MYRTLE BEACH — South Carolina's Mr. Football will be named at Myrtle Beach High School today, and an early favorite to win is Lexington wide receiver Shaq Roland.
Roland has committed to USC, and if he wins the award, will become the fourth straight Gamecocks recruit to do so.
The run started in 2008, when South Pointe's Stephon Gilmore beat out the field. Byrnes' Marcus Lattimore won the award in 2009, and South Pointe's Jadeveon Clowney won last year.
Rock Hill's Chris Hope won in 1997, giving the city three winners and equaling the mark of Byrnes High School's winners.
This year list of nominees is top-heavy with five upper state players. Besides Roland, they are: Chesnee linebacker Nathanael Moore; Gaffney wide receiver Quinshad Davis; Greer quarterback Reese Hannon and Blue Ridge quarterback Caleb Rowe.
Roland, David and Rowe, who committed to Maryland, will return home and head to Spartanburg on Saturday for the Carolinas Shrine Bowl All-Star Football Game.
Moore and Hannon are at the beach, teammates on the North team that will play the South on Saturday at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium.
SQUID: That's the nickname that's been hung on Indian Land running back Rondreas Truesdale.
Several players said it's because he's so small: 5-9, 170 pounds. Others said it's his voice; that he sounds like a 5-year-old when he talks.
The only thing they agree on is that it's a delight to have him on the team. He's one of the most popular players. He also thinks he's a good bowler.
The teams took to the lanes Wednesday night and most people were pulling for the " Squid'' as he took on a North teammate from Byrnes.
Alas, when the game was over, Truesdale was second. He rolled a 108 and only knew he had lost, not what his opponent scored.
"I'm a pretty good bowler and should have beaten him," Truesdale said. "At least I Iost to a teammate. I wanted to do it again."
Rondreas, hate to tell you, but most folks can roll 108 with their eyes closed.
DECALS: One of the most-liked activities at the game is trading helmet decals.
Until a few years ago, the players traded and had their decals stuck to their headgear long before the first practice on Monday morning.
That practice ended several years ago when college coaches asked that they not be allowed to attach the decals during the week. It was, they said, too hard to pick out players they were looking at during practice because they couldn't spot their helmets.
So tonight before lights out, the players will begin decorating; including Nation Ford's J.T. Boyd.
"We started trading soon as we got here, knowing we had to wait to put them on our helmets," he said. "But we started trading early to make sure we got what we wanted.
"The favorites have been Gaffney and Byrnes. And I have Greenwood, Central Pageland, North Augusta and Dutch Fork.
HOME: Northwestern linebacker Devonte Gibson said he misses home, then said he wishes he and his teammates could live at Myrtle Beach together.
"It's a new experience for me, to meet people from other schools and make friends with them," he said. "We like to chill. We have a good time and it's been fun.
"But I do miss home and I'm missing a week of school. But I'm on a team with the best linebackers you ever saw."
firstname.lastname@example.org Barry Byers 329-4099