October 31, 2014

Gamecocks land their top quarterback target in Mitch

Mitch picks USC

QB Connor Mitch of Raleigh, NC committed to USC Tuesday night.  He announced his pledge on Twitter.  “JUST COMMITTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA!!!!!!” is how Mitch put it.  His official commitment was made earlier to Gamecock head coach Steve Spurrier who was in Charlotte to speak to a group of fans.  “He was real excited for me to join the family,” Mitch said.   Mitch chose the Gamecocks over offers from LSU, Alabama, North Carolina, Auburn, Florida and several others.  He said the decision came down to USC and LSU.  “I was just more and more comfortable and it was the right fit for me,” he said.  “I have a great relationship with Coach Spurrier and Coach Mangus.  They said they needed a quarterback and wanted me to be a part of the family.”  Mitch  visited USC for a junior day in late February and made a couple of spring practice visits.  He also attended the spring game.  He also took visits to Alabama, LSU, Florida, Auburn and North Carolina.   Last season Mitch passed for 3900 yards and 51 touchdowns as a junior. “I’m very accurate and I come prepared,” Mitch said.  “I live for the film room.”  And he said his commitment is final.  “My family believes in loyalty,” he said.  “When I say I’m committed, then I’m committed.” 

Sunday was a good day for LB Larenz Bryant of Charlotte. He was named the top linebacker at the Nike combine in Charlotte and was invited to Nike’s premier summer combine, The Opening. As for his recruiting, Bryant said he’s backed off his previous position of having Clemson, Georgia and Florida as his favorites and is now open to everyone. “There are no favorites right now,” he said. “I’m taking it all in and enjoying it.” Bryant has offers from USC, Clemson, Illinois, NC State, Virginia, Duke, East Carolina, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Florida, Texas A&M and Oklahoma. He said all the schools recruiting him have been by this spring. He added that Florida and Alabama seem to be recruiting him the hardest. He visited USC and Clemson earlier in the spring. He does not have any visits planned for the summer. Bryant will make a decision after the season.

DL Jordan Hawkins of Jacksonville has heard from Clemson and USC but is getting more interest from Wofford and Furman. “Wofford came by my school last week during spring practice and told me they are very close to offering,” Hawkins. “Furman is telling me the same day.” Though he has not heard from Clemson of late, Steve Spurrier, Jr. of USC has spoken with him. “My teammate (DB) Jasper Sasser visited South Carolina and told me he just loved it,” he said. “He loves coach Spurrier, Jr. I’ve spoken with him (Spurrier, Jr.) and I like him too.” Hawkins has visited South Florida, Duke and NC State. “I loved Duke,” he said. “It’s a great program and I loved the atmosphere. I would love to graduate from there and have Duke on my degree. I went to NC State and got to see the football facilities. I would like to visits again and learn more about them.” Both schools will visit him during spring ball. He does not have a favorite.

DB Pharoh Cooper of Havelock, NC is about ready to make his commitment. And it appears USC will be his choice. “They are a pretty clear leader,” said Cooper who talked recently with recruiter Brad Lawing. “He said he wants me at South Carolina. He’s still showing a lot of interest.” Cooper said Lawing will visit his school next week and he could make his commitment to the Gamecocks then or in two to three weeks. Cooper has seen Tennessee, NC State, East Carolina, North Carolina and Wake Forest come thru his school. He has visited USC, Alabama, NC State, East Carolina and North Carolina.

Clemson and USC remain active recruiters of DE Lewis Neal of Wilson, NC who de-committed from Ohio State earlier this month. Neal said he talked to Clemson recruiter Dan Brooks Sunday and to his USC recruiter Joe Robinson last week. The Tigers and Gamecocks remain well up on his list. “I like both of them a lot,” Neal said. “But I want to take my time and not make a mistake. I’ve got a lot of visiting to do.” LSU and Tennessee will be two visits for Neal. And he wants to revisit the schools he’s already seen including Clemson and USC. Neal said he has no leaders right now. “They are all recruiting me about the same,” he said. He wants to make a decision before July or before the beginning of his season.

DE Robert Nkemdiche of Loganville, GA will not make his college decision this month. Nkemdiche had set May 18th as his d-day but he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution he won’t be ready then. He does not have a new decision day in mind but it likely won’t come until 2013. Nkemdiche wants to take most, if not all, of the five official visits available to him. And he won’t take any during his season so he can focus on his team. Alabama and Ole Miss are considered the top two with Nkemdiche at this point with Clemson, LSU and Georgia also strongly in the mix.

DB David Kamara of Loganville, GA picked up his fourth offer Sunday by way of Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons join Clemson, Mississippi State and Ole Miss. “I talked to coach (Brian) Knorr (Wake Forest co-defensive coordinator) and he told me they really liked me,” Kamara said. “He told me they want to get me up there for a visit. It’s a small school and they put DBs in the NFL.” Kamara plans to visit Winston-Salem. His team kicked off spring practice Monday and Central Florida and Virginia Tech were on hand. Mississippi State and Wake Forest will visit Tuesday. Clemson, LSU and Ole Miss are also scheduled to come see Kamara during spring drills. Kamara continues to favor Clemson, Ole Miss and LSU in no order. He plans to attend camps at Clemson, Ole Miss, LSU and Alabama this summer. He would like to commit prior to beginning of the season and does not have a leader.

Basketball News:

USC basketball coach Frank Martin has one seven-footer in the fold for the 2012 class and is working another one. Jordan Dickerson is actually 7-1, and a source said Tuesday the Gamecocks have a 50-50 shot at landing him. Dickerson attends the IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL. He is from Brooklyn where he played at Abraham Lincoln High School. He is close friends with USC commitment Thaddeus Hall. Villanova and Georgetown are two other schools showing interest according to the source. Dickerson’s coach at IMG said he’s not a finished product but has some offensive skills and gets better daily. He added that Dickerson is a good help defender and shot blocker.

Former USC forward Damontre Harris has visited Florida and Kansas and is now trying to make a decision on his new school according to his high school coach.  There is no timetable for a decision.