There was never a specific moment of clarity for Dorman’s four-star offensive lineman Markee Anderson in which he knew for sure where he wanted to go to college.
Just a few days ago, its four finalists were still under consideration, with Anderson carefully weighing the various aspects offered by Caroline from the southClemson, North Carolina and LSU.
Anderson is committed to Caroline from the south Sunday in a ceremony at the Kingdom Builders Baptist Church. He had a plate of pancakes and four bottles of syrup in front of him, each pictured with the logo of one of his four finalists. He picked up the bottle from USC, poured the syrup out, and said, “Come on cocks. He plans to enroll at USC in January.
“There really wasn’t a sudden click where I knew where I wanted to go,” Anderson said. “It was more me looking at all the facts and deciding which school was right for me. At the end of the day, South Carolina just retreated into my heart.”
USC also secured a commitment on Sunday from three-star offensive tackle Jatavius Shivers, a day after receiving an offer from Auburn. The chills disengaged from Vanderbilt earlier this month.
Earlier in his recruitment:Lineman Dorman Markee Anderson 1 of only 2 rookies in state with Clemson and USC offers
Anderson said it was a relief to have made up her mind because “a lot of times the process is a lot of fun and it can be stressful at times. I’m just happy to get rid of that weight. I felt most at home. (at USC), and it’s just the best conference for me and I feel like I can thrive at the SEC.”
He becomes the highest-ranked of USC’s 15 commitments for the class of 2023 and the highest for the program since 2020 at No. 136 overall and No. 5 among 247Sports Composite interior linemen. The next two highest are linebacker Grayson Howard (No. 221 and No. 15 at his position) and running back Dontavius Braswell (227 and 10). The Gamecocks are 22nd in the team standings.
“It’s just the people I met there, especially the coaching staff,” Anderson said of USC. “Coach (Shane) Beamer has always been kind and genuine whenever I’ve visited him or spoken to him. Coach (offensive line) (Greg) Adkins is just a caring coach and a great coach in And then I got to hang out with some of the players and they said all the good things about the coaching staff.
“I think a lot about the character and enthusiasm of Coach Beamer and he’s a great coach. He brings a spark to any room he’s in.”
Anderson, who joins Oceanside Collegiate Academy offensive tackle Monroe Freeling as the state’s only player with offers from USC and Clemson, officially visited the four finalists in June, with the Gamecocks getting his last June 24-27. He has made several visits to Colombia over the past year and attended several games at the Williams-Brice stadium.
“The atmosphere there is amazing,” Anderson said. “Every time, no matter how big the game, it was always a packed and loud stadium and a good atmosphere in general. And the fans gave me a lot of positive energy and were really excited to try to make me come and play for them.”
Anderson said that over time during his recruiting process, his initial focus on being close to home began to diminish.
“At first it was a factor, but as I started to get closer to a decision, it was never really a factor for me. I think I can really help this program to move on to the next stage of the journey.
Anderson and Shivers (920 overall, tackle No. 80) give the Gamecocks four offensive line commitments in 2023. They join Trovon Baugh (349, 17 inside) and tackle Isaiah Jatta, ranked No. 3 in the junior varsity transfer and No. 1 tackle.
Offensive tackle Oluwatosin Babalade (273, 25) has the Gamecocks in his last two games with his home state of Maryland. He officially visited Clemson last month and also attended the spring program’s spring game. He was going to announce on Sunday, but is now expected to announce his decision this week. Four-star receiver Carmelo Taylor, who has USC, Penn State and Virginia Tech as finalists, also postponed his announcement from Sunday.
Eric Boynton covers sports for USA TODAY Sports Network in South Carolina. He can be reached at [email protected] or followed on Twitter @ericjboynton