Giles: Spurrier made the difference

TAMPA, Fla. -- Jarvis Giles didn't waste any time Tuesday afternoon sitting behind microphones in the library at Gaither High School, reaching into a black backpack and proudly pulling out a garnet ballcap with the letters "SC" emblazoned on the front.

"I'm not going to waste anybody's time," the 5-foot-11, 176-pound running back said. "I'm going to be a Gamecock. That's my decision. There we go, baby."

Giles, rated a four-star running back by, said he chose the Gamecocks over Tennessee, where he had once committed, backing out after news the Phil Fulmer wouldn't be his coach. His recruiting drama had another wrinkle when Gamecocks assistant David Reaves, who was recruiting him for Steve Spurrier's staff, jumped ship to take a spot on Lane Kiffin's new staff at Tennessee.

"When I went for my visit... everything just blew me away," Giles said. "I'll be playing for one of the best coaches ever to coach college ball. I'd love to be under his wing. Not too many people can say they played for Steve Spurrier. I can play for a legend, and that's why I chose South Carolina."

Giles, who rushed for 907 yards and 13 touchdowns in seven games this season, is a major get for Spurrier and his staff. Recruiting site ranks him as the No. 2 all-purpose back in the country, and rates him as the nation's No. 5 running back. He rushed for 1,478 yards and 20 touchdowns as a junior.

On Tennessee making a late push:

"They came at me pretty hard. They brought the whole house for the home visit. The AD, Kiffin, Drayton and Reaves. They brought everybody, tried real hard. I'm not going to say Reaves talked bad about South Carolina. He said how much we could use you here, the pro style offense is a little better than South Carolina. He didn't talk negative about South Carolina at all. They came at me pretty hard, though."

On his goals at South Carolina:

"I'm a little small, as you can see, so weight would be my number one goal. I at least want to get to like 190-195. The SEC is real brutal, and taking all those hits would take a toll on me in the long run. I'd like to gain some weight and get my speed a little faster."

Giles, arguably the gem of the Gamecocks' offensive class to date, becomes South Carolina's 24th commitment in the 2009 recruiting class. He joins Bradenton, FL standout Ben Axon to form a "smash and dash" incoming running back tandem for USC.

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