Whiteside commits to Holtz and Gamecocks
Heralded wide receiver Noah Whiteside committed to the Gamecocks today during an in-home visit with USC Head Coach Lou Holtz. And this one is final. We had an opportunity to speak with Noah this afternoon from his home in Greenville and this is what he had to say about his commitment ... "Yes, I am committed and it is done and over," The super wide receiver prospect from Greenville, SC, Noah Whiteside said. "I feel comfortable with them and I am ready to go to South Carolina." "They were talking about winning a national championship and I know I can help them do that," Whiteside was quick to add. "Some of my friends are going to South Carolina and it makes me feel more confident that they will be there with me. We can help each other reach our goals and be successful." "I'll probably major in Business Management. I am fully qualified ... I have a 3.2 GPA and I already have an ACT score of 18 so I am good to go in that department." And how does Whiteside perceive his chances at early playing time? "I know I can go in and contribute right away as a starter. That's what I am going to work hard and try to do and I know I can do it." "My strengths are yards after the catch and getting away from defenders. I have good hands and I like to go one on one with defenders and burn them." Whiteside was an early commitment for the Cocks, but he admitted that he waivered a bit during the process. "I waivered for a little while after taking my visit to Clemson, I kind of got caught up in everything, but in the end I knew I wanted to be a Gamecock and play for Lou Holtz. I'm looking forward to it." "Coach Fitch was my recruiter for South Carolina. But I really didn't worry about who was recruiting me. I was just worried about my position coach and I know Coach Holtz is taking care of that." (Noah was busy playing his high school coach in a game of NCAA 2000 football during the interview, and he wants everyone to know he is winning. (Playstation II).) "Coach Jim Soesby is my high school coach and I want to give him credit for helping me make it this far. He is my friend. And I want to thank my Mother and family for supporting me through all of this. There has been a lot of pressure at times and it has been real difficult for the whole family but I love them and they have stuck with me through it all." And what about the incredible forty time that is being reported? "I run a 4.34 forty. I have done it a lot of times on a lot of different clocks so I know it is a valid time." "I haven't decided if I am going to Columbia early to start working out." Then there was a pause as Noah added, "I want to tell all Gamecock fans out there that we are going to with THE Championship. Tell them that for me will you?" Then it was Noah's Mother's turn on the phone. She has been such an active part of the process that we wanted to get a few words from her as well. Mrs. Whiteside on the entire process: "I thought that each person had his or her job to do and to the best of their ability they tried to do it. They (all the coaches) saw that Noah was very athletically gifted and talented and it was their job to get him to come to their school. They were all nice and I understand where they were coming from and I appreciate that." "It was a family decision." On why they chose South Carolina: "Choosing South Carolina was Noah's choice all the way. From the beginning to the end. I would say as far back when he attended football camp in Columbia. Now, he got swayed a little bit when he made another visit to another school and I wanted him to make sure before he made his final decision." "The academics down there (at USC) are excellent and the staff was more than encouraging. The football players and the staff displayed gentlemanly qualities ... the hostesses were there were very ladylike ... and the overall family oriented values that they have were the highlight of our visits. They genuinley showed that they cared about what each and everyone accomplishes. So right there I am quite happy I don't mind telling you that." "We are going to support him (Noah) 100% with his decision. We are planning on seeing a lot of his games." Are you happy that the process is over? "That's an understatement. And the reason why is so that the focus can now be on preparing to go. So the process is not over, it's just another stage of knowing where he is going and getting prepared mentally, physically and financially. (She added that mentally is "academic."). "We're solid on this commitment. No more decisions." About Lou Holtz: "Lou Holtz is a legend. His core values are evident in his conversation, his appearance, and his knowledge of the game. And that was important to me. He doesn't just talk it ... he walks it." Mrs. Whiteside began to close by saying, "I am proud of my child and his family is proud of him. And we'll be praying for him." And she wanted Gamecock fans to know: "... that I am a fan (of the Gamecocks) and I am going to become a bigger fan and I'll be there cheering him on along with his entire family. We are very happy with his decision. And I want to say, LET'S GO GAMECOCKS!!" She ended with a hearty laugh and with an enthusiastic "When I say 'Let's Go Gamecocks' I am doing so with a spirit of successful winning season and successes. ... We're going for the national (championship) bowl! That's our goal!"
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