One of the bigger surprises for South Carolina came early on National Signing Day.
The Gamecocks were able convince former Florida State defensive end commitment Blake McClain to sign with South Carolina after committing to Nebraska this past weekend on an official visit.
McClain was a longtime FSU commitment who was recently asked by the Seminoles to greyshirt and enroll in January of 2015. After learning this, McClain dropped his commitment to FSU and began exploring his two options.
Right there waiting was Nebraska and South Carolina.
The Cornhuskers were the first to learn of McClain's availability and was able to get on him first, hence the recent official visit. However, South Carolina was right there and was able to secure an official visit from McClain the following weekend. During McClain's official visit, he went ahead and made a commitment to Nebraska and appeared to shut down his recruitment.
The South Carolina coaching staff stayed with him and after he returned home from his Nebraska visit, he was starting to have second thoughts. In the hours leading up to National Signing Day, he and his family started to weigh their options and things started to swing in favor of the Gamecocks.
McClain decided on National Signing Day that South Carolina would be his choice, even though he never took an official visit to Columbia, and signed with the Gamecocks on Wednesday morning.
His family will be able to see him play every weekend in Columbia since they have a much shorter drive to Columbia from Jacksonville than they would to Lincoln, Nebraska. The opportunity for immediate playing time is also something that had to play a big role in landing McClain. South Carolina is in need of a physically-ready defensive end and McClain fits the bill at 6-foot-3, 265-pounds.
McClain, a three-star prospect on 247sports.com, signed with South Carolina over Nebraska.