Tyshun Samuel sets sights on early playing time with Gamecocks

ainelson@thestate.comMarch 6, 2014 

Chapman High's Tyshun Samuel

GERRY MELENDEZ — gmelendez@thestate.com

Tyshun “Deebo” Samuel walked into the media center at Chapman High on National Signing Day wearing a big smile and a South Carolina ball cap.

Earlier in the day, the Panthers’ wide receiver and Shrine Bowl player signed his official National Letter of Intent with the Gamecocks. After his signing ceremony, Samuel said he felt relieved.

“It feels good to get all this stress off my body,” said Samuel, who announced his commitment to South Carolina in December. “Everybody’s pushing me to work hard, I’m still grinding trying to get my grades good so we can get there.”

Samuel, considered a four-star prospect by 247Sports, said he chose South Carolina because it was both a great football program, and close to home.

“I like the way they coach. I like their athletic program, the way they do things up there and the way they run their offense,” he said.

“Coach (Spurrier) told me look forward to playing the first year,” said Samuel, who is part of a class of receivers — including Shrine Bowl teammate Shaq Davidson of Gaffney — who could have big impact as the Gamecocks fill in the slot vacated by NFL draft hopeful Bruce Ellington.

“We became close at the Shrine Bowl, all of us talking and communicating with each other,” Samuel said.

In addition to who he will be playing with, Samuel was also excited about who he and the Gamecocks will play against.

Samuel will see Chapman quarterback Malik Gray, who signed with East Carolina, on the opposing sideline in the fall as the Gamecocks host ECU on Sept. 6.

“We’ve been talking trash to each other already,” Samuel said with a laugh.

“We’re super proud of them and the opportunity that they have in front of them, and pray special blessings upon them,” Panthers coach Mark Hodge said.

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