Explosive in-state DE commits to USC

On a day in which the Gamecocks already landed one potential stud defensive player in linebacker Matt Coffee, the USC coaching staff received more good news on Tuesday when Timberland (Saint Stephen, S.C.) standout defensive end Aldrick Fordham committed to Coach Steve Spurrier Jr. and the Gamecocks. Read inside to see why the explosive pass rusher decided to bring his recruitment to a close.

"I called Steve Spurrier Jr. and let him know that I wanted to be a Gamecock," an enthusiastic 6'4", 234-pound Aldrick Fordham said shortly following his commitment. "He said they were very excited to have me as a Gamecock and that he thinks I have good potential to help them on their run for an SEC Championship."

The athletic defensive end visited South Carolina for one of its June camps and earned an offer on the spot after impressing the coaches who put him through various drills.

Fordham also has an offer from Tennessee, but ultimately chose the home-state Gamecocks for a number of reasons.

"It's real close to home," Fordham said. "I've been pulling for them since I started watching football. The coaches seemed real cool, and it seemed like I could get along with them. Coach (Brad) Lawing seems like he knows what he's doing, and he is very professional about what he is doing."

Fordham, who says he specializes in rushing the quarterback, will now turn his attention to helping the Gamecocks gain a commitment from another Timberland star. Offensive guard Quinton Washington is one of the most highly sought after linemen in the country and has been friends with Fordham for a while now.

"Yeah, I could see us playing us together," Fordham said of his close friend and teammate. "That's what I'm trying to do now (recruit him to play at South Carolina)."

While Fordham does plan to work his friend on joining him as a member of the Gamecock Nation, he doesn't think it is going to be a very hard job.

"I don't think I have a lot to say to him, because I think he's going to end up being a Gamecock. I don't know how soon, but we'll see. I'm going to push him as hard as I can (to commit soon), but he'll make that decision on his own time."

While Fordham, who turned in a speedy 4.69 forty-yard dash at the Charlotte Scout.com/Under Armour combine, plays tight end and defensive end in high school, he was recruited by the Gamecocks as a weakside defensive end.

The humble Fordham did not have a message to send out to Gamecock Nation, but did want to let all the Gamecock fans know what they can expect from him in the Garnet and Black.

"I'm a hard-nosed player. I play with a lot of passion. I'm always working hard, and I have a lot of love for the game."

Fordham becomes USC's seventh commitment in the 2009 recruiting class.

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