COLUMBIA, SC (TheBigSpur) - South Carolina put a bow on a deep class of defensive ends by successfully flipping four-star Dexter Wideman (Saluda/Saluda) from Florida State. So far, the Gamecocks hit on three of their four targets on National Signing Day with one still remaining and Wideman comes at a big position of need.
Wideman committed to the Seminoles following an unofficial visit on July 22, 2013 and has remained publicly committed to the school since that date. There has been the feeling though that the 6-foot-4, 255-pounder would eventually flip and stay in state. While it took longer than expected, Wideman said he will sign his National Letter of Intent on Wednesday afternoon with South Carolina.
"I've been wanting to go to FSU all along because it's a great school and I enjoyed everything on my visit," Wideman said. "I did a lot of thinking and I decided I want to stay close to home. I have a good relationship with all the coaches at South Carolina. I just felt like I was better at USC."
Wideman left Saluda's campus on Wednesday at lunch time to talk with his grandmother.
"It was just to catch my breath," Wideman said.
Wideman held a ceremony at his school on Wednesday to announce his final decision and sign his paperwork. The NLI still has to be faxed to South Carolina and approved before it becomes binding.
Over the course of the 2013 season, Wideman took four unofficial visits to South Carolina for football games, including the 31-17 victory over Clemson to cap the regular season. He maintained throughout that he would take an official visit, which he did the weekend of January 17.
"I got down there with some of the players and really enjoyed that visit," Wideman said. "That's when the whole thing started."
Wideman said he has always grown up a South Carolina fan but the Seminoles have a great program.
"(Coach Mangus) was honest with me and told me how things would be," Wideman said. "They've told me they really wanted me."
Following the visit to Columbia, Wideman said that he was going to take his official visit to FSU and that he was open to both programs. The Seminoles commit made the trip but has not spoken publicly since his return home.
The Crystal Ball, with 24 projections, unanimously believed that Wideman would flip to the Gamecocks and that's exactly what happened on Wednesday.
Wideman said that he informed the South Carolina and Florida State coaches of his decision Tuesday night and talked to both of them again on Wednesday morning.
"When I told them, they talked to me for a little while and told me that I was a good player and they wanted me," Wideman said of his conversation with the FSU coaches. "They told me I had a good future and a good plan for me. They weren't mad, they understood."
Wideman is the fourth defensive end to commit to the Gamecocks in the 2014 recruiting class joining 247Sports Composite four-star Dante Sawyer (Forsythe, Ga./North Gwinnett), three-star signee Blake McClain and three-star junior college signee Jhaustin Thomas (Athens, Texas/Trinity Valley CC).
Wideman is ranked as the No. 165 player in the country in the 247Sports Composite ranking with a four-star rating of 0.9271. He is rated as the No. 64 player in the country by 247Sports.