SUMMERVILLE, S.C. – This past Monday, while sitting with South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp, R.J. Roderick suddenly forgot his manners.
Fortunately, for Roderick, Muschamp looked past the fact that the 2018 safety from Cane Bay High School was still wearing his hat.
“When he told me I was offered, I kind of had to inhale,” Roderick said. “I looked down — it was just real exciting. I didn’t know what to say whenever he wanted a response from what he was saying.
“It was real exciting. I looked at my mom and was just like, ‘This is big.’”
When Roderick returns to South Carolina for the third time this month, he’ll get an up-close look at the computer engineering department.
That’s the most important part of the decision-making process. With that in mind, he’ll meet with academic advisors during next Saturday’s SpursUp Day.
Relationships are also key for Roderick, whose offer list includes Virginia, ECU, Air Force and Army.
“Just feeling comfortable,” he said. “Feel like I can make myself at home there. Playing time doesn’t really affect anything beyond that. It’s not a factor for me.”
Nor does position.
At Cane Bay, Roderick primarily plays quarterback, the position Air Force, Army and Virginia are recruiting him to play, but he’s also a safety, where Muschamp wants him.
“Coach Muschamp, I told coach (Cane Bay coach Russell) Zehr when I came back here, he reminds me of coach Zehr a lot. They’re head coaches, but they’re defensive-minded,” Roderick said. “Coach Muschamp also happens to be my position coach at safety, so he believes in me. He’s real confident and is involved in my recruiting at South Carolina.”
That means a lot to the 6-foot, 207-pound junior.
“It gives me a sense of security, just feeling comfortable. … If you can get comfortable with the head coach, you shouldn’t have a problem getting acquainted with anyone else,” Roderick said.
They first met during the spring game, through tight ends coach Pat Washington, Roderick’s area recruiter.
A few days after the trip, defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson called, setting the ball in motion for April visit No. 2.
Roderick, who’s considering a return trip to ECU on Saturday, plans to announce a commitment on Sept. 14, his father’s birthday.
“I grew up more on the South Carolina side, but when you grow up in South Carolina, you always envision yourself playing for either Clemson or South Carolina,” Roderick said. “To have that opportunity is something big.”
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