Kaleb Broome could barely believe he was sitting in Steve Spurrier's office.
But Friday proved to be very real for the Georgia Millitary College offensive tackle when Spurrier and offensive line coach Shawn Elliott offered him a scholarship.
"I jumped up and shook Spurrier's hand and it was done," the 6-6, 315-pound former Aiken standout said. "It was great. I've committed and this is my No. 1 choice, and hopefully we'll win a championship while I'm here.
"Some players may be like, 'Oh, yeah, I'm supposed to be there,' [in Spurrier's office] but it's been a dream. Today has been a big step in my life.
"One of the best days of my life, today."
But the day very nearly never happened. Broome didn't even know if he would play football after high school. Admittedly Broome had some hard times back then due to a family situation and barely even graduated.
He eventually turned to GMC to continue his playing career.
"Thank God and thank GMC for giving me another opportunity," Broome says. "I know it was tough making it through the first couple of weeks, but GMC has given me the opportunity that has opened doors of a lifetime. I encourage any kid that needs a second chance to go to GMC. They'll teach you what you need to know."
Part of that involved learning to basically play a new position. For most of his high school career, Broome played on the defensive line, and even when on the other side of the ball, he was blocking in his team's run-based Wing-T offense.
So it was kind of a learning process when he started every game at right tackle at GMC his freshman season.
"It's been real difficult, but I've caught on," he says. "It takes a lot of patience, but I've just studied the offense and learned how to be a team player and just develop good player skills."
After another season honing his skills at GMC, Broome says he's on track to graduate in January. He'll then go through spring practice at South Carolina and have the chance to play, possibly even start, on a Carolina o-line that will be lacking depth at tackle in 2011. He'll have three to play two, but barring injury that redshirt year likely won't be needed.
"I'm probably going to play," he says. "I'm going to put in a lot of good work and try to get on the field."
While Broome isn't ready to dismiss his final season at GMC, he can't wait to play for Spurrier's squad either.
"Legend, legend, legend," Broome says of Spurrier. "I can't wait to play for a legend. It's going to be great."
Broome also looks forward to playing under Elliott, who he has developed a close relationship with.
"It's going to be tough, but I know he wants what's in my best interest," Broome says. "I'm going to follow whatever he says 100 percent."
A Gamecock fan growing up, Broome also wants to impress the Gamecock faithful.
"Gamecock fans, you guys are the most dedicated people that I've seen in college football," he said. "Thanks you all your support, and hopefully we'll bring home a championship for you."
But even then, Broome will likely look back on this Friday as the day that made that possible.
"It was just a dream come true. I love Coach Elliott. He's a great guy. I can't wait to play for him. He's real intense, and I just can't wait to play for a guy like that. But the main goal right now is the win the championship at GMC and try to get us a trophy and some rings and a lot of fun stuff. But I cannot wait to come play for Carolina. I thank everybody who supported me throughout all of this and I thank God."
Wes Mitchell is the Publisher of GamecockAnthem.com. Follow him on Twitter @WesMitchellSC.
'One of the best days of my life'
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