Quarles continues family legacy

Greenwood (SC) junior defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles will be one of the most athletic defensive line prospects in America during the 2010 recruiting cycle, and the 6'5", 260 pound man-child announced his decision to play for the home state South Carolina Gamecocks on Monday afternoon during a news conference at his school. Read inside for all the details.

Kelcy Quarles, who is the son of former Gamecock offensive lineman Buddy Quarles, chose South Carolina over early offers from major programs like LSU, Tennessee, Maryland, Auburn, and Clemson. According to Quarles, he elected to play at USC for multiple reasons, including the opportunity to continue the family legacy that his father began by donning the Garnet and Black in the 1980's.

"My dad went there. My coach went there. I like it there," said Quarles. "It's right up the road from my house. I can come home whenever I want to; I can go there whenever I want to. My family can come see me (play), and I think I can go there and play my first year."

Quarles initially considered waiting a while before making a commitment, but he believes making an early decision will help him better focus on his senior season next year.

"We experienced a heartbreaking loss a couple of weeks ago in the playoffs. I want to focus on my senior year and my football season so we can go to the State Championship. I won't have to worry about colleges or anything, I can just go play ball."

GamecockAnthem.com spoke with Greenwood head coach Shell Dula, and he believes that South Carolina is getting a special player with an incredibly bright future in Quarles.

"Kelcy is a dominating football player. His size, his speed, and his strength are very good. He just makes plays all over the field," Dula said. "He has a motor and always plays very hard. I think certainly he will have a great senior year for Greenwood and then will go on to have a great college career.

"Kelcy has a great future. He's a hard-nosed player, and he's definitely going to be big. Kelcy can go 300-pounds easy and still run. It was amazing, he ran the 100-meters and the 200-meters in track at 260 pounds. His potential is unbelievable."

In this age of prima donna athletes who often let the spotlight of being a great player go to their heads, Dula believes that Quarles is an outstanding young man who was raised well and has his priorities straight.

"He is a very fine young man. He works hard at what he does. He's working hard on his grades right now, and he knows the importance of that. We've never had any problems with Kelcy. His parents have done a good job of raising him."

Quarles becomes the second commitment in South Carolina's 2010 recruiting class, joining Jacksonville, FL wide receiver Sean Tapley. Quarles projects to be a four-star prospect and one of the top overall prospects in the Palmetto State during the next recruiting cycle.

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