Maynard Jackson (Atlanta, Ga.) DE Lorenzo Mauldin didn't go to South Carolina Friday expected to leave as a Gamecock, but that's exactly what happened.
Maynard, who entered today's visit with a top two of Kentucky and South Carolina in that order, but says that the Gamecock program was too much to turn down.
"I didn't think I was actually going to commit today, because I told everyone that I was going to commit before the fifth game [of the season]," he said. "But Coach Lorenzo Ward showed me around the campus and I pretty much fell in love with it."
The 6-3, 235-pound Mauldin was blown away by his tour around the Carolina campus.
"He showed me the academics first, and I fell in love with that from the beginning," Mauldin said. "Then he showed me the football [side of things] and it just set the tone for everything else."
After the tour, Mauldin knew hat he had to do.
"When I committed, I was talking to Coach Ward and I told him that I wanted to commit. He said he had to talk to his boss about it, and then he [came back] and just welcomed me into the team. Then when all that happened I talked to the defensive coach and he said welcome."
Mauldin believes he fits in with the Gamecocks' defensive scheme.
"I believe I can make plays with this team," he said. "The defensive coach, he kind of told us what he had in mind for us and I think I can follow it."
In the end, it was the total package that put Carolina over the top.
"The academics and the football program kind of shot it through the roof," he says.
Mauldin also had a message for Gamecock fans: "I'm ready to play and play my hardest so just come support me!"
Mauldin talks commitment
Gamecock Anthem Top Stories
Scout 2018: Top 30 for 2018Scout releases its updated Top 30 for the Class of 2018, which is now on the clock leading up to National Signing Day 2018...
Updated Scout 300 Trend Meter For 2017Signing day is Feb. 1 and the updated Scout 300 Trend Meter for the 2017 class takes a look at which schools are trending for each uncommitted member in the Scout 300.
Top 100 high school football prospectsOf the 270,000 high school seniors that played football in 2016, only these players made Scout.com's Top 100 list.
Scout's Top 25 Recruiting ClassesA look at Scout's top 25 classes with just over a week to go to Signing Day.