Brandon McIlwain, a dual-threat junior quarterback from Council Rock North, committed Wednesday afternoon to play at South Carolina.
"I like everything about the school," the 6-foot-1, 205-pounder said. "And it feels like home. I have a lot of family around the area."
McIlwain's parents, Roddy and Lena, are South Carolina natives. His grandmother lives in Irmo, a suburb of Columbia. "We usually visit about two times a year," Brandon McIlwain said.
McIlwain chose the Gamecocks, who went 7-6 this season and closed Saturday with a 24-21 win over Miami in the Duck Commander Independence Bowl, over fellow finalists Auburn, California, and Penn State.
"I think I'll fit in well with their pro-style offense," said 16-year-old from Newtown said. "And I like that they made me their top recruited quarterback in the Class of 2016."
Of opting not to pledge to Penn State, McIlwain said, "I loved Penn State the whole time. I have nothing bad to say about the school. I had a great experience being recruited by them. I just liked South Carolina better."
Steve Spurrier recently completed his 10th season at South Carolina, where he has compiled an 84-45 record (.651 winning percentage). He has a 226-85-2 mark (.725) in 25 seasons as a major college head coach.
"Coach Spurrier is obviously a great coach, and he has a history of developing solid quarterbacks," McIlwain said. "I like his sense of humor and that he can also be real straight-forward with you."
On his next visit to South Carolina, McIlwain said he plans to speak with the Gamecocks baseball coach about possibly being a two-sport athlete. He is a standout pitcher and first baseman at C.R. North.
In the recently completed football season, McIlwain completed 147 of 283 passes for 2,018 yards while directing the Indians to a 6-5 record. He also rushed 195 times for 1,027 yards and 18 scores.