Clifford Ready for Official

For the longest time, it seemed Steve Spurrier was content with not taking a quarterback in the class of 2009. But after a whirlwind season that featured inconsistent QB play throughout, and the transfer of quarterback Chris Smelley, the Gamecocks decided to take another look. This weekend Carolina will bring in Wharton HS (Tampa, FL) QB Andrew Clifford for an official visit to take a closer look.

As a two-star quarterback, the 6'3", 215-pound Wharton HS (Tampa, FL) signal-caller may not have the rating that the star-gazers look for, but according to his coach, David Mitchell, he has everything a Spurrier quarterback needs: accuracy, a quick release, and touch on the long ball.

Now, he just needs an offer.

Early last week Spurrier offered Clifford an opportunity—the chance to take an official visit to South Carolina with the possibility of earning one.

"I'm just looking forward to the visit to see what happens from there," Clifford said of the visit. "If it happens it happens, so I'm just looking forward to visiting the school and everything."

Clifford is no stranger to Spurrier and grew up a fan of Spurrier's Florida Gators. The senior signal-caller recalls his initial thoughts when he first heard from the Head Ball Coach.

"I was thrilled because growing up my dad played at Florida, my uncle played at Florida, so I've always been a Gator fan. It was pretty cool getting the call from Steve Spurrier, but I mean if he's going to be my coach I can't be like star-struck because the reality is he could be my coach in the future."

It is that mental toughness and maturity that could land Clifford an offer when he and his parents make the trip to Columbia this weekend. While some quarterbacks have folded under the pressure of playing under a perfectionist like Spurrier, Clifford believes he would relish in it.

"Playing for him, I know he loves coaching up his quarterbacks. I've seen him on TV yelling at them like crazy, but I mean I would love that, because that's only going to make me a better player. A lot of quarterbacks may be like ‘Oh, he yells too much,' but that's perfect, that's going to make you grow in so many ways. But as far as that, I'm up to that, too. I'm just going to work hard, and if I work hard and he pushes me hard, we'll see how good I can end up being."

While some quarterbacks have struggled to learn Spurrier's system, Clifford also believes he can fit in and learn the system fairly quickly.

"What we run in high school, a lot of it comes from what he runs," he says. "I feel like I can come in and feel real comfortable in it, because I've done that the past four years. As the offense goes, I feel perfect (in it)."

Clifford received a visit from South Carolina quarterbacks coach GA Mangus earlier this week. He offered his thoughts on the Gamecocks' new coach.

"He seems like a good coach. And if it all works out and everything, I'd love to play for him," he said. "I mean that's always important having a good relationship with your position coach. So, if it works out and I end up going there, I'd enjoy playing for him."

Clifford will not be going into the visit blind. Since Spurrier contacted him, he has done his part to research the school. He says he would like to major in some type of Marketing.

"I've already researched it on the college board," he said. "I just want to see everything else, especially how the coaches are. I just want to see if it's the right fit, if I can see myself going there, because it's a decision that will affect the rest of my life. So I can't make a decision based on some little qualities; I've got to take everything into perspective."

And if the offer does come? Clifford offers another mature answer.

"I don't know. I can't really say that because I don't want to...," he paused choosing his words carefully. "I mean what if it doesn't come? I don't know; we'll see, we'll see."

In the past two seasons Clifford has thrown for over 3,700 yards with 30 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He also rushed for 10 touchdowns as a senior. He is the No. 125 ranked QB in the nation according to Scout.com

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