Four-star defensive end Arden Key has committed to South Carolina. Again.
Key announced his commitment via Twitter on Tuesday afternoon, one week earlier than he previously said he would.
Key is the 10th-best weakside defensive end and the No. 110 overall player in the 2015 class, according to the 247Sports Composite. The 6'5, 200-lbs. lineman becomes the 11th prospect to commit to South Carolina this cycle, moving the Gamecocks up one spot to No. 7 in the 247Sports Composite rankings. Carolina fans have long been waiting for the Gamecocks to elevate their recruiting game to keep up with their peers in the SEC. This might be the year that finally happens.
South Carolina has a major need at defensive end, and the Gamecocks have done a great job addressing it in the 2015 class. (And, honestly, it probably needed needed to be more seriously addressed with the 2014 class.) Key joins five-star commitment Shameik Blackshear as the second member of USC's defensive line class. And things could still get better for the Gamecocks. 13 of 13 recruiting experts are currently projecting four-star JUCO defensive end Marquavius Lews to South Carolina.
Arden Key's recruitment has been quite an adventure, and with any luck the rollercoaster ride is now as over as it can be. Key originally committed to the Gamecocks on June 16, 2013 before decommitting a few months later in unison with fellow Lithonia, Ga. native Wesley Green. (Green eventually recommitted and signed with South Carolina.) You may also recall that Key made national headlines last year thanks to some poorly worded comments about South Carolina's academic support staff that a Yahoo! blogger read way too much into. The subsequent decommitments of Key and Green caused considerable unrest among Gamecock fans, some of whom viewed the coaching staff's failure to hold onto its most prized prospects as yet another symptom of a systemic flaw in their approach to recruiting.
It all seems pretty silly now, doesn't it?
Now turn down the volume on your computer and watch our new defensive end do some horrific things to teenagers: