July 23, 2014

USC makes the cut with two top junior prospects

Bryson Allen-Williams

Junior DE Bryson Allen-Williams of Ellenwood, GA Friday released on Twitter his top seven schools in order. “Based on the offers I have today here’s my top 7 in this order SC,UF,UCLA,USC, Wash, GaTech, Clemson,” Allen-Williams wrote. He added that if Georgia were to offer, the Bulldogs would move into his top three. Allen-Williams camped at USC last summer and visited for the Georgia game. “I have a great relationship with Coach Ward,” he said. “I like the coaches. They are like a family.” Allen-Williams also is attracted by what the Gamecocks are doing on the field. “You can tell South Carolina is dominate this season,” he said. This season Allen-Williams had 92 tackles with 17 sacks. He says Ward has outlined plans for him. “He said I can play rush end or stand up and drop back in coverage,” he said. Allen-Williams said USC has a small lead on Florida right now and is keeping his options open. Florida and USC were the first schools to offer. “South Carolina leads because of the tight relationship between Coach Ward and me and my mom,” Allen-Williams said. He visited Clemson last weekend and the Tigers offered. “Coach Swinney has really turned it around,” he said. “They are trying to start a relationship.” He does not plan to make a decision for several months.

DE Da’shawn Hand of Woodbridge, VA, regarded by some analysts as the top prospect in the nation for the 2014 class, announced today on Twitter his reduced list of ten schools. USC is among his final ten. The others are Alabama, Florida State, Michigan, LSU, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Virginia Tech. He did not give an order to the list. Hand plans to be at Ohio State Saturday for the Michigan game.

DE Carl Lawson of Alpharetta, GA plans to be at Clemson tomorrow.  That will be his first visit this season to a school other than Auburn.  He has been an Auburn commitment but plans to take other official visits at this point.

WR Marquez North of Charlotte was going to take an official visit to Ohio State this weekend but the Buckeyes have come off his list, so he will make his first visit to Clemson this season for the Tigers’ showdown with USC. North is down to Clemson, Tennessee and North Carolina according to his father. He’s looking at making his official visit to Clemson January 12th for the Tigers’ major weekend. “Clemson and North Carolina write him everyday,” Ramando North said. “And he gets calls from all three. He likes the Clemson offense and they said they can move him around to showcase his talents. The offense is a little bit like his offense at Mallard Creek.” North also has been to games this season at North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Tennessee and Duke. He plans to announce a decision at the Army All American Game. North had labrum surgery about a month and a half ago and missed about half of his senior season.

USC is one of the top three right now for junior DB Marlon Humphrey of Hoover, AL according to Paul Strelow of 247Sports. Humphrey is the son of former Alabama star running back Bobby Humphrey and the Crimson Tide are believed to be the big leaders, but Humphrey said he also likes USC and Florida a great deal. Those three will be in his top five which he plans to announce after the season. He said Mississippi State is high on his list.

Junior RB Jonathan Vickers (6-0 205) of Jacksonville, FL has offers from Clemson, Alabama, Georgia Tech and Ole Miss with interest from USC, Florida, Auburn and Florida State. He named Alabama and Clemson his top two in that order. “I grew up an Alabama fan and it’s an honor to get an offer from them so early,” Vickers said. “They’re a running back school and I really like their coaches.” As for Clemson he said, “I really enjoyed their camp and hanging out with the players and coaches. They stood out the most. Clemson is telling me they would love me to come there and that they could really use me. It’s a great second option for me.” Though he did not visit any school this season he plans to visit USC and Clemson next summer. “South Carolina is another good school that is close to home,” he said. “They told me I need to stay in the SEC where teams run the ball.” VIckers broke his leg in the first game of the season.

Junior QB Jalan McClendon (6-4 192) of Charlotte has offers from SC State, North Carolina, Wake Forest and Charlotte with interest from Clemson, USC, LSU, Nebraska, Washington, California and Missouri among others. This season he attended games at USC and Clemson. “I like both programs actually,” McClendon said. “I like the way they do things. They’re both obviously very good teams because they’re ranked in the top 15. They also have good traditions.” USC could be the first to offer. “I’m supposed to go to a practice in December and I think they might offer,” he said. “Clemson isn’t talking much about offering but I think they will eventually.” McClendon also mentioned LSU as the school showing the most interest. He did not name other schools he could visit but did say junior days and spring games are in his plans. As a junior he threw for roughly 1,700 yards and 15 touchdowns and rushed for another four. “I can’t really remember my exact stats,” he admitted. McClendon does not have a leader.

Junior DB Devante Shepherd (5-10 185) of Cross is expected to emerge as a prospect next season according to his coach Shaun Wright. Shepherd made an unofficial visit to USC for the Wofford game. Wright said the Gamecocks are interested and will evaluate Shepherd in the coming months. Georgia Tech and Wofford also are showing interest in Shepherd who also plays fullback. Shepherd is #2 in his class academically.

Junior RB Stanley Williams of Monroe, GA remains committed to Georgia but said, “I’m still open to other schools and I want them to know I’m looking around.”   Williams’ offers include Clemson, USC, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State, Kentucky and Louisville. He has visited several schools including Clemson and USC. “Clemson is a really a good school with a great football atmosphere,” he said. “It would be a great place to play on Saturdays. South Carolina is the same way. They have a lot of support for their team and they love college football.” He added that the two schools are of interest to him. This weekend he will attend the Georgia-Georgia Tech match up. “I’ll go to the SEC championship and if (Georgia) goes to the national championship game, I’ll be there too,” Williams said. He has plans to take several visits next summer.

