Coffee ready to enroll

Former Fort Walton Beach High School standout and 2009 Gamecock signee Matt Coffee is still rehabbing from knee surgery that put an early end to his senior season last fall. Coffee is grayshirting this fall, but is anxious to enroll at South Carolina next month. GamecockAnthem.com caught up with the versatile Coffee for this exclusive story on his latest progress.


While some may have forgotten about the 2009 signee due to grayshirting during the fall semester to focus on rehabbing his torn ACL, the Gamecocks will be gaining a future linebacker/running back/fullback next month when Matt Coffee officially enrolls at South Carolina. Now only a few weeks away from joining the USC team, Coffee explained where he currently stands with his rehab.

"I just did the biodeck, which tests both of my legs and compares them to see where I stand. I'm currently at 80% and I'm positive by spring I will be 100%. I've gotten a lot stronger because I've been working a lot in the gym with Coach (Craig) Fitzgerald and his system," said Coffee. "I've been living in Columbia for a while now, just working out and getting my knee back to full strength. That is my main focus right now, and being here in Columbia has helped a lot."

The 5'11", 225 pound "athlete" was just that for his Fort Walton High School football team as he played linebacker, running back, special teams and wherever else his team needed to him to play for a chance to win. That versatility will come in handy during his college career, as he's been told he could play on either side of the ball.

"I've been keeping in touch with Coach (Shane) Beamer some, but mostly Coach Fitz is the only one I have had constant contact with. The coaches haven't really told me what position they are going to play me at other than to be ready to play linebacker, running back and fullback. I just want to get on the field, I'll play wherever."

Being from the state of Florida, the rivalry between South Carolina and Clemson is not something that is heavily followed, but with Coffee being in Columbia for the series and experiencing the intensity of the rivalry first hand, he now has an understanding what it means to be a Gamecock.

"I definitely don't like Clemson and Florida now, since I've been here. I can't wait to get back on the field and play against those guys."

Former Alabama running back and current San Francisco 49er Glen Coffee has given some encouraging words to his younger brother Matt during this trying time. The elder Coffee has started 2 games and played in 11 thus far during his rookie season in the NFL.

"He just told me to keep working hard and things happen for a reason. He's always told me that you will have to work hard to be a great player so I've always done that. I've been out there to see him a few times, and I went out there for 2 weeks a couple months ago."

The current South Carolina season has met some fans' expectations and some it has not, but Coffee explains why it didn't meet his to this point. Also, was the emergence of multiple true freshmen a surprise to him?

"The season was satisfying, I would have to say. They should have beaten Florida and Georgia, if that happened it would have a been a really good season," he emphasized. "(The true freshmen excelling) really didn't surprise me because they came in highly recruited and the depth allowed them to get a chance early on. That's all you can really ask for, and they excelled when given the chance."

Coffee left one message for the Gamecock Nation and all of GamecockAnthem's faithful followers.

"I'm ready to get out there, its been a while. I'm going to come out with a bang and make some noise," said the enthusiastic Coffee.

Gamecock Anthem Top Stories