SPARTANBURG — Bryce King is one of the states best offensive linemen at the high school level.
You would think such a lofty status would lead to much intrigue about where the Dillon senior would attend college. You would be wrong.
Pick through these tea leaves and see if you can figure out where the 6-foot-3, 295-pound standout was leaning:
I grew up a South Carolina fan as a kid. I felt like South Carolina was my home, King said this week as he prepared for Saturdays latest edition of the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.
I went to all the home games, King added. I try to do that every year.
If you guessed Clemson, you would be wrong.
King did what he could to draw out the suspense, but he gave in moments after USCs spring game last April, declaring his intention to play for the Gamecocks not long after teammate and fellow Shrine Bowl invitee DJ Park did the same.
Im excited about it. Ready to get out there, King said. There was no one else. I stuck with my school and thats South Carolina.
King arrived in Spartanburg for the Shrine Bowl one week removed from Dillons 21-6 state championship victory against Fairfield Central.
He played right tackle for Dillon, but some recruiting services rate him as one of the nations top centers. One of those 247Sports ranks him No. 6 in the country at that position.
If he does play center, he will be vying to fill some big shoes. T.J. Johnson graduates this year after setting team records for most games started.
If enthusiasm counts for anything, King could find himself in the conversation to replace Johnson. Growing up, King never entertained the notion of following pro football, choosing to stay locked in with the Gamecocks.
I went to the game when they beat No. 1 Alabama and that was probably the most exciting game I went to, he said.
He remembers nothing of the ensuing loss to Kentucky.
Ugh, he said. I dont remember. I dont know what they were doing.
For now, though, he will focus on the Shrine Bowl. He recalled that when he heard the news of his invitation, he thought of it as a vital step toward his future.
I was ecstatic, he said. I thought since a lot of boys that have been to the Shrine Bowl have made it to college and to the pros, Ive got the same chance they had. Its a good experience. Im honored to be able to play in this game and play for these kids.