USC football commit cites academics as factor

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH) - The University of South Carolina football program has picked up a key recruit who says he chose the school not only for its athletics, but also its academics.

Georgia's Arden Key, a four-star recruit in the class of 2015, committed to the Gamecocks this past weekend

The six-foot-five, 198-pound defensive end has said the USC coaching staff is a big reason he picked South Carolina over his in-state school Georgia, and turned back interest from programs like Clemson, Arkansas, Miami, North Carolina and others.

However, what Key said about the university's academic reputation is being interpreted different ways by people.

"The academic part, it's like you have to try to fail," Key told Palmetto Sports.

Some have hinted Key is suggesting South Carolina's academic standards aren't very stringent and provide an easy path for athletes, while some others have noted the teen was touting the academic support athletes receive through tutor programs after he toured the Dodie Anderson Academic Enrichment Center.

Well, there is more to what Key said. You may get a different impression after reading an original, full quote published by 247Sports in that outlet's story about Key's commitment to USC.

"It has a great vibe. There wasn't really anybody there, but you could tell when people are there what it would be like. It's kind of a mixture of the city and the country," Key told 247Sports. "The academic part, they make it easy. In order to do bad at South Carolina, you've got to try to fail."

On Tuesday, 247 writer Wes Mitchell tweeted an additional quote from Key pertaining to the situation that clarifies things even more.

"I liked the academic center," Key told Mitchell. "The academic center makes you want to study."

The high school standout also took to Twitter on Tuesday to respond to how he was initially portrayed and indicated his comment published by Palmetto Sports was taken out of context.

"Yall taking it the wrong way," Key tweeted. "What I mean about that is yes you have to work hard in your academics but, if theirs some areas you need help on then the tutors at USC will bend of backwards to help you out."

Regardless, it appears Key will be bringing his athletic skills to Williams-Brice Stadium in 2015 and has learned an early lesson about how the internet can open up a Pandora's Box.