South Carolina commitment Summie Carlay calls offensive line coach Shawn Elliott the best in football.
“He just knows so much about the game. He’s a tough coach, too, which is what I like about him,” Carlay said. “He’s not afraid to get after his guys, but you can also tell they have a loving relationship. His O-linemen, he can jump on them when he needs to, but at the same time, he’s doing it out of love and trying to correct them and teach them.”
A three-star offensive tackle from Laurens, S.C., Carlay committed to South Carolina in March over offers from NC State and Coastal Carolina. Elliott, along with coach Will Muschamp, played big parts in locking up the 6-foot-5, 265-pound prospect.
“They really stressed family atmosphere there, but also a competitive atmosphere,” Carlay said. “You can tell they really do want to win a championship. It’s something they don’t just talk about. Going into their practices, they push themselves to be great.”
Still, a few other schools have pushed Carlay to reconsider his commitment.
Tennessee stopped by Laurens High School this spring and invited him to their junior day. Clemson defensive tackles coach Dan Brooks visited the school and met with him. Navy recently extended an offer.
“I really appreciate all of the coaches, just the blessing it’s been to give me an opportunity to go play at their schools and recruit me, let me experience this atmosphere,” Carlay said.
But he’s content with his choice to commit to the Gamecocks.
“No regrets about my decision. It’s been a real blessing, the whole thing. They’ve got a great group of people down there in Columbia and I’m looking forward to it,” Carlay said. “I really feel at peace with myself now, now that I’ve made my decision. I’m really thankful for everybody else that recruited me. They made it the experience of a lifetime.”
Of the eight high school prospects committed to South Carolina’s 2017 signing class, five are from the state of South Carolina.
“It’s just a special experience all around. It’s cool to have the opportunity to play with guys that you play against in high school … there’s also some great out-of-state players,” Carlay said. “Eric Douglas is a great friend of mine and he’s been awesome through the whole process and I’m really glad he’s coming to join us. Kyshaun Bryan, he’s another good commit we’ve got and Shawn Smith. Guys like Damani (Staley) and Will (Register), it’s awesome.”