OrTre Smith, state's top prospect, goes with Gamecocks
South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp continues to mine South Carolina for talent and on Sunday he landed the Palmetto State's top prospect for the 2017 class.
Surrounded by a host of friends, family and coaches who gathered for his birthday, Mount Pleasant (S.C.) Wando four-star wide receiver OrTre Smith announced his pledge to the Gamecocks.
The 6-foot-3, 204-pound Smith chose the Gamecocks over Clemson, Georgia and North Carolina, which comprised the rest of his final four, plus offers from ECU, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Mississippi, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest.
"I'm just excited," Smith said following the Sunday night ceremony. "It just came down to how hard they recruited me. "It was just a game-changer after that."
Smith's mother, Tashia Green, played volleyball at Clemson, but stayed neutral in the process, taking her son on a multitude of visits and then letting him make the final decision.
"I'm taking my own route," Smith said.
Smith was personally recruited by Muschamp as well as co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Bryan McClendon. The relationships he built at South Carolina, where he was made a priority from the moment the new staff took over, were a big factor in his final decision.
"I built a relationship with Coach McClendon and Coach Muschamp," Smith said of his bond with the Gamecock coaches. "I had a good relationship with all of them (college coaches) so it was pretty hard. Coach Muschamp said that I was a priority and that they needed me. I can contribute as soon as I get there."
Smith took multiple visits to the schools in his final group and was last known to be in Columbia for the Gamecocks' "Spurs Up" cookout in July.
Ranked the top prospect in the state of South Carolina's 2017 class, Smith is considered the No. 12 wide receiver and No. 85 overall prospect.
Smith is the Gamecocks' 21st commitment in the class and the fifth straight four-star prospect to pledge to Carolina. He plans to enroll early in Columbia.