Less than 24 hours after receiving a scholarship offer from South Carolina, Havelock defensive end Kendal Vickers committed to the Gamecocks.
“I worked hard for it (the offer),” he said. “It felt great; I wasn't even expecting it.”
“I talked to Coach (Brad) Lawing on the phone and he said they wanted to offer me. As soon as I got off the phone, I called my dad and he said go ahead and commit because you know you want to."
What are the Gamecocks getting in the 6-foot-4, 240-pound Vickers?
“Kendal Vickers is the best lineman east of I-95 (in North Carolina),” said Havelock assistant coach Caleb King.
“He is incredibly athletic for his size and incredibly strong. He power cleans 330 pounds and runs a 4.6 (40-yard dash). He’s a steal. The only thing that kept him off the Shrine Bowl team was we had two other guys selected”
Vickers spends most of his time at offensive tackle for the Rams, but is a force when he gets a chance to play defense.
“He has eight sacks and probably only plays about 12 snaps a game on defense,” King said. “I think there were five games this year when he didn't play at all defensively.”
“He could be an incredible outside linebacker or rush end. He could bulk up to about 270 and you wouldn't even notice.”
The coaching staff played a big role in his decision.
“I got to talk to Coach Lawing about six months ago at their camp,” said Vickers. “He was also at our first round playoff game a few weeks ago.”
“They have some really good coaches and they are going to help me do really well in the SEC.”
Vickers is also excited about having a chance to play for legendary South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier.
“It feels great to know I’m going to get a chance to play for him,” he said. "My dad is a huge Steve Spurrier fan. He’s one of the best coaches in the game. I’m going to work hard and give him everything I have.”
The Havelock standout knew South Carolina was the place for him.
“They are one of the best teams in the SEC,” he said. “The competition is at an all-time high and it will make me work even harder.”
“Also, (teammate) Pharoh (Cooper) is going there and he’s been my best friend for a while. I just knew it was a perfect fit.”
For now, Vickers and the Rams are focused on repeating as 3A state champions.
Havelock is 12-1 and takes on Washington in the third round of the state playoffs on Friday.
Vickers said he is 100 percent committed. He has not set up his official visit yet, but hopes to do so soon. South Carolina is recruiting him to play defensive lineman.
He also had offers from East Carolina, North Carolina A&T, and UNC-Charlotte.