Michael Billings didn’t have a ton of tape to show potential recruiters.
The Georgetown standout made up for it this offseason. The rising senior verbally committed to Coastal Carolina on Monday after the school offered him a full scholarship. Assuming he fulfills that commitment to the Chanticleers on National Signing Day in February, he will head to CCU as a defensive back.
“The stress level really reduced tremendously,” Billings said after telling Coastal’s staff he was committing. “I was always stressing about what school I was going to go to.
“I cried, basically. It takes a lot off my shoulders.”
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Billings’ 2013 season took a major hit when he suffered a high ankle sprain in his left leg against Carvers Bay in Week 4. He returned from the injury for the final two games of the year, but he was at anything but full strength.
Still, he ran for 540 yards and seven touchdowns.
Defensively, Billings appeared in only three games, although he was asked to cover opposing teams’ top receivers in those contests.
“They’ve been tracking him for a while,” Georgetown coach Bradley Adams said. “He got injured and was under the radar. He’s an unknown to so many people. When they saw him in camp, they pulled the trigger on it.”
Georgetown, in many ways because of Billings’ injury, missed the playoffs in 2013 after earning postseason bids the previous two seasons. With him healthy again, it could be a different story this fall.
Billings is expected to be one of the area’s top running backs this year. He has been dynamic for the duration of the offseason program, Adams said.
Maybe just as importantly in terms of college potential is what he has done in the classroom.
Billings has an overall grade-point average of 3.9, surpassed his necessary core classes and has qualifying test scores necessary for the college scholarship.
“This is a tribute to Michael and his family,” Adams said. “They have [taken care of] academics and did it the right way. This is the outcome of that. … That’s why he’s sitting here in the driver’s seat. He’s already qualified. He meets that true character mold.”
Billings immediately turned the attention back to his team.
“It says a lot about the program,” he said. “It means we’re moving forward. The program is growing.”
Coastal Carolina can not comment on the commitment until a Letter of Intent has been signed and received. However, Monday’s news partially fulfills what CCU recruiting coordinator Cory Bailey told The Sun News in April.
It was then that Bailey said the Chants were pursuing a number of high school players in the Grand Strand and Pee Dee. The school offered North Myrtle Beach defensive back Colby Gore, although he later verbally committed to East Carolina.