Rock Hill City Hall was football central Tuesday afternoon, and two of the nation's top players, Northwestern quarterback Justin Worley and South Pointe defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, were honored with proclamations.
So was the Northwestern football team, which won last season's Class AAAA, Division II state championship.
But big draw was a pair of half-brothers, Northwestern's Gerald Dixon Jr. and South Pointe's Gerald G. Dixon, who announced they will be teammates again at South Carolina. While the folks crammed inside the council chambers grew silent, the Dixon brothers placed a small metal case on the podium.
Opening it together, they reached inside and pulled out white USC Gamecocks ball caps. While each put the caps on, Gerald Jr. announced their choice.
Never miss a local story.
Those watching let out a big cheer, obviously a pro-USC crowd.
"I've always wanted to play at South Carolina and I knew all along where I was going,'' Gerald Jr., son of Shereeta Hall, said after the ceremony. "I like the way (coach) Steve Spurrier is building the program and I like the facilities. I also considered Maryland, Georgia Tech and Clemson, but Carolina was on me the longest and hardest.
"I'm a big guy (6-foot-3, 282 pounds) but I'm quick and athletic. I wanted to go to college with my brother and we were tired of playing against each other. We are working on getting a couple of other Rock Hill players to join us, Jadeveon (Clowney) and Rod (Byers, a Northwestern defensive lineman).
Gerald Jr., a defensive tackle, had 78 tackles, 10 sacks, 5 tackles for loss, 4 caused fumbles, 2 fumbles, 10 pressures, a pass breakup and an interception last season.
At South Pointe, fans flocked to see Clowney play and walked away singing Gerald G.'s praise. He had 132 tackles, 19.5 sacks, 18 tackles, 7 caused fumbles and 3 fumble recoveries this season.
"We called South Carolina's defensive coach, Ellis Johnson, two weeks ago and told him we were coming,'' said Gerald G., the son of Dequeta Robinson. "I like South Carolina because they run the same defense we run at South Pointe. I feel I can go in and get some sacks. Carolina led the SEC in sacks (39) this season.''
Gerald G., a 6-3, 265-pound defensive end, was the first of the brothers to arrive. He pushed in his mom, who is wheelchair bound because of a stroke.
"I dedicated my season to her,'' he said. "She has always been one of my biggest supporters. I knew in my heart where I was going, and it will be easier for my mom to come see me play. South Carolina said they would wait on us, but the choice we made wasn't hard. I grew up a Carolina fan.''
It was a proud day for all, especially their father, Rock Hill businessman Gerald Dixon Sr. He was a Gamecocks linebacker from 1990-91 before going on to a 10-year NFL career.
Dixon Sr. is a volunteer assistant football coach at Rock Hill High, which gave the three in-town rival schools a Gerald Dixon at each.
"I finally got them in red and black,'' Gerald Sr. said. "We're going to start a legacy down there. They need some help on defense and we hope to talk a couple of other Rock Hill boys into going to South Carolina. If we do, we'll have a steel wall.''
The Dixon brothers were teammates in this year's Shrine Bowl, marking the first time they have played on the same team since their youth all-star team won the 12-year-old state championship at Myrtle Beach. Dixon Sr. was one of the coaches.
"In my heart, I wanted them to play together again and so did they,'' Gerald Sr. said. "I've been taking them to South Carolina games off and on for years. But because the three of us are at different schools, I rarely get to see them play. Now I can watch them in a whole game at the top level and get in some tailgating, too.'
Worley and Clowney, who couldn't attend because he's in Florida preparing for tonight's Under Armour All-America Game, are no strangers to honors.
Worley rewrote the state's passing records and is committed to Tennessee. He will be in school the second semester and compete in spring practice.
He was named Gatorade's State and National Player of the Year, RivalsHigh Offensive Player of the Year and, along with Clowney, was named first-team All-America by MaxPreps.
Worley, 6-5, 200, led Northwestern to three straight state championship games.
The Trojans won this year, completing a 15-0 season, the first undefeated mark since the school opened in 1970.
Clowney, 6-6, 250, was named South Carolina's Mr. Football, Defensive Player of the year by USA Today and Rivals High and was the Defensive MVP during South Carolina's Shrine Bowl win over North Carolina.
Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, LSU and South Carolina are Clowney's final five. He had planned to announce his decision tonight during the Under Armour game, but said he will hold off until Feb. 1 or 2.
South Pointe also played in this year's state championship, but lost to Myrtle Beach in the Class AAA final. The Stallions beat Northwestern and Worley in the 2008 Class AAAA Division II championship.
Also honored was Northwestern coach Jimmy Wallace and his Trojans football team for winning the state championship.
The proclamations were read and awarded by Rock Hill Mayor Doug Echols, Northwestern's first football coach and athletic director.
See videos from the press conference below