Asheville (N.C.) offensive lineman Pete Leota made it official on Thursday morning: he has decided to play his college football with the South Carolina Gamecocks. The high school senior announced his choice this morning at his high school.
Leota, a two-star recruit regarded as the 54th best player in the state of North Carolina regardless of position by Rivals (the #3 guard in the state according to Scout), chose the Gamecocks over the Virginia Tech Hokies. He was in Blacksburg for Tech's season-opening loss to #1 Ohio State, then made his way down I-26 to Columbia this past weekend for the Gamecocks' home opener against the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday. Other schools offering Leota included App State, Boston College, East Carolina, Georgia Southern, North Carolina, Virginia and Wake Forest. The Tar Heels did lead at one point in Leota's process, but it would ultimately come down to the Gamecocks and Hokies in the end as the Gamecocks pulled ahead this past summer. (You may remember that there was a false alarm last month as a Pete Leota account tweeted that he had chosen South Carolina, but that was quickly proven to be a fake.)
Leota is the fourth offensive lineman to commit to the Gamecocks, joining Louisiana guard Lloyd Cushenberry, Charlotte-area tackle Will Putnam, and JUCO transfer Akeem Cooperwood. The class of 2016 now totals fifteen, and they may add to that number soon as several other seniors look to finalize their college decisions as the high school season rolls on.