USC is rolling heading to National Signing Day. The Gamecocks Tuesday night landed their second commitment of the day from a Midlands talent in SAF Dequandre (DQ) Smith (6-2 180) of Spring Valley. Smith announced his commitment on Twitter. Throughout the process, Earlier, WR Zavier Short of Chapin committed to the Gamecocks.
Smith insisted during the recruiting process that he wanted to play quarterback in college. He was a two-way player with the Vikings. But the Gamecocks convinced him safety would be the best position for his football future. And staying close to home also would work in his favor.
“They tell me that South Carolina is a home,” Smith said earlier this year. “It’s right around the corner from my house. Everybody there is family and it’s just a home. There’s a difference between wanted and needed, and they really need me to come there.”
Smith performed for the Gamecock coaches in camp in June and he showed them what he could be as a safety.
“My toughness and the dog inside of me,” Smith said. “They said the way I play, I’m aggressive, coming down hill and trying to run people over. They like that in me. They said they like the toughness in me.”
Spring Valley coach Robin Bacon was in close contact with Smith during the recruiting process but said Tuesday night his commitment announcement caught him by surprise.
“He’s really been struggling with it the last couple of weeks on what to do,” Bacon said. “To be honest with you, I didn’t know he was going to do it (commit). Obviously, USC did a great job recruiting him throughout the process in talking to him. He had a lot of options and could choose whatever he wanted to. He’s at a great place, he’s going to be close to home. He’s a very smart kid and he weighed all his options and tried to decide what he wanted to do. He trusted his instincts. I know he’s really excited. He’s been back and forth with coach (Shane) Beamer, coach (Torrian) Gray and coach (Clayton) White.”
Bacon added that the Gamecocks won’t be disappointed in what they have in Smith.
“He’s got a phenomenal work ethic,” Bacon said. “He’s very smart, very savvy. He knows what the defensive players are doing. And then his toughness. He’s going to bring that. He’s a quarterback who played like a safety. His toughness and his competitiveness. He hates to lose. He’s one of those guys that’s going to give you everything he’s got. If he’s hurt, he’s not going to tell you, he’s just going to keep playing, that’s just how he is. He’s a great leader and tough, and a smart kid. He’s going to fit in right away with them. And a super student in the classroom. He checks every box you can have as a player.”
Smith gives the Gamecocks 26 for their 2022 class including 22 commitments and four transfers counting in the class. He’s the fifth commitment from South Carolina and the 16th on the defensive side.