The national analysts have closed the book on the 2012 recruiting season with their final rankings, and USC and Clemson both ended up with top 20 classes based on the average ranking of the four major online recruiting networks. Using the rankings by ESPN, Rivals, Scout and 247, USC had a class average of 16 and Clemson 17. Alabama finished with the #1 class followed by Texas, Florida, Ohio State and Stanford. The rest of the top ten classes are Michigan, Florida State, Miami, Georgia and Oklahoma. USC’s class was ranked #7 among SEC teams, and Clemson’s class was ranked #3 in the ACC.
USC staged its first major junior day for the 2013 recruiting Saturday. There were no commitments during the day but the Gamecocks improved their position with several prospects and handed out some new offers.
Dillon OL Bryce King was 50-50 on committing going into his visit but decided to hold off a while longer. “I want to wait a little more and make my decision a little later,” King said. “I just didn’t feel like it was the right time. I’m keeping my options open and don’t have a favorite.” King went to Clemson’s junior day last month and plans to visit Virginia Tech later this month. He has offers from USC, Clemson, LSU, Tennessee, North Carolina, NC State and Virginia Tech.
DL Tashawn Bower (6-5 230) of Somerville, NJ was at USC Saturday with his father, his first unofficial visit away from schools in his area. “It was my first visit to see things from a different standpoint,” Bower said. “It was different from Rutgers and Connecticut. I really liked it.” USC is one of 15 offers for Bower. Some of the others are Syracuse, Rutgers, Connecticut, Virginia, Florida State, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Tennessee, Purdue, Kentucky, Maryland, Pittsburgh and Kentucky. He does not have any favorites. Bower plans to visit Ohio State this weekend and he also wants to visit Alabama, Georgia and LSU.
Goose Creek had a strong representation at USC Saturday including DE Gerald Turner who spent most of his time with defensive line coach Brad Lawing. “He had a good plan for me,” Turner said. “Defensive end or defensive tackle. If I come there, I could play with my hand down or stand up. We watched film of Eric Norwood and that’s who he compared me to.” He will go to Clemson for a junior day March 3rd and also plans to see Georgia Tech. USC and Clemson remain his only offers and he does not have a favorite. Others visiting from Goose Creek were ATH Tramel Terry, DE Jalen Stevens, sophomore RB Caleb Kinlaw and TE Kalan Ritchie. Kinlaw has had a USC offer and Ritchie was offered during the visit.
Stevens has named USC, Clemson and Georgia Tech as his top three in that order. “I’m really loving South Carolina right now,” Stevens said. “They’re showing me a lot of love too. I think they have the best defensive scheme to get me to where I want to go.” Stevens says he has told Steve Spurrier, Jr. that he would like to play the spur position for the Gamecocks. Stevens also likes Clemson and plans to camp there this summer. Stevens is looking to camp at Georgia and possibly Alabama as well. He has not received an offer but is hearing from USC, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Connecticut, Tennessee, Florida State, Alabama, NC State, North Carolina and Notre Dame among others.
Three prospects from Georgia who visited USC Saturday left with offers. LB Jacarthy Mack of Lithonia, OL Devondre Seymour of Suwanee and OL Andy Dodd of Lindale, GA were added to the Gamecocks’ primary recruiting board. USC is Mack’s first offer. Seymour, the son of former NFL standout defensive lineman and Hopkins native Richard Seymour, also has offers from Georgia and Virginia. And USC is the first to offer Dodd who is also getting interest from Alabama and Georgia Tech.
DE Jaylen Miller (6-3 250) of Gaffney visited USC Saturday. He is expected to be one of the state’s top defensive prospects next season. Miller has not yet been offered but that’s probably just a matter of time. He’s been drawing interest from USC, Clemson, NC State, Tennessee, North Carolina, Vanderbilt, Maryland and several others.
RB Anthony Lauro of Bradenton, FL was at USC Saturday and remains under consideration for an offer from the Gamecocks. “They said I’m real close to it but they are not sure yet,” Mauro said. “They’re not sure if they are going to recruit one or two running backs in this class.” He will be taking visits to Georgia Tech, Central Florida, South Florida and Miami. He’s not yet been offered.
Other prospects who made it to USC Saturday included LB Ben Boulware of TL Hanna, WR Mike Williams of Lake Marion, LB Justin Bridges-Thompson of Spartanburg, OL Tyrone Crowder of Rockingham, NC, LB Rueben Foster of LaGrange, GA, DL Michael Hill of Pendleton and ATH Mykal Moody of Conway,
USC has put itself in strong position early for RB TJ Logan (5-10 175) of Greensboro, NC. “South Carolina is still his favorite,” said Logan’s coach Johnny Roscoe. “They offered him when he was a tenth grader. He went to a couple of games there.” Logan did not make it to the junior day due to basketball. He plans to visit West Virginia this weekend. He also has offers from Clemson, Ohio State, Virginia, Cal, North Carolina, NC State and Tennessee. Logan has met with new USC running backs coach Everette Sands, but it will be Shawn Elliott who will be his primary recruiter. Elliott is taking over much of the recruiting territory in North Carolina previously handled by Jay Graham. Roscoe calls Logan “the fastest player I’ve ever coached.” Logan rushed for 2460 yards and 43 touchdowns last season. He led the state in rushing and scored 5 touchdowns in the state championship game.
