**Story by Phil Kornblut/Photo Allen Sharpe**
Offensive lineman LaMarius Benson (6-3, 320) of Covington, GA has played just one full season on the offensive line but he apparently showed enough promise to receive an offer from South Carolina last month at their junior day as a guard, and Sunday he took the Gamecocks up on their interest by issuing a commitment to head coach Will Muschamp.
"He said the commitment made him the happiest he's been in a long time," Benson said. "I feel like it's a perfect school for me. It's close to home and I like the coaches. It's perfect for me."
Benson had been a defensive lineman until moving primarily to offense last season with spot duty on defense. And it's the athletic skills he displayed as a defensive tackle that impressed USC offensive line coach Eric Wolford enough to move on him.
"He said I can move for being so big," Benson said. "I see big things happening, that's what I see, because of the people they've got coming in."
Benson also has offers from Georgia Tech, Maryland, Georgia State, Marshall and Troy. Despite the commitment, Benson said he does not plan to shut down his recruiting and will still visit other schools.
Benson's commitment gives USC three newcomers for the 2018 class.
Benson's good friend, DL Darnell Jefferies, also is a SC target but he said his decision would not influence what Jefferies ultimately decides. Jefferies also as offers from Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Auburn, Notre Dame and others.