Prized junior college offensive lineman Paris Palmer punctuated his recruitment process Sunday evening, verbally committing to South Carolina. The 6'8", 305-pound tackle picked the Gamecocks one day after visiting campus, continuing a strong recruiting stretch for head coach Steve Spurrier.
It feels good to say I finally have a home! I just officially committed to The University of South Carolina Gamecocks!!! #WeCocky!!— Paris Palmer (@C_R_E_A_M_75) March 23, 2014
Palmer, a North Carolina product, plays at Lackawanna College (Scranton, Pa.). He previously competed for Plymouth High School (Plymouth, N.C.) as a member of the 2012 class.
South Carolina hosted the massive 4-star prospect Saturday. Spurrier and his staff ultimately sealed the deal with a positive experience.
"It went great," Palmer told Rivals.com reporter Chris Clark. "My family really enjoyed it. We got to watch them practice and they scrimmaged a little bit. I talked a lot with Coach (Shawn) Elliott. They showed us around the facilities and everything was nice. They showed us the new renovations. It all looks good."
His interactions with Elliott, the team's co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, helped convince Palmer the time was right to commit.
"I like Coach Elliott," he told Rivals. "I can see that he is real hands on with his players. He tells them what they do wrong and right. He said that I would have a chance to play right away because they are losing both of their offensive tackles to the NFL after this season."
Senior Corey Robinson and redshirt junior Brandon Shell currently serve as bookends along South Carolina's offensive front. The opportunity for early playing time proved pivotal for Palmer, but so did proximity.
"I got that home feeling," he told PalmettoSports.com writer Phil Kornblut. "It's close to home and easy for my mother to come see me play. And my uncle lives fifteen minutes from the stadium."
Palmer, rated the nation's No. 2 JUCO offensive tackle and No. 10 overall JUCO recruit, selected South Carolina from a wide array of offers. His options include Ohio State, Baylor, Miami, Missouri and Penn State.
The coveted recruit features an intriguing skill set, highlighted by his dominant frame and tremendous length. Palmer routinely takes advantage of that reach and power, dismantling opposing defenders while paving the way for offensive playmakers at the JUCO level.
He is the third Gamecocks commit since March 20, when 3-star North Carolina wide receiver Michael Bowman joined the 2015 class. South Carolina picked up a pledge from 4-star North Carolina cornerback Mark Fields on Saturday.
Palmer gives Spurrier six committed players in the class, which ranks 11th nationally in 247Sports' composite rankings. Per Palmetto Sports, Palmer expects to graduate from Lackawanna in December and will have two years of collegiate eligibility remaining when he arrives in Columbia.