Georgia had a chance to keep Arden Key close to his Atlanta home, but in the end it was Key’s relationship with South Carolina assistant coach Lorenzo Ward and his love for the Gamecocks’ program that led him to come back.
See Key, a four-star defensive end rated the No. 123 overall prospect in America, stepped back from his commitment to the Gamecocks last September. At that time, the 6-foot-5, 200-pound D-lineman was coming off of a visit to Georgia and the college interest had ramped up since his June 2013 commitment to the Gamecocks. The early decision was not surprising–he was only a sophomore when he fell for South Carolina, but the attention from other schools grew and made Key rethink things.
He says that’s all over now though.
“I’m ready, I wish I was up there now,” Key told Saturday Down South after committing. “I love everything about it there. That’s where my heart belongs. The fans showed me true love, even when I decommitted they were still showing me the love. The school itself and my relationship with Coach Ward did it.”
And South Carolina’s recent run of producing amazing defensive line talent? “That really only played a small portion in my decision to come back, really,” Key told SDS.
“I’m a speed rusher; I’m tall and I can get after the quarterback,” Key told SDS. “I’m a good player, and they can make me into a better player in college if they keep putting good weight on me. Most schools say I will get the opportunity to come in and start as a freshman. Basically all the schools say they like the same things about me.”
Key is South Carolina’s 11th commitment for 2015 and boosts the class to the No. 7 ranking in the nation overall. Key is the third highest rated Gamecocks commitment behind Shameik Blackshear and Mark Fields. Six of South Carolina’s 11 commitments are four-star prospects.
Editor’s note: Saturday Down South’s references to ratings follow the 247Sports.com composite rankings for high school prospects.