Call it mother’s intuition, a gut feel, or something else: Amberly Lee felt like her son, Braydon Lee, would eventually end up choosing the Gamecocks.
“What I saw out of South Carolina, the way it made him feel every time he went,” Amberly Lee said during an appearance on the GamecockCentral Takeover on 107.5 The Game. “He just had a big smile on his face like a big kid. He enjoyed his visits. Coach Beamer, Coach Gray, Coach Sterling (Lucas) really made us feel like family from the very start.”
Internally, Lee predicted very early in the process that Columbia would eventually be home.
“It was really a while ago,” she said. “He kept wanting to take visits there. He eliminated someother programs very early because he couldn’t see himself either in that location or in that environment. He didn’t want to feel like he was on an island. I’d say the consistency with South Carolina was what really helped put them over the edge.”
Lee cited a September visit to South Carolina for the Georgia game in 2022 as being a key moment in the recruitment.
The mother of the four-star prospect was there for advice and joined him on some visits, but largely allowed him to pilot his own recruitment.
“I allowed Braydon to really own his process. At the end of the day, he’s going to have to be at that school of his choice and feel that it resonated with his ability to contribute along with other factors,” he explained. “I really wanted him to have that process and take ownership of it as a young man and decide on his own. I wanted him to sit in those moments and think through his process. I allowed him to do that. I kind of had in my heart that that’s where he was going to land.”
Along with the Gamecocks, Braydon Lee carried numerous Power 5 offers: Ohio State, Maryland, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, and a host of others.
“It’s been a whirlwind. There was a moment where it was offer after offer after offer. All the programs he had dreamt of offering, they took notice of him and his talents. It’s something that Braydon has really worked hard for for quite a while,” said Mrs. Lee. “Braydon had interest in South Carolina for quite a few years actually. It really just came full circle when we had the opportunity to take visits and develop our relationship with the coaching staff.”
Amberly Lee made an appearance during her son’s announcement, which took place on social media on Instagram. She had some advance notice, but not much.
“He literally told me the night before, like 10:30. We had a conversation and he said he was ready and we stayed up and talked about it,” she said. “We called Coach Gray and Coach Beamer and they were so excited. So I found out a few hours before the rest of the world.”
Many prospects and family members mention similar words to the Lees when discussing the reasons they chose the Gamecocks. Consistency, family, relationships, these all seem to be common themes.
“There’s a difference between recruit talk and genuine. He was able to differentiate that and distinguish that early on,” Lee said of her son. “South Carolina took the time to go beyond that and go past that. It was the perfect combination of everything that I think a recruit would look for if they were looking for a great program.”
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