Speedy Sumler meets Spurrier

South Carolina is always looking to add more speed to its wide receiver corp and as one of the fastest wide receivers in the southeast Christopher Columbus (Miami, Fla.) WR Tacoi Sumler certainly could bring that. Sumler brought his speed to Columbia for a two-day unofficial visit this week. Look inside as the talented prospect discusses that visit and his thoughts on the Gamecocks.

Christopher Columbus (Miami, Fla.) WR Tacoi Sumler didn't know what it would be like to meet South Carolina head football coach Steve Spurrier.

But after a two-day trip to South Carolina, he's glad he got the chance.

"First of all, I was really surprised by Steve Spurrier," Sumler said. "When it comes to Steve Spurrier, the first thing I think is, 'Wow, that's prestigious, that's famous, he isn't going to come up to me like anybody and just talk to me,' but he was real down-to-earth. He came up to me, he called me, 'Hey, Tacoi,' and he came up, he introduced himself and hugged me and everything like that. My dad has been watching Steve Spurrier for the longest, and he's always been a Steve Spurrier fan, because he says Spurrier is going to throw that ball. To get the opportunity to play under his offense, it's just an honor to me."

Sumler is a classic Spurrier receiver in the mold of the speedsters that Spurrier terrorized the SEC with at Florida in the 90's. Widely known as one of the fastest receivers in Florida, Sumler proved it to all when he ran an electronically-timed 4.33-second forty-yard dash at the Nike Miami camp earlier this year.

But Sumler doesn't just bring speed to the game, he impressed Scout analysts for also being an all-around receiver who runs good routes and comes back to the football.

That combination of instincts and speed has led to him receiving early offers from South Carolina, Oregon, Clemson, Stanford, Florida State, Tennessee, Auburn and Nebraska, among others.

This week, Sumler brought his sub-4.4 second speed to the Palmetto State for trips to South Carolina and Clemson. Sumler and his parents arrived in Columbia Tuesday and took in the Gamecocks' spring practice before taking a tour of the campus, meeting with the coaches and taking in another practice on Wednesday.

"I was very impressed with this visit," Sumler said. "Everything from the stadium, to the school, to the academics, to the academic center and the hospitality of the coaches really stood out to me."

Sumler was also impressed with Spurrier's son, wide receivers coach Steve Spurrier, Jr.

"He's a real funny guy -- him and his dad -- I was really impressed with both of them," Sumler said. "But Steve Spurrier, Jr. was really active. He kept telling me new things that I never knew. He was really informing, telling me everything about the offense, telling me everything about different routes, and at the end he came on a little tour with us too, so he was really cool."

As impressed as he was with the Spurriers, Sumler spent the majority of his time on campus with his recruiter of record Jeep Hunter, who he called one of the top recruiters in the country.

"We got really close in this trip, and I was really happy that I got a chance to chill with him and find out a little bit more about him. He sat down with us, he told us more about him. He pretty much told us about everything. Everything we did, he was there with us. He toured with us, he took us to the academic center, and throughout the academic center tour, he was with us. He was just a really big help. And I was just really impressed with his hospitality throughout this trip."

Sumler especially loved the tour of the new Dodie Anderson Academic Center.

"I really, really liked it," Sumler said. "I really like the organization that they've got there. From 7-10, you get the tutoring and you've got different rooms [for that]. You've got computers set only for the football players. I really like that you've got the cafeteria on the first floor, and as soon was we get out of practice, we come eat, and after that we've got study hall. So, it's all in one area. We don't have to go here and go there. It's just all right there."

Sumler says that he's going to wait it out before making a commitment, unless he absolutely knows where he's going. At this point, he's just gathering information and trying to break it down.

He says that there isn't a top group right now, but that South Carolina, Clemson, Oregon and Stanford are places he could take official visits to. He says he wants to come out with a top five or top 10 sometime this spring.

So what are the Gamecocks' chances of eventually landing Sumler? He says they have at least one person in their corner.

"(My dad has) always been a South Carolina fan to tell you the truth," Sumler says. And then Steve Spurrier ended up there, he really likes Steve Spurrier. When we were walking in the store today, he was like, 'well, let me go ahead and sport one of these South Carolina hats for the day.'"

Sumler gave his thoughts on the program as well.

"I mean South Carolina was already one of the top schools," he said. "It was a prestigious university. Being on this trip, added a lot for that. They've got a good chance."

Sumler, who visited Florida State and UCF on his trip up, will make the short ride to Clemson tomorrow for three days on the Tigers' campus. He has a connection to the Tigers in that redshirt freshman receiver Bryce McNeal is his cousin. Sumler says he already realizes about the rivalry.

"They've got a big show to follow up on; they better come with it."

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