Four-star offensive tackle Oluvatosin Babalade already had a strong feeling for South Carolina and was leaning toward commitment there.
However, a prominent DeMatha representative in Hyattsville, Maryland wanted another look at the school and program, and he got it during an informal visit to campus late last week.
This put the finishing touches on his recruitment and led to his commitment to the Gamecocks. He announced his decision on Friday.
“Dude, that’s it,” Babalade said of why he committed. “Family, Coach (Shane) Beamer, assistant coaches, everyone is having a great time, great place to relax. This is a good place”.
The 6-foot-5, 296-pound Babalade, who is the 25th offensive player in the industry-created 247Sports Composite, has been slow to hire and has made his fair share of visits. He took the official not only to South Carolina, but also to Rutgers, Ohio, Maryland and North Carolina.
When the end of July arrived, Babalade took one last look at South Carolina.
“I just wanted to do some checking and make sure it’s something authentic,” he said. “It was really about family. They were in touch with me all the time and they talked to me all the time.
“I just felt really good. It was because of the coaches and how much I trust them.”
Leading the charge is Beamer, who took the Gamecocks to the bowl game last season and is putting together a strong recruiting class. Babalada’s commitment moved South Carolina to 18th in team rankings in the class of 2023.
“I feel like it’s just the energy (Beamer) brings, the vibration,” Babalade said. “When I enter a room, I know he is there. I know that everything is fine. He is a good coach.”
offensive line coach Greg Adkins also played a big part in the landing of Babalade.
“When we met, we discussed technique,” he said. “He’s trying to make me better for the next level.”
In addition to the coaching staff and the feel of the program, Babalade went over the depth chart to see how he fits in and spoke to some of the players in the program to better understand Adkins.
“I basically looked at the guys in front of me and talked to some of the players to get an idea of how he was feeling,” Babalade said. “I was able to talk to (Adkins) and talk one on one, which was great.”
Babalade admitted that there were some tense moments in the process and he is very happy to have completed it before his senior season.
“It’s great to be in the SEC,” he said. “Everything is just fine. It’s the next level and it’s great to be there.”