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March 12, 2017 5:21 p.m.

Eastside's LaMarius Benson sidesteps recruiting drama, chooses South Carolina

Submitted Photo/

LaMarius Benson's blip on the recuriting radar was steadily rising before he elected to commit to South Carolina Sunday afternoon

Unlike many high profile high school football prospects, LaMarius Benson didn’t want to deal with all of the college recruiting hullabaloo. He wasn’t interested in the hats and dramatic decisions.

So he decided to get it all out of the way early. That’s why Benson, a 6-foot-3, 305 pound offensive lineman from Eastside High decided to let Twitter know early Sunday afternoon that he had made his college choice.

Benson chose South Carolina over offers from the likes of Georgia Tech, Georgia State, Maryland and Central Florida. He also did it during a time when it seemed like recruiting attention was starting to pick up quickly for the consensus 3-star prospect. The Gamecocks were the first SEC offer Benson received.

“When I went up there to visit about a month ago, I’d actually been talking with coach (Eric) Wolford before then,” Benson said. “He’s there new offensive line coach, and I got a great feeling from him. I liked it a lot, and had just been thinking about it since I came back. I was talking to my family about it. They liked it and I like it too. I really like coach Wolford and Muschamp, and that was it for me.”

Benson said part of the reason why he saw South Carolina as the best fit is because of the opportunity to possibly play sooner rather than later.

“That played a lot into it,” Benson said. “Coach Wolford told me that they’d be losing four linemen after this season, so I figured I’d have the opportunity to work out, get bigger and maybe get some playing time in my first year.”

Despite it being a little less than 11 months away from the next National Signing Day, Benson called his commitment “100 percent,” saying that being done with the process was more important than dragging it out for the highest bidder.

Now he can turn his entire focus toward his senior season at Eastside — a year where he’ll have a much larger leadership role thrust upon him.

“It’s going to be different, for sure,” he said. “We’ll be trying to rebuild now that we’ve lost like 25 seniors. But we want to try and my it deep into the playoffs. A lot of stuff is going to be on my back this year, and me and my guys (on the offensive line) are going to have to carry the team on our backs.”

Benson said he also got the approval of his head high school coach Troy Hoff, who encouraged Benson to follow his heart.

“He just said, ‘It’s all up to you,’” Benson said. “He said, ‘It’s about what’s going to make you happy. It’s just a good feeling.

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