South Carolina has picked up a big commitment as Atlanta (Ga.) Hapeville Charter's Arden Key pledged to the Gamecocks. Key announced his commitment via Twitter on Tuesday night.
Key has been on USC's commitment list before, as he gave a verbal to South Carolina last summer. In November of 2013, he backed off that pledge (along with former teammate Wesley Green who inked with USC in February) and reopened the process.
Still, South Carolina was the presumed the frontrunner for much of the process. In a media smokescreen, the Peach State product recently announced a public top five in order of Oregon, Miami, LSU, Ole Miss, and the Gamecocks.
"I've really been committed, I just didn't put it out there in the media," he told GamecockCentral.com. "I couldn't wait any more, I had to do it today."
For USC's coaching staff, the advance notice was welcome news.
"They were happy. They had a long conversation with my pop and my mom to make sure they were all on the same page. They said they wish I could have come this year."
Key broke down why he chose to rejoin the Gamecocks.
"Me and Coach Ward, we have a close brother type of relationship," he said. "The fans, they showed excellent love. The school itself, it's an amazing experience there. It's going to be good because I've played with these guys before and it's going to be like we reconnected. My heart is at South Carolina."
Key chose the Gamecocks over a who's who in college football including Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Oregon, Southern California, Tennessee, and many others.