Jan. 14, 2013
Three football scholarship student-athletes began classes at the University of South Carolina on Monday as the spring semester got underway. Those three players will have the opportunity to participate in offseason conditioning drills and take part during the 15 spring practices that are allowed by the NCAA.
The trio includes cornerback Ronnie Martin, quarterback Connor Mitch and offensive lineman D.J. Park. Martin is a junior college transfer, while Mitch and Park both graduated from high school in December.
Spartanburg, S.C. (Spartanburg/Georgia Military College)
Cornerback who enrolled at Carolina in January 2013… originally signed with South Carolina in February 2011… attended Georgia Military College in Milledgeville, Ga., for the 2011-12 academic year and the fall of 2012… coached by Bert Williams… saw limited playing time in 2012 after being sidelined early in the season with a hamstring injury… in three games, logged 10 tackles and three interceptions while forcing a pair of fumbles… regarded as a three-star prospect, the fifth-best junior college cornerback in the nation, the fifth-best junior college player in Georgia and the 85th-best JUCO player in the country according to 247Sports.com… a three-star prospect by Scout.com… in 2011, had 11 tackles, two fumble recoveries, two interceptions and six pass breakups… played cornerback for Freddy Brown Sr. at Spartanburg (S.C.) High School graduating in 2011… participated in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas following his senior season… was a first-team all-state selection as a junior for the Vikings when he totaled 44 tackles, eight pass breakups, six blocked kicks, 930 total return yards including four touchdown returns… also ran track where he recorded times of 10.6 in the 100 and 21.7 in the 200… regarded as a three-star prospect, the 16th-best player in the state of South Carolina and the 46th-best cornerback in the country by Rivals.com… regarded as a three-star prospect and the 60th-best cornerback by Scout.com… was a three-star prospect according to 247Sports… named to PrepStar’s All-Atlantic Region class… also had offers from Illinois, LSU, Maryland, Nebraska and Wake Forest.
Raleigh, N.C. (Wakefield)
Enrolled at Carolina in January 2013 after graduating from Wakefield High School in Raleigh, N.C in December 2012… a four-year starter at quarterback… ranks second in four career categories in North Carolina high school history, passing for 12,078 yards, with 1,384 attempts, 807 completions and 153 touchdowns… coached by Rod Sink… threw for 4,661 yards and 63 touchdowns while completing 62 percent of his passes as a senior, leading the Wolverines to an 11-2 record… set the state record with nine touchdown passes in a win over Broughton, one shy of the national record… as a junior, threw for 3,832 yards and 48 touchdowns as the team went 9-3… earned all-state and all-region honors… threw for 3,300 yards and 33 scores in his sophomore season, leading Wakefield to a 9-3 mark… four-star prospect who was regarded as the seventh-best player in the state, the 14th-best pro-style quarterback in the country and ranked 242nd overall on the Rivals250… considered the 10th-best pro-style quarterback in the country by MaxPreps… a four-star prospect, the seventh-best player in the state, the 13th-best pro-style quarterback and ranked 243rd overall on the 247Sports top247… a three-star prospect and the nation’s 38th-best quarterback by Scout.com… chose the Gamecocks over Alabama, LSU, Auburn and North Carolina… father, Bob Mitch, played quarterback and safety at Syracuse in the early 1970s and had a brief stint in the NFL…. brother, Ryan, played quarterback at Maryland… sister, Brittany, played basketball at Duke.
Dillon, S.C. (Dillon)
Enrolled at Carolina in January 2013 after graduating from Dillon (S.C.) High School in December 2012… started at left tackle for the Class AA I state champions… the Wildcats went 14-1 during his senior season… coached by Jackie Hayes… participated in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas and in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl in Carson, Calif… earned all-region and all-state honors as a junior… four-star prospect who was the state’s fourth-best player and the nation’s 25th-best offensive tackle according to Rivals.com… considered a five-star prospect, the nation’s second-best offensive tackle and the 23rd-best player overall by MaxPreps… a four-star prospect and the nation’s 23rd-best offensive tackle and number 294 on the Scout300 list… a four-star prospect, the fifth-best player in the state, and the 16th-best offensive tackle in the country by 247Sports.com… had offers from numerous other schools throughout the Southeast, including Auburn, Clemson, Florida, LSU and Tennessee.
Here is a list of the 16 early enrollees at South Carolina under head coach Steve Spurrier:
2006: Clark Gaston
2007: Stephen Garcia, Travian Robertson
2008: Jay Spearman, C.C. Whitlock, Shaq Wilson
2009: Jarvis Giles, Stephon Gilmore, DeVonte Holloman
2010: Connor Shaw
2011: Martay Mattox
2012: Kelvin Rainey, Brock Stadnik, Clayton Stadnik
2013: Connor Mitch, D.J. Park