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Feb. 3, 2005

Columbia, S.C. –
Three of the University of South Carolina’s football signees have been selected to the Old Spice Red Zone National Team. The three honorees are: Tommy Beecher, quarterback from Concord, N.C.; Cade Thompson, quarterback from Maryville, Tenn.; and Jarriel King, lineman from North Charleston, S.C. The 50-man squad was voted upon by more than 4,000 high school coaches across the country and featured players that exemplified the best in performance, endurance and teamwork. The team was featured in a full-page advertisement in Thursday’s sports section of the USA Today.

Beecher led Concord High School to a 15-1 record and Class 3A state championship last season. He passed for 2,586 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2004. Beecher played for Coach E.Z. Smith, who described his starting quarterback as “representing all that’s good about being a student-athlete. Tommy was a great leader for us both on and off the field.”

Thompson likewise led his high school, Maryville, to the 4A state championship in Tennessee. He was the state’s 4A Player of the Year and posted a 43-1 won-loss record as the starter. Thompson threw for 2,361 yards and 35 touchdowns in 2004. His coach, George Quarles, said “Cade is a winner. He led our team to a 43-1 record in his three years as a starter and has the ability to be a special, special player for South Carolina.”

King was an all-state defensive lineman for Coach Nelson Huggins at North Charleston High. He was team captain and recorded 86 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles and three blocked kicks last season. “Jarriel is an outstanding football player and an even better young person,” said Coach Huggins. “South Carolina is going to love having this young man on its team.”