4-Star Dexter Wideman Flips Commitment from FSU to South Carolina

Brian LeighFeatured ColumnistFebruary 5, 2014

Credit: 247Sports

Defensive tackle Dexter Wideman, a 4-star prospect from Saluda, S.C., flipped from Florida State to South Carolina on national signing day, joining the in-state Gamecocks after committing to the Seminoles in July.

According to Chris Clark of Rivals.com:

South Carolina has turned a key in-state prospect from his commitment to the reigning national champions as Saluda (S.C.) 4-star DL Dexter Wideman announced his intentions to sign with the Gamecocks at a press conference held at his high school this afternoon.

Wideman favored South Carolina for much of the process but things took a dramatic turn back in July when he made his first visit to Tallahassee and then made a surprise commitment to the Seminoles. Even in the hours after making that pledge, Wideman's choice appeared far from settled as he told GamecockCentral.com on July 23 that South Carolina was still in the picture for him. In fact, Wideman made the short to Columbia shortly thereafter for USC's "Black Magic" summer camp.

Though Wideman's defection did not come as a shock, it still represents a very big "get" for South Carolina, which entered the day outside the top 20 on the 247Sports team rankings. With Wideman and some of the other big commitments they scored on Wednesday, the Gamecocks moved up eight spots to No. 15.

Ranked the No. 166 overall player and No. 14 defensive tackle in the country, according to the 247Sports composite, Wideman actually checks in much higher on the site's subjective rankings, which call him the No. 64 overall player and No. 7 defensive tackle in America.

That disconnect might be attributed to his size, as Wideman only weighs 255 pounds, which is very light for a defensive tackle. But he makes up for that lack of mass with good strength and leverage, along with an intense motor, and he only stands to grow bigger in a college training program.

Wideman was part of a very good defensive haul on national signing day for the Gamecocks, who also landed 4-star defensive backs Wesley Green (over Georgia) and Chris Lammons (over Wisconsin). The Old Ball Coach, Steve Spurrier, started slowly for much of this recruiting cycle but managed to finish strong.

Especially with Wideman, who will be needed to replenish a defensive line that just lost Jadeveon Clowney and Kelcy Quarles, South Carolina was a very big winner on Wednesday.