The 2013 football season has yet to begin, but that hasn't stopped a pair of Bluffton players from announcing their college decisions early via social media.
Rising senior defensive tackle K.J. Ford and rising junior Shameik Blackshear both announced their intentions on Twitter on Tuesday, with Ford verbally committing to N.C. State and Blackshear to South Carolina.
"Verball (sic) commit to SOUTH CAROLINA," Blackshear tweeted in the late afternoon. Ford followed with, "I Am Verbally Committing to NC State! #WolfpackNation."
When reached for comment Tuesday, Bobcats head coach Ken Cribb was unaware of his players' decisions.
Never miss a local story.
Blackshear and Ford could not be reached for comment.
Blackshear is regarded as one of the top players in the 2015 class, as the high-profile weakside end also has offers from defending national champion Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia and Clemson, among others. But Gamecocks coach Everette Sands was one of the first to offer the Bobcats star, and the 6-foot-4, 235-pound prospect paid him back with a commitment Tuesday, despite having nine total offers as a sophomore.
N.C. State is the lone BCS school to promise a spot for Ford, as the Wolfpack pulled the trigger on an offer on Jan. 17 along with the University of Massachusetts. South Carolina and Clemson have also been in touch with the 6-1, 280-pound tackle.
The two players with stars a year ago on a Bobcats team that finished 12-2 in their first season in Class 4-A. Blackshear tallied 97 total tackles to go along with 17 for loss and five sacks, while also picking up three fumble recoveries, two pass deflections and 19 quarterback hurries. He also scored a pair of touchdowns and blocked what would have been the game-winning field goal against Fort Dorchester.
Ford finished with 62 tackles on the line for Bluffton, 14 of which were for loss to go along with four sacks. He, too, scored a touchdown and accounted for seven quarterback hurries.
Check back at www.islandpacket.com for updates on this story.