Jeffery ready to commit

With offers from programs all over the country, Columbia (SC) safety Damario Jeffery is one of the most highly recruited players in the Palmetto State's 2009 class. The four-star DB has decided to pick a school Friday at 3 p.m. at Columbia High. Read inside as the talented prospect updates GamecockAnthem.com on why now is the time to commit and on the final three schools he is looking at.


The 6'4", 215-pound Jeffery has unofficially visited schools like South Carolina, Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Georgia and UNC, but recently decided it was time to put all of the recruiting madness to an end and concentrate on other things.

"I think now is the best time, because I can go ahead and get it out of the way, concentrate on the school year, get my grades up and get my team to the championship," Jeffery said. "I'm trying to get these other guys in college so they won't be worrying about where I'm going. They can focus on each other and they won't have to worry about the media coming at me, so hopefully they'll be [getting some good attention] from the media."

Jeffery will announce his decision before his football practice Monday, but says he doesn't yet know who he will pick or how he will go about making the announcement.

"My coach is an old school kind of guy. He doesn't like to do all that hat-on-the-table kind of stuff," Jeffery said. "He'll just want me to make my decision and put my hat on. I'll probably have to convince him to let me do otherwise, but it will probably be right before practice, so I'll probably be in my football gear. So, who knows, I'll have something by then."

Jeffery may not know how he is going to let his intentions known, but the four-star defender does know that he will be choosing among three programs. Jeffery, who has offers from South Carolina, Alabama, Auburn, Michigan, Illinois, Virginia Tech, Clemson and Southern Cal among others, has narrowed his list to South Carolina, Alabama and Auburn.

He explained what he likes about each of his three finalists.

South Carolina – "I like everything they're pushing for, all of the things they're getting built, all of the arrangements they've made and the recruiting classes in the last couple of years. I like the coaches, too."

Alabama – "I like Alabama. They have a great chance. Everything is grade 'A' at Alabama. I didn't see anything I didn't like there."

Auburn – "I don't know too much about Auburn; it's a team I grew up liking. I wanted to get to know them a little better, but I didn't have the time. I wanted to wait it out my whole senior year, but I think now is the right time to make a decision."

Jeffery may be ready to announce his choice, but the nation's No. 10 weakside linebacker says he is still wrestling with the decision.

"I'm still debating. I've had a couple of times where I'd be like, ‘I'm going to go to Alabama,' then ‘I'm going to go to South Carolina,' then ‘I'm going to go to Auburn,'" Jeffery said. "I guess however I'm feeling Friday, that's where I'm going."

While Jeffery and Gamecock commitment Chris Payne's friendship has been well-documented, the versatile defender has developed a strong friendship with another top in-state USC target as well.

"It's just great that I might have a chance to play with him," Jeffery said of Payne. "I've mainly been talking to [Stephon] Gilmore about playing with him, because he likes the same schools I like. I've really got a close friendship with him, so I'll probably end up playing with him."

Jeffery also added that should he commit to the home state Gamecocks Friday, then he'll likely attend USC's opening preseason practice later that night.

"If I commit [to South Carolina], then nine times out of ten I will be there," Jeffery said with a laugh.


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