MarShawn Lloyd

As if it hasn’t been hot enough in Columbia, USC fans had a fire lit under them on Memorial Day with an announcement of a commitment to the Gamecocks by highly acclaimed running back MarShawn Lloyd of Dematha Catholic in Hyattsville, MD. The Gamecocks are hopeful Lloyd will be that breakaway running back the offense has been missing since the days of Mike Davis. His coach expects him to be a major impact player in Columbia and the SEC.

“He’s fast.  People say he’s 4.4.  He may be.  I don’t know.  I know he can go,” said Dematha coach Bill McGregor. “He’s the type of back who, honestly, anytime he touches it can score.  That’s pretty good for a 215 pound young man to be able to run that way.  He trains very diligently, very careful in terms of what he puts into his body.  His thighs are enormous.  Football means a whole lot to him and he knows he has to take care of himself to get to where he wants to be.  He’s just a good boy.”

McGregor has yet to coach Lloyd in a game. He was a longtime coach at Dematha before leaving eight years ago. He returned after his replacement left for a job at Maryland. His plan is to get all that he can out of Lloyd.

“We’re going to be be a little bit multiple in terms of where we’re going to let him run the football,” he said.  “Obviously, we want the ball in his hands as much as possible.  Get him out on the edge with a sweep or toss it to him and let him go, and a little bit of option, I think he can be more dangerous than he is.”

Lloyd visited USC twice, most recently for the spring game. He developed a strong relationship with running backs coach Thomas Brown, but it was thought he would wait a little longer in the process to further evaluate other pursuing programs like Alabama, Georgia, Maryland and Ohio State.

“That’s Marshawn.  Marshawn had a plan all along saying he wanted to announce it on Memorial Day since it’s such a special day,” McGregor said.  “He loved the University of South Carolina from the get-go and knew in his heart it was a great fit.  I think Coach Muschamp did a great job.  He really, really likes the coaches a lot.  He felt very, very comfortable at the university and just decided to make the move and make it official.”

Muschamp does not direct his commitments to shut down their recruiting leaving it open for them to continue with other visits and and contacts from recruiters. McGregor, however, said with Lloyd, he expects the recruiting to be over.

“As far as I’m concerned he’s shut down,” McGregor said.  “I don’t believe in a soft commitment or anything along those lines.  I’m a little bit old school and I think you honor your word or don’t give your word.  I know this, because of the type of back he is and the kind of young man he is, everybody in the world is going to still stay on him.  But as far as I’m concerned, people come into the school and ask to see Marshawn and things like that, the answer is know, he’s committed to the University of South Carolina.  It’s a done deal and we’re moving forward.” 

From a personal viewpoint, McGregor said he was pleased by Lloyd’s decision. His daughter is a USC graduate.

Listen to the full Bill McGregor interview from SportsTalk