USC had a need at rush end, and Belton-Honea Path product Jatius Geer (6-6 255) had a desire to get back closer to home. In what was the perfect scenario for the two parties, courtesy of the Transfer Portal, Geer announced Thursday his intention to transfer to USC this summer after two seasons at Syracuse.
Geer entered his name into the Portal in late April. Not long after, USC made contact with him. That’s pretty much the story of his recruitment by the Gamecocks as both sides hit off really well. Geer made his official visit last weekend, and that only deepened his feelings about moving to Columbia.
“I really just say the relationship with those guys,” Geer said. “The coaching staff, I spent some time with them and had multiple conversations with them. The connection and the real home selling, on top of the level of comfortability I already have with me being in-state, I’d say those are some reasons.”
Geer was not heavily recruited by USC coming out of high school. Once he started having serious talks with Shane Beamer and defensive ends coach Sterling Lucas, he knew the same mistake would not be made twice.
“Once I actually got in conversation with them, I just kind of fell in love,” Geer said. “I wouldn’t say any other school had a chance at that point. Out of high school, we had conversations. I talked with them a few times, but it never went as far as a scholarship offer.”
Now, Geer will get the chance to play for the in-state school he dreamed of playing for as a youngster.
“It’s definitely a thrill feeling. Being from South Carolina, every kid’s dream school is either South Carolina or Clemson, and mine was always South Carolina,” Geer said. “I was different from everybody else in my area. I always loved South Carolina an wanted to go to South Carolina. Going to college somewhere totally different, 13 hours away from home, and getting the chance to come back and do things how I wanted to do them initially is big for me. It’s a very surreal feeling. Makes me very grateful.”
Geer will be counted on to help address a serious need on the Gamecocks’ defense. They lost two contributors from last season at the edge position in Jordan Burch and Gilbur Edmond, who transferred to Oregon and Florida State respectively. They combined for 99 tackles and 5.5 sacks. They also are without freshman Monteque Rhames who is currently suspended from the team and out of school.
“They just like my projection as an edge rusher throughout the past season,” Geer said “They let me know how they could use me and the ways they can include me into their defense for their four-man front.”
As a high school senior at BHP, Geer had 72 tackles with 40 tackles for loss and 10 sacks. He was a two-time captain with the Bears. Geer is the 11th transfer from another program included as part of the incoming class as announced by USC.