting process altogether and commit to South Carolina on Tuesday night.

"I committed to South Carolina today. They're real excited I'm coming up there," Coffee said. "I felt comfortable there. I felt good about everything when I visited, and they said they'll take good care of me. I loved the city, and I really liked all the facilities. I've heard great things about the fan base. Coach Beamer was my recruiter, and I liked him a lot. He's real down to earth and very cool. He just made me feel comfortable there."

Another factor that played into Coffee's decision was the Gamecocks' need at the linebacker position, and he believes he'll have the opportunity to compete for playing time right away when he arrives next year.

"They said they (have a need at linebacker). That was part of my decision. They said I'll have a good chance to play early as long as I come in and compete," he said. "They like me at SAM linebacker in their 4-3 scheme. I think I'll fit in good with that."

Coffee, who runs an impressive 4.52 second forty yard dash, took the time to describe what type player Gamecock fans can expect to see when he arrives in Columbia.

"I'm athletic. I'm explosive and play with burst. I'm a sure tackler."

The Sunshine State product stated that he is "firm" in his commitment to South Carolina. When asked if a potential offer from Alabama, where his brother plays, could impact his commitment, Coffee succinctly replied, "No."

The newest South Carolina commitment closed by passing on an enthusiastic message for the Gamecock Nation.

"I'm excited to be a Gamecock, and I can't wait to get up there. I hope you're all excited too."

Coffee totaled 60 tackles on defense and rushed for nearly 400 yards and 4 touchdowns in only five games last fall. He chose the Gamecocks over offers from Ole Miss, Mississippi State, NC State, Maryland, Illinois, Iowa State, Marshall, Southern Miss, and others. He becomes USC's sixth commitment in the 2009 recruiting class.


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