Sutton: 'It's all about the pride'

Chaz Sutton was one of the gems of the South Carolina Gamecocks' 2008 class, but was forced to spend a semester at prep school after he failed to qualify out of high school. Now the day Sutton has anxiously waited for, his first day at the University of South Carolina, is less than a week away. Read inside for an in-depth question and answer with the talented Savannah, GA product.

Question and Answer with South Carolina commitment Chaz Sutton

Question: The big day is coming up and I'm sure it's an exciting time for anyone who is about to enroll in college, what is really going through your head right now?

Answer: I don't know, I'm just ready to get there and get started on what I've got to do. It's just another mission I need to get accomplished. That's all I see it as.

Question: Looking back to your recruitment before you went to prep school you were a Gator commitment, what did it mean to you that South Carolina stuck with you through your times in high school when you were trying to get eligible?

Answer: That means that they are a loyal program, and they mean what they say. If any recruit was in my situation, I would recommend that they take a look at South Carolina, because if they say that they're going to get you into school then that's their word.

Question: Speaking of Florida, is that a game that might be circled on the calendar or that you might look forward to a little more each year?

Answer: Yeah, it probably will be, but I just don't really want to focus on that right now. I've got bigger fish to fry. I'm trying to get to No. 1 on the depth chart.

Question: When you picked South Carolina, what were some of the things that stood out about the Gamecocks that ultimately led to you choosing them?

Answer: Just the loyalty of the program. Just them wanting to win and be a better program, and get better guys in there to compete with all the better SEC schools in the conference.

Question: What is a day at Fork Union like?

Answer: Basically, you just wake up. You have your 'morning wake-up' there. You march to breakfast. Then after breakfast you march back and then clean up for an hour. Then you march to class.

Question: How do you think your experiences at Fork Union have helped you grow as a player and person?

Answer: Well basically, it just taught me stuff as far as being more dedicated and just going out there and giving it my all. You know, in high school sometimes I would take plays off, or I wouldn't sacrifice at a certain situation in the game. The military aspect was something I had to get used to. But just the making me go to class, making me study and do this, do that to become a better student and better football player, it helped me a lot. I kind of appreciate Fork Union. It kind of helped me with not taking things for granted.

Question: Have you and fellow South Carolina commitment Ronald Byrd gotten to know each other at Fork Union?

Answer: I've learned a lot from Ronald and he's learned a lot from me. We were both roommates so we learned a lot from each other. So we're real tight right now.

Question: So, I guess you're looking forward to playing with each other in Columbia?

Answer: Oh, yeah. (Laughs) That's all we talk about really.

Question: You will soon be starting winter workouts at USC, have you heard anything about those workouts and what are you expecting?

Answer: Winter workouts, I really don't know (what to expect). I talked to the coaches and they were like, ‘Well are you working out back at home?', and I was like, ‘Yeah, I'm lifting weights.' They told me they don't really care about me lifting weights right now, they just want me to get in running shape so the running, conditioning part won't be too hard.

Question: So do you think it's going to be pretty hard out there?

Answer: (Laughs) I don't know. (Former strength and conditioning) Coach Mark Smith he's a different type of person. He might try to overwork me. (laughs)

Question: Due to the route you took, you will be able to go through a spring practice, and still just be a freshman when you step out on the field for the first time. How do you think going through this spring is going to help you your freshman season?

Answer: It will help me a lot, because I will be able to get out to practice and learn all of the defensive schemes. And hopefully I can work with the upperclassmen and go compete for a starting spot.

Question: Have the coaches told you yet if they plan to use you as a defensive end or linebacker?

Answer: They've talked about both. It all depends on how I come in and gain weight, or how I come in and play at linebacker or defensive end. It just all depends.

Question: Do you have a preference?

Answer: No, I really don't prefer either of them (over the other). I'll play both. In high school I played a little bit of linebacker and d-end. So, it's really nothing, I'll just go out there and stand up and make plays or I can put my hand down and make plays.

Question: You've obviously got a big day coming up within the next week. How long have you waited to enroll at a major university to play SEC college football?

Answer: Since last February when I signed. That's how long I've been waiting. It's been long. It's been a long time coming.

Question: At Fork Union there are obviously a lot of rules. Were you able to follow the Gamecocks and watch on TV at all?

Answer: Nah, not really. We were on a time frame, so it was kind of hard to watch some of the games. We got around it sometimes, though. (Laughs)

Question: A lot of fans out there haven't seen you play. What do you think is going to be the first thing they notice about Chaz Sutton the player when they see you running around out there?

Answer: Oh, speed. Lots and lots of speed.

Question: Is there a player, a former player, college or pro, or just anybody you model your game after or look up to?

Answer: Not really. I'm just out there trying to make a name for myself.

Question: Do you have a favorite song or just something you do to get you hyped up before a game?

Answer: No, not really. I just try to think about my assignments out there that I've got to do on the field, and what I've got to carry out that day. If anything else I just try to be kind of laid back about the whole situation and just go out there and try to have a good game.

Question: Do you know what jersey number you will get, or do you have a preference?

Answer: I want my high school jersey number, but I don't know if I'm going to get it. Most likely I probably won't, but the number I really want is No. 9. Moe Brown has it on offense.

Question: Spurrier has a vision to bring the first SEC Championship ever to South Carolina. How exciting would it be to be remembered as one of the players who contributed to a first ever championship somewhere?

Answer: Well, I'll just say I would be a part of history and would go down as a legend I guess.

Question: What do you think has to happen at USC for them to take that next step and get over the hump as a program?

Answer: It's all about pride. You've got to have pride out there on the field. Everybody has got to just step their game up and play harder, and just go out there and just want it. It's all about the wants.

Question: Do you think you can bring some of that pride to the Gamecock defense?

Answer: I'm sure I could. Just go out there and make plays on the field.

Question: Lastly, do you have a message for all of Gamecock Nation out there?

Answer: Get ready, because I'm coming!

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