After a lengthy and thorough recruitment, McDonough All-Met Na’Ty Rodgers took to Twitter Monday morning and announced his oral commitment to the University of South Carolina. The 6-foot-5, 280-pound offensive lineman made the decision on the heels of an official visit to the Southeastern Conference school over the weekend.
Rodgers seriously considered the University of Maryland and said he also canceled a planned official visit this weekend to Florida State. He’ll be able to make his commitment official on National Signing Day, Feb. 6.
“Really I went to South Carolina and I had a great visit,” Rodgers said by phone Monday. “It reassured me I was making the right decision, so it was my time to commit.”
Earlier this month, Rodgers, rated a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, abandoned plans to commit at the Under Armour All-America game where he said he would choose between the Gamecocks, Terrapins and Huskies.
Instead, Rodgers continued the process. He said he had a home visit with Terrapin Coach Randy Edsall scheduled for Monday afternoon, and the player ended a phone interview discussing his commitment when the coach arrived. Several other schools, including Florida State, had attempted to enter the mix late.
But ultimately, Rodgers said the extra time helped solidify his decision to pick South Carolina, which he had listed as his front-runner for weeks. He said he made six unofficial visits to the school, including three times in the fall to watch home games, but he added it was important for him to make an official trip alone without any relatives before making his final decision.
“I wanted to see how it would feel to be down there and live by myself for a few days,” Rodgers said. “I didn’t feel like I would be home sick or uncomfortable away from my family and not living in Maryland. That was mainly what I was looking for” on the official visit.
During his weekend stay, Rodgers attended a men’s basketball game where the football team was honored for its victory over Michigan in this year’s Capital One Bowl. Friendship Collegiate senior Yannick Ngakoue, an All-Met linebacker, also visited South Carolina this weekend, though Rodgers indicated he would not pressure his friend to join him, saying “He’s going to do the best thing for him.”
Rodgers returned home Sunday night and decided to sleep on the decision before making an announcement. On Monday morning, he posed for a photo of himself and his mother, Nana Bailey-Thomas, wearing black South Carolina T-shirts and soon posted it to his Twitter account to alert his followers that he was ready to make his pick.