QB LaNorris Sellers explains decision for South Carolina

In the end, LaNorris Sellers decided to stay close to home.

The four-star South Florence High School quarterback made that official Friday when he announced he was signing with the University of South Carolina.

At a school ceremony two days before Christmas, Sellers said he only made up his mind about his college choice on Tuesday. While most commitments officially joined the class when the early signing period opened Wednesday, Sellers wasn’t quite ready.

“I needed more time,” Sellers said. He called Shane Beamer late on Wednesday night to let USC’s second-year coach know he was coming to Columbia.

“He was excited,” Sellers said. “He said he wanted to yell more, but his kids were already asleep.”

Friday’s announcement capped a period of indecision sparked in part by the turning of college football’s coaching carousel.

Sellers was committed to Syracuse, but that commitment wavered when Orange offensive coordinator Robert Anae left to take the same job at N.C. State. Sellers had strong ties to Anae, who previously recruited him to commit to Virginia before Anae took a job with Syracuse.

Georgia Tech and Liberty also made late attempts to land the high school standout.

Sellers’ high school coach, Drew Marlowe, said he only learned Sellers’ final decision the day of the announcement.

“He had a decision he needed to make, and I would be there for him to talk to, but I tried not to give him advice because it’s his life,” Marlowe said, but added he was “happy” to see Sellers stay in-state.

The Gamecocks are getting “a really special one,” Marlowe said. “He’s at his best in the biggest moments. With his overall size and speed, he is an SEC-level quarterback.”

The Mr. Football finalist for the state accounted for almost 70 touchdowns this year and led South Florence to its first state football championship.

The state champion quarterback didn’t waste time Friday in front of some 50 people in the South Florence auditorium, quickly stating matter-of-factly that he was going to USC. His mother reminded him to put on Carolina’s hat.

His timing, coming at the end of the signing period and just days before Christmas, assured Sellers’ decision would get a lot of media coverage. But as sports reporters descended on him after the announcement, Sellers told them, “I don’t like a lot of attention.”

When asked if he was already thinking of declaring early for the NFL Draft, Sellers said the education aspect of college was going to be at the forefront of his mind when he gets to Columbia.

It will be a quick turnaround for the South Florence High star. Sellers will enroll at South Carolina in January and be part of spring practice, giving him a head start on his college career.

The Gamecocks will have five other quarterbacks on the roster for 2023, assuming starter Spencer Rattler and his teammates all return after the Gator Bowl. Other scholarship quarterbacks on the roster are Luke Doty, Colten Gauthier, Tanner Bailey and Braden Davis.

Sellers is the No. 5 recruit in South Carolina, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.

Other in-state Gamecock signees such as offensive tackle Markee Anderson of Dorman and defensive lineman Monteque Rhames of Manning worked on Sellers when the state’s best players got together for the Shrine Bowl earlier this month. Their efforts made a difference, Sellers said Friday.

Sellers also talked often to USC’s new offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, saying he FaceTimed with the new coach after Loggains’ hire and talked to him “every day” during the Shrine Bowl festivities. The “constant communications” from USC’s coaches played a big part in getting him to commit, Sellers said.

It also helped that Sellers’ younger brother Jayden, a wide receiver for the Bruins, has also been offered a scholarship by the Gamecocks. His older brother sees the two as a double act on the gridiron.

“In a few years, we can do the same thing there that we do here,” Sellers said.

Reporter Lou Bezjak contributed

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Bristow Marchant covers local government, schools and community in Lexington County for The State. He graduated from the College of Charleston in 2007. He has more than 10 years of experience covering South Carolina at the Clinton Chronicle, Sumter Item and Rock Hill Herald. He joined The State in 2016. Bristow won the S.C. Press Association’s 2015 award for Best Series, and was part of The State’s award-winning 2016 election coverage.
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