Quarles Clears the Air

Greenwood HS defensive lineman Kelcy Quarles has been a vocal leader for the South Carolina Gamecocks' class of 2010. Quarles, the son of former Gamecock Buddy Quarles, was recently quoted as saying there was a "99-percent" chance he was going to decommit from South Carolina. Read inside as Quarles clears the air on those comments to GamecockAnthem.com.

Greenwood HS defensive lineman Kelcy Quarles has been committed to South Carolina since November when he and eventual 2009 USC signee D.J. Swearinger announced their intentions to be Gamecocks in their high school gym.

Since then, Quarles, a USC legacy, has been the figurehead of the Gamecocks' class, recruiting well-known in-state targets like five-star running back Marcus Lattimore and four-star offensive lineman Eric Mack.

But South Carolina and North Carolina message boards alike lit up Thursday morning when North Carolina Scout.com affiliate Inside Carolina quoted Quarles as saying there was a "99-percent" chance he would decommit from USC and consider other options.

Since that article ran, Quarles spoke with USC defensive line coach and his recruiter of record Brad Lawing on the phone at his school today, and Quarles says they are now "on the same page" again.

"Just let all the fans know that I'm going to be the leader of the 2010 group," Quarles told GamecockAnthem.com. "I'm going to be the leader of Greenwood High while I'm still here. And when I get down there I'm going to give all I can in the classroom, all I can on the field, and try to make everybody happy and get an SEC Championship and National Championship."

In the article, Quarles also said that he wanted to "find out who's really here for me and not just here to tell me that I'm going to play early and then end up getting up there and find out I won't be able to play until my sophomore or junior year."

He also said he wanted to earn trust in his coach.

While these quotes may imply Quarles doesn't have that trust with Lawing, he says that is the farthest thing from the truth.

"We just talked about how much trust we've got in each other," Quarles said emphatically of his phone conversation with Lawing. "He trusts everything I say, he says he's not worried about what people say because he knows he respects me and I respect him. You know we're just on that trust level. And you know we're just like – it was just like a father and son talk basically. We talked about it. We weren't really worried about it because we both know what the deal is. I just love Coach Lawing to death."

Despite now being firmly committed to South Carolina, Quarles admits he was looking around at one time. Surprisingly, he says it was LSU, not North Carolina, that he was looking at as a possible suitor.

"It was just, you know, one of my teammates went to LSU, I started thinking how that would go, me going to LSU," he says. "But I see that I have a better relationship with D.J. Swearinger. And I'm just going to go down there and me and D.J. talked about it and he understands everything, we're both on the same page and me and Coach Lawing talked and everything's okay now."

Quarles says he is now going to turn his attention to recruiting Lattimore and Mack, and top North Carolina offensive tackle prospect Robert Crisp to join him at South Carolina.

"I'm going to still be pressuring these players," he said. "Because I'm going to try to be the leader of this 2010 class of South Carolina, try to help them as much as I can, then we'll just go down there and try to turn it out."

Lastly, Quarles wanted to apologize to the USC fans for what transpired.

"I mean, it was at one point in time I wanted to [decommit], but you know I just love South Carolina. I know deep down in my heart – I had to sit down and actually think about – I know deep down in my heart that's my home, that's where I want to go. I love Coach Lawing to death. I love the fans; I love USC. I love everything about it. I'll never do the fans wrong like that, and just I apologize for everything that's been going on and I just respect South Carolina, respect all the fans, love them all, and I'm just excited and fired up about coming down there."

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