Clemson added commitment #2 for the 2013 class last Wednesday in LB DJ Greenlee of Daniel (6-3 205). Greenlee is the son of Clemson assistant strength coach Larry Greenlee. As an outside linebacker last season, Greenlee totaled 58 tackles with 7 for loss, 3 sacks and 2 interceptions. “He’s a very athletic kid,” said Daniel coach Randy Robinson. “He’s a late bloomer. He can blitz off the edge, and he has real good ball skills. He also plays receiver.” Greenlee met with new Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables, and he liked what he learned. “He showed me some stuff he did at Oklahoma, and it looks like he knows what to do,” he said.
Also on Signing Day, Clemson picked up its first commitment for 2014 in QB DeShaun Watson (6-2 185) of Gainesville, GA. Watson has been no stranger around Clemson attending numerous games and felt the time was perfect to make his decision official. “I just felt at home,” Watson said. “I’m happy with my decision.” Watson passed for 3221 yards and 41 touchdowns last season. He also rushed for 1073 yards and 16 touchdowns.
DL Greg Gilmore (6-4 279) of Hope Mills, NC visited Clemson for its recent junior day and was very happy with the visit. “I had high expectations from Clemson and they didn’t disappoint,” Gilmore said. “I loved the place.” Gilmore has offers from Clemson, USC, NC State, North Carolina, East Carolina, Florida, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, California, Vanderbilt and Maryland. He plans to narrow his list soon. “If I were going to name some of my top schools now I would say Clemson, Florida, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and NC State.” Gilmore will visit Virginia Tech February 18th and also plans to visit North Carolina.
OL Cameron Dillard (6-3 285) of Canton, MI was at Clemson’s junior day and hopes to land an offer from the Tigers soon. “I think they will offer me in the future.” This past Saturday Dillard was at Michigan State and heads to West Virginia February 11th. Dillard’s father is a South Carolina native and Citadel graduate while his mother is from Greensboro. His offers are from Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan and Buffalo.
DE DeMarcus Walker (6-4 265) of Jacksonville, FL attended Clemson’s junior day and the Tigers have put themselves in the lead position for him according to his coach. “Clemson probably has done the best job up to date,” coach Adam Geiss said. “He’s very comfortable with their staff. He feels good around their staff and enjoys being there. I feel like Clemson leads. He really likes Clemson. Clemson leads, no doubt about it.” Walker also has visited Florida State and Miami and will go to Alabama February 18th. Walker also has offers from USC, Alabama, Southern Miss, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Tennessee, West Virginia, North Carolina, Louisville, Miami and others.
QB Josh Dobbs (6-3 190) of Alpharetta, GA had planned to attend Clemson’s junior day but couldn’t make it in because he was taking the SAT. Dobbs is a 4.0 student who’s never missed a day of class and has an offer from Princeton. But some major programs also like him including Clemson and USC. “I’ve been talking with South Carolina, Clemson, Tennessee, Virginia, Stanford and Princeton,” Dobbs said. “Clemson came by a couple of weeks ago and I’ve talked to Coach Mangus and he plans to come by the school in the spring. Clemson and South Carolina seem pretty interested.” Dobbs said he plans to get to future junior days at both. He went to games at both last season. Dobbs is a duel-threat quarterback who runs the spread. Last season he passed for 3200 yards and 32 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. He also rushed for 300 yards and two scores.
OL JJ Gustafson (6-6 265) of Dallas received a visit from Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris recently and was offered by the Tigers. “He also offered wide receiver Jake Oliver and linebacker Jordan Mastrogiovanni.” Gustafson’s other offers are from SMU, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Baylor, Purdue and Arkansas. Other schools showing interest include Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
LB Brett Wade (6-2 220) of Kennedale, TX has also received an offer from Clemson. His other offers are from Penn State, Texas Tech, Missouri and Tulsa with interest from Georgia, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and most Texas schools. He has visited Texas A&M, TCU, Texas and Kansas State.
DB Nick Washington (5-11 170) of Jacksonville, FL has offers from Clemson, USC, Florida, Florida State, Alabama, Auburn, Notre Dame, Tennessee, North Carolina, Cincinnati, Central Florida, Miami, Vanderbilt and Virginia. He is garnering interest from most ACC and SEC schools. Washington listed USC, Clemson, Alabama, Auburn, Florida and FSU as his top schools and has visited each.
DL Greg Webb (6-2 305) of Erial, NJ now has 24 offers including Connecticut, Rutgers, Syracuse, Michigan State, Penn State, Iowa State, Central Florida and NC State, Boston College, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas and Kansas among others. He hears regularly from USC and wants to visit. He does not have a favorite.
Sophomore RHP Katon Harwood (6-3 215) of Asheville, NC committed to Clemson Saturday according to the Asheville Citizens-Times. Here is the scouting report on Harwood from PerfectGame.com. ”Bigger frame, athletic projectable build, 3/4 arm slot, long arm action, some wrap, arm works, some arm speed, some armside run FB, 12/6 CB, good shape to CB, projectable velocity, solid defensive actions, nice hands, slightly open stance, loads early, aggressive, bat speed, excellent student, named to Top Prospect Team.