South Carolina’s depleted running backs room suddenly looks crowded.
Columbia running back Dante Miller announced his commitment to USC as a preferred walk-on via Twitter on Friday over reported offers from Delaware, Sacramento State, Rhode Island, Samford and Albany.
“They really shoot you with a different type type of respect, energy, and the genuineness that comes with the program,” Miller told The State. “That’s something I really do love about (South Carolina).”
Miller led the Ivy League in rushing a season ago, helping the Lions to a 7-3 record and a win over eventual league champion, Dartmouth. His 5.8 yards per touch were also second among Ivy League runners with at least 100 carries.
The North Carolina native played his prep ball at Richmond Senior High School in Rockingham — the same program that produced former South Carolina star and current Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Melvin Ingram.
Miller initially received interest from Duke, Illinois, East Carolina and James Madison out of high school, eventually committing to JMU. He latter backed off that pledge when his test scores came back and Ivy League schools became interested. Miller chose Columbia over Princeton and Harvard, among others.
“(My family) came to the conclusion that (Columbia) would be a great decision to prepare for the next 40 years of my life rather than just four,” he said. “I knew that I could always transfer up and go to go play at a bigger school, but I (also) knew that playing in the Ivy League was something that you wouldn’t always get the opportunity to do.”
Miller joins a running back group that has quickly filled the voids by NFL-bound tailbacks Kevin Harris and ZaQuandre White. South Carolina has already landed Georgia import Lovasea Carroll and Wake Forest’s Christian Beal-Smith through the transfer portal. MarShawn Lloyd and Juju McDowell are also slated to return to the roster next fall.
South Carolina has spent the bulk of the offseason revamping an offense that finished near the bottom of the Southeastern Conference in most every major statistical category.
Oklahoma imports Spencer Rattler and Austin Stogner will significantly aid the cause. Beal-Smith, Carroll and James Madison receiver Antwane Wells should also help progress a unit in need of playmakers.
South Carolina finished its first season under Shane Beamer with a 7-6 record and a 38-21 win over North Carolina in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl. Beamer became just the second coach in school history to win a bowl game in his first season.
South Carolina transfer portal commitments
QB Spencer Rattler (Oklahoma)
RB Christian Beal-Smith (Wake Forest)
RB Lovasea Carroll (Georgia)
RB Dante Miller (Columbia)
WR Antwane Wells (James Madison)
TE Austin Stogner (Oklahoma)
DL Terrell Dawkins (N.C. State)
S Devonni Reed (Central Michigan)