South Carolina's staff continued building its 2012 offensive line class on Thursday when Seffner (Fla.) Armwood offensive lineman Cody Waldrop announced his intentions to play college football for the Gamecocks.
The 6-foot-3, 315-pounder has a 5.8 four-star marker from Rivals.com and is rated as the country's 10th-best offensive guard prospect. He broke down the decision with GamecockCentral.com.
"Two big factors in me choosing a school were to play soon and make an impact early, and win doing it," he explained. "I know I can do both of those at South Carolina."
Waldrop was on campus last week for an unofficial visit and got a chance to get an in-depth look at the program on the return visit.
"You know, I saw everything when I was there. I saw the whole campus, all the different academics, the dorm rooms, football facilities, the Dodie Center, everything."
While USC quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus was Waldrop's recruiter of record and played a big part in his recruitment, Waldrop gave a lot of credit to offensive line coach Shawn Elliott.
"Coach Mangus came down to practice and stuff. I've had a good relationship with him. I call him every now and then. Coach Elliott recruited me harder than anybody, though."
The Sunshine State product is ready to get to Columbia to begin working with the fiery veteran coach.
"As a person and a coach, he's a great guy and I'm excited to play for him. The best five o-linemen are going to be on the field at all times. He will give you an equal opportunity to play. It's whoever is the best. I like that about him."
What does the physical trenchman plan on bringing to the table when he arrives?
"I give everything I have at every workout and every practice," he said. "I always have since ninth grade when I started playing football at a high level. I love to run block. Coach (Steve) Spurrier. likes to call run plays."
Waldrop is also excited about the long-term potential of the Gamecock program.
"We're building," he said. "We have some big recruits in the past couple of weeks. Three big-time wide receivers committed. Last year, we got Jadeveon Clowney You sit back and look on paper, we're building. We have a sick running back this year and I think we're going to be a force to be reckoned with."
Waldrop selected South Carolina over offers from Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Missouri, North Carolina, N.C. State, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt.
With the pledge, South Carolina now has 15 verbal commitments in the 2012 class, including a quartet of offensive line prospects.