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Carolina pride: Brinkley twins commit to SC

The Georgia-South Carolina border bash just got a lot more interesting for Thomson High School football fans.

Twin brothers and linebackers Casper and Jasper Brinkley - integral parts of the school's 2002 state title team - committed to South Carolina on Sunday night.

Georgia linebacker Danny Verdun Wheeler was on that same defense with the Brinkley brothers and will get to see his former teammates in action next fall.

"That game is big enough as it is," Jasper Brinkley said. "Now it's going to be real crazy for everybody in Thomson. I'm sure everybody in town will be talking about it that weekend."

It's now up for debate which school has the best linebacker off that 2002 team. The Brinkleys spent the past two seasons at Georgia Military to improve their grades. Both were leaders on and off the field, according to GMC coach Bert Williams.

"They're both real close in ability with Danny," said Thomson Defensive Coordinator John Barnett. "It would be tough to say who's best. All three are very talented linebackers and football players."

"(Verdun Wheeler) always talked about if we were to get over there, he was going to try his best to get on special teams and hit us," Jasper Brinkley said.

The brothers, known as "Jap" and "Cap" since they were little, had offers from Arizona State, Kansas State, Louisville, Memphis and South Carolina.

"We were a package deal," Casper Brinkley said. "We've been together all our lives, and we both saw no need to split us up now."

The brothers visited Columbia over last weekend and made the commitment official after getting back to Thomson.

"We'd sort of told Coach (Steve) Spurrier before we left (Sunday) at noon we were coming," Casper Brinkley said. "But we had to talk it over with our mom to make it really official. We talked to her and she just wanted us to be sure that's what we've wanted."

It was. For the pair of 6-3 linebackers who weigh 250 and 255 pounds playing in the Southeastern Conference was a huge draw.

"Actually I've always wanted to play in the SEC," Jasper Brinkley said. "I had a Pac-10 school recruiting me, and SEC or Pac-10; I'll take the SEC any day."

"Coach Spurrier said what hurt them a lot this year was they had small linebackers," Casper Brinkley said. "He said they got hurt in the big-time games with Auburn and Tennessee because they didn't have physical linebackers that wouldn't get pushed around. That was all we needed to hear. They needed guys like us."

The four linebacker system at South Carolina is a little different from either of the defenses the Brinkleys played at Thomson or GMC. But they both have a chance to work their way into the starting lineup for Coach Spurrier, who they say is a lot like one their old high school coach, Luther Welsh.

"I would say that they are very much alike because they are both legendary, and both of them are known for winning and doing whatever it takes to win," Jasper Brinkley said.

The pair will split for a while. Jasper has completed his course work for an associate's degree at Georgia Military and anticipates enrolling in January. Casper should be on campus by June after finishing his requirements.

"A lot of people didn't think me and my brother would make it this far," Jasper Brinkley said. "But with God and hard work, anything is possible."



Web posted on Thursday, December 22, 2005











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