South Carolina Football's Top National Signing Day Moments:
Alshon Jeffery Flips to the Real USC, Doesn't Pump Gas
Alshon Jeffery is one of the best two wide receivers to ever lace up his cleats at Williams-Brice Stadium along with Sterling Sharp. He was an All-American and an NFL Pro Bowler who set a few records in the league. He eventually became a Super Bowl champion and recently had his jersey retired by his alma mater.
However, he almost wasn't a Gamecock.
Older South Carolina football fans may remember that the South Carolina native originally committed to the University of Southern California. As Signing Day approached, a semi-secret decommitment took place, and Jeffery was one of the hottest names on the recruiting market.
Southern Cal remained a favorite, South Carolina was pushing hard with then-assistant Shane Beamer handling the recruitment, and Tennessee was involved with head coach Lane Kiffin personally recruiting Jeffery. Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and other big-time schools made pushes late leading up to NSD.
As the final part of his recruitment to Tennessee, Kiffin told Jeffery that he believed Jeffery would wind up "pumping gas" if he flipped from Southern Cal to South Carolina instead of sticking with the Trojans or flipping to Tennessee. Jeffery didn't appreciate the comments much and has since said that he fell asleep during the recruiting pitch after that as his interest in the Volunteers was gone.
In the end, Jeffery signed his Letter of Intent with the Gamecocks and stayed home, marking the start of his legendary USC career. The moment was monumental for the South Carolina football program as he decided to join fellow in-state blue chippers Stephon Gilmore and Devonte Holloman in staying home, a trend that continued in 2010 with Marcus Lattimore and 2011 with Jadeveon Clowney.