One of the state’s top offensive linemen, who nearly committed to UGA a couple of months ago, pledged to the South Carolina Gamecocks on Saturday.
JP Vonashek, a 6-foot-6, 280-pounder from Camden County High School, committed to South Carolina after making an unofficial visit on Saturday. Vonashek had 13 offers, including Ohio State, Florida State and Tennessee.
“It was either going to be South Carolina or Georgia, and I felt South Carolina was the best place for me,” Vonashek told the AJC. “I went there for a visit and I really enjoyed it. It’s close to home and I think they are going to have a great program for the next couple of years.”
It was a big recruiting win for South Carolina, which had offered Vonashek a scholarship only 9 days ago. “I talked to my parents after we left, and I told them that I loved it,” he said. “They told me if that’s what I wanted to do, then to go ahead and commit. I said, OK let me think about it, and then called. My parents think South Carolina is a great program and that I’m going to fit in well there. And it’s close to home, so they can come watch me play.”
Back in early April, Vonashek appeared to be on the brink of committing to UGA. What happened? “I just liked South Carolina better. I’ve been to UGA a couple of times, and I went to South Carolina today … Nothing really [went wrong] with UGA. I won’t say anything bad about them. I just liked South Carolina better, to tell you the truth.”
Camden County already has two rising seniors committed to UGA – QB Brice Ramsey and WR-DB-RB JJ Green. Both have been actively trying to recruit Voneshek to UGA with them. “I’m sure they are going to still try to do that, but I’m not worried about it,” Voneshek said. “I’m not going to change my mind, Once I commit somewhere, I’m not going to change my mind.”
South Carolina landed Vonashek despite Steve Spurrier not being around to close the deal on Saturday. “He actually wasn’t there today,” Vonashek said. “I know he’s a great coach by the things he did at Florida. I got to go into his office. I met his son, and I saw his dad’s Heisman Trophy and all of the things.”
How good is Vonashek? Here’s Camden County coach Jeff Herron on the big guy:
“If JP Is not a big-time D1 offensive lineman, then I don’t know what one is. I haven’t seen one that has all the tools he has got.
“He’s 6-6, closer to 6-7, and doesn’t hardly have an ounce of fat on him at 270 pounds. He’s going to be huge. That’s the thing. He has not filled out yet. You’re talking about a kid who I think can handle 300 pounds very well. He has got good feet. He’s a tough and physical kid. He has come over here and worked his tail off.
“JP has all the intangibles that colleges are looking for. I don’t think he’s finished growing height-wise, either. He has such a tremendous upside. When you get a kid at that size, with that agility … he has long arms and such good work habits … that’s just a rare combination.”
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– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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