Recruits take notice of Carolina10

A grassroots effort by South Carolina fans to emphasize how important winning the battle for the Palmetto state against arch-rival Clemson is takes a page directly from Tiger history, and has caught the notice of some of the state's more prominent recruits.

Remind. Support. Win. These words together may not have meant anything to the Gamecock Nation in the past, but that could soon change as a grassroots effort to do just that -- remind, support and win -- has come to life.

The Carolina10 Project, a play on Clemson's IPTAY Scholarship Fund which originally asked members to pay $10 a year, charged Gamecock fans to take a proactive approach to winning the battle for the Palmetto State in all phases by sending a $10 bill in an orange envelope to the South Carolina Athletic Department.

The purpose is three-fold: to remind the administration how important beating Clemson is, to support USC's athletes, and ultimately to win. Clemson reportedly spent $150,000 more than South Carolina during the last recruiting cycle. Carolina10 was designed partly to help make up that deficit.

Word of the project has been spread mostly by popular Gamecock internet message boards, social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, and by word of mouth. While there is currently no confirmed number placed on the amount of envelopes received by the Athletic Department, the Carolina10 has undoubtedly created quite a stir.

That buzz has also reached many prospects recruited by the Gamecocks.

"Everybody's just like me, they think it's a great idea," South Carolina quarterback commitment Dylan Thompson said of the project and other recruits' thoughts on it. "It shows how much the fans support the football team at Carolina, and what they're willing to do to beat Clemson."

The Boiling Springs quarterback has been an ambassador for the Gamecocks' 2010 recruiting class in many aspects and has played a big factor in recruiting other players to South Carolina. Thompson has spread the word to several other South Carolina targets and commitments about the Carolina10.

"I just mentioned it to them, nothing really that was too big a deal," he said. "I just told them how involved the fans were and how bad they wanted to beat Clemson, stuff like that."

Among the prospects Thompson said he told about the Carolina10 are Byrnes five-star RB Marcus Lattimore, Manning four-star CB John Fulton, Beaufort three-star LB Justin Parker and Byrnes three-star Gamecock commitment WR Nick Jones. Three of the four in-state prospects also have offers from Clemson.

"Oh, that's what's up," said Fulton, who currently has the Gamecocks in the lead for his services over traditional SEC powers like Alabama, Florida and LSU. "I think they are real dedicated for that and really want it."

Thompson believes the project has the potential to become a new Carolina tradition. But as with any potential tradition, the Carolina10 will likely have to provide results to fortify itself as a real tradition and not just a one-time event.

While games are won on the field, and the Carolina10 will have no actual effect on the outcome of Saturday's game, a win over the Tigers may be just what it needs to fortify itself as a major player in Gamecock Nation for years to come.

Thompson agrees that the Clemson game is important on so many levels.

"Oh man, it's huge," he said. "It's the biggest rivalry obviously in South Carolina and probably even beyond South Carolina. It's got a big weight on recruiting with seniors as well as junior recruits. I think it's obviously important to a lot of people. I think it will be a good game, and hopefully Carolina will come out on top."

For more information on the Carolina10, visit the Facebook page here, or send an email to

Gamecock Anthem Top Stories