Marcellas Dial Signs with his Favorite Childhood Team During NCAA Early Signing Period
By Garrett Mitchell, Staff Writer
Marcellas Dial grew up cheering for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks’ football team, dreaming that one day he would have the chance to wear the garnet and black.
Dial, a 2019 graduate of Woodruff High School, made that dream a reality on Wednesday Dec. 15 during a ceremony at the Woodruff Church of God, officially signing his national letter of intent to play for the Gamecocks during the NCAA’s early signing period.
For Dial, the opportunity means everything.
“This means a lot to me,” he said. “Ever since I was a kid, I knew I wanted this, and I always wanted to be a Gamecock. I never counted myself out and I never put it in my mind that I couldn’t do it. I put my mind to it and I never gave up no matter what obstacles were put in my way. Today, to finally make it official, means the world to me and changes my life and hopefully my family’s life in a couple of years.”
Just two short years ago, however, Dial was not sure he would ever get the chance to play big time college football. A lightly recruited defensive back as a senior during the Wolverines’ 2018 season, Dial was a late-blossoming player who signed to play for Georgia Military, a junior college program.
Once at Georgia Military, he began to turn heads with his athleticism and range in the defensive backfield. At 6 feet tall and 180 pounds, Dial has the size and speed to match up with the premier wide receivers in college football. It was those attributes that first drew the attention of South Carolina.
“I’ve seen myself grow a lot as a player going the JUCO (Junior College) route,” said Dial. “JUCO teaches you a lot of things and it helps you see the game differently. It gave me confidence in myself and I believe I can compete with any team or player out there.”
Woodruff head football coach Bradley Adams, who took over the Wolverines’ program during Dial’s senior year, knew he had a special player from the day he arrived at Woodruff High School.
“I remember one of the first days we walked in the door, and the first time I saw (Marcellas) play at corner, I said man, that’s a good-looking kid who can turn and run like that. He plays the ball well in the air, and we knew we had a good player. He’s also an exceptional young man and was a great leader for us.”
Dial, who committed to South Carolina in the spring, has never wavered in his commitment to the Gamecocks, even after former head coach Will Muschamp was removed in November. Though he had a solid relationship with the previous coaching regime, Dial says he is ready to get to work for new South Carolina coach Shane Beamer. Coach Beamer, said Dial, is getting a hard-working player willing to do whatever it takes to win.
“They can look forward to a leader and great athlete who can make freakish plays,” Dial said. “I’m a competitor and someone who is going to come in and work hard from day one. I’m never going to give up and I’m very coachable.”
Dial projects to compete for playing time right away for the rebuilding Gamecocks. Adams has no doubt that Marcellas will be successful and pointed out how proud he and the Woodruff community of Dial and his success on and off the field.
“Coach [Trey] Elder’s staff and our staff, we all poured into [Marcellas], trying to get him to be successful. Just the journey he’s been on stands out to me, the route he has taken to get here, is not an easy one. He has been able to withstand the adversity and we’re just so proud of him.”