It ended up not being much of a surprise since he’s been a South Carolina lean for a while, but Jahiem Bell announced he planned to sign with the Gamecocks on Wednesday.

The South Georgia athlete from Valdosta, Georgia visited Oklahoma and Florida State was in the mix, but he ultimately went to the Gamecocks. He’s expected to enroll in January and play tight end, though he’s capable of playing multiple positions. He’s a former Florida commitment. He’s rated the No. 17 athlete in the country, and the No. 40 player from Georgia by the 247Sports Composite.

Bell is listed at 6-foot-1 1/2 and 213 pounds, and he caught 10 passes for 215 yards over five games, before his season was cut short by a torn ACL. He caught 52 passes for 770 yards and a touchdown as a junior, The Big Spur reported.

Valdosta’s coach Alan Rodemaker said South Carolina, “recruited him as hard as anybody I’ve ever known in my 25 years. I hear from them all the time. Of course, we’ve got a relationship, but that doesn’t matter. He’s a good player and even though he had some offers before they got in, as soon as they got in, they sort of left everybody else in the dust, in my opinion. They’ve been all over him since they offered him.”

Bell’s primary recruiter was tight ends coach Bobby Bentley, but coach Will Muschamp was involved, too.

“Bobby’s done a great job recruiting him,” Rodemaker said. “Will’s been down here a couple of times. I’ve got a long relationship with those guys. Muschamp asked me to speak at a clinic in ‘98 when he and Kirby (Smart) were at Valdosta State. I’ve known him since he was at Eastern Kentucky and Rance (Gillespie), who was the head coach here before (me), he and Muschamp were roommates in college.”