Originally created 08/04/98

Elam makes commitment to S.C.



When Brian Elam returned to the practice field Monday, all that was on his mind was preparing for North Augusta's first game Aug. 28, not where he'll play college football.

The 5-foot-10, 160-pound cornerback verbally committed to the University of South Carolina July 24, lessening his concerns for his senior year. Elam returned from a football camp at USC knowing he'd like to continue his career in Columbia.

"At the coaches luncheon they were really friendly," Elam said of the USC staff. "I felt comfortable, like I was playing at North Augusta."

Recruited as an athlete, Elam isn't sure whether he'll also see action as a wide receiver but won't have to worry about that for another year. He said committing early will ease his mind allowing him to play the way he's accustomed.

"It helps me a lot so I won't have that pressure on me," he said. "I'll play hard and not be trying to impress somebody."

Elam received recruiting letters from Illinois, Auburn, Clemson, East Carolina, Notre Dame and visited Georgia Tech. The 17-year-old received praise from his North Augusta coach, Joe Long.

Long believed the polite, quiet Elam would eventually play Division I football. However, the Yellow Jackets coach thought whoever landed Elam would do so late in the recruiting process.

"I thought he was one of those kids that come out of nowhere," Long said.