Junior WR KJ Williams (6-3 190) of Bethelem, PA has offers from Rutgers and Pitt with interest from Michigan, Boston College, Ohio State, Penn State and Connecticut among others. He visited USC with RB David Williams for a camp over the summer but says he has not heard from the Gamecocks since. “I really liked it down there,” said Williams. “They have really nice facilities. I like the location.” He expressed interest in USC and said he would like to hear from them in the future. Williams has visited Rutgers and Pitt as well. The Pennsylvania product does not have any favorites. This season he caught 59 balls for 986 yards and 10 touchdowns in a triple-option offense.

USC has been the favorite of OL Na’Ty Rodgers of Pomfret, MD for the past few months. The Gamecocks are no longer alone. Rodgers said Tuesday night he now has co-leaders in USC and Maryland. Rodgers was supposed to go on an official visit to Nebraska last weekend but that got postponed, so he went unofficially to Maryland. “I never really saw the campus and this weekend I took an in depth look, and I liked what I saw,” Rodgers said. “I liked the campus life and how everything is set up there. And I would be close to home.” Rodgers also sees the move of Maryland to the Big 10 as a positive for them. “It’s a good move for them for recruiting purposes and it should be a good thing,” he said. “Everybody always talks about the SEC, but to make a big step forward like that is good to see.” Rodgers planned to talk to USC recruiter GA Mangus Tuesday night. He has taken an official visit to Oklahoma and plans to set other visits with USC, Maryland, Nebraska and maybe Michigan. He is not visiting anywhere this weekend.

Junior LB Richard Yeargin III (6-4 215) of Hollywood, FL has offers from Clemson, Wake Forest, UCLA, Wisconsin and Purdue with interest from Georgia Tech, Miami and Notre Dame among others. “I’m getting interest from just about everybody really,” said Yeargin. “I think the offers will start rolling in this spring.” Clemson is a school of high interest for the Florida product. “I visited them over the summer and it is really nice,” he said. “Everything is nice there. They have a good program and I like the way coach (Brent) Venables relates to me. He likes me in the 3-4 scheme and, even though he is busy, he takes the time to stay in contact with me.” Other visits he has taken include Miami, Georgia Tech and Ohio State. He plans to return to Clemson in the future. “I’m sort of lying low right now and playing basketball,” Yeargin said. “I’ll get back into football-mode this spring and start looking at visits I want to take.” He did not name a favorite.

Junior QB Will Hunter (6-1 180) of Lexington is receiving interest from East Carolina, Virginia Tech, Duke, LSU and Alabama among others. Hunter said that he had received interest from Clemson and USC but has not heard from either school in some time. “I’ve been up to Clemson for some games but I don’t think they’re interested anymore to tell you the truth,” he said. “I’m not sure where they stand with me. (USC assistant) G.A. Mangus has talked to me more than anyone but, since the season started, I haven’t really heard from him.” Hunter plans to visit Clemson this weekend for the game. Alabama and LSU are two schools Hunter wants to see in the future. “I want to go to a camp at Alabama,” he said. “I spoke with (Alabama assistant) Chris Rumph last summer. He was really nice. I want to get down to LSU too.” Hunter does not have any favorites saying, “I just want to play.”

Junior OL Nolan Kelleher (6-6 290) of Wando is receiving interest from Clemson, USC, NC State, Notre Dame, Stanford, Duke, Georgia Tech and Mississippi State among others. He named Clemson, Stanford and Notre Dame among his favorites. “Clemson is awesome in every way,” said Kelleher. “They have been great to me and treat me really well.” He has attended games at Clemson, USC, Notre Dame, NC State, Georgia Tech and heads to Duke this weekend. “When I was at NC State, it just seemed that they always had me in the front of the line,” he said. “When we went on the field before the game, the student section chanted my name. I couldn’t believe it and it felt really good.” He has been invited to camp at Stanford and is considering it. “To get an offer from them would be pretty cool,” he admitted. As for Notre Dame he was impressed with the atmosphere and the school saying, “It was packed and loud there. They’ve got a good football team and it’s a good engineering school.” Kelleher is also showing interest in USC comparing it to Clemson. He did not name a leader.

White Knoll OL Christian Taylor was back at Clemson last weekend for the NC State game and will return this Saturday for the USC game. “It was real good,” he said of his most recent visit. “All the guys are friendly. Clemson is saying they are only taking two offensive lineman in my class. Hopefully I’ll get an offer from them.” Taylor went to a pair of USC home games as well and is being evaluated by the Gamecocks. “Their coaches like me a lot,” he said. “They like that my grades are good and I have size and am pretty physical in the offense I run.” Taylor has offers from NC State and Coastal Carolina. He hears a lot from North Carolina and thinks that’s where the next offer may come from. “They say they like me and want me to come up there,” he said. Taylor does not have a favorite.

Basketball News:

Former Villanova 6-3 guard Tyrone Johnson visited USC last weekend according to Bill Gunter of TheBigSpur.com. Johnson announced earlier this month he was leaving Villanova. He is a sophomore and will enroll at his new school in January. Gunter reported Johnson would visit George Washington this weekend. Johnson has a couple of friends on the GW team. Johnson is a native of New Jersey but he played his final high school season for Montrose Christian in Maryland. USC freshman Michael Carrera also played at Montrose Christian and is friends with Johnson.

Furman signed 6-6 Kris Acox of Iceland, 6-7 Christian Hairston of Greensboro, NC and 6-6 Adonis Rwabigwi of Rwanda. Acox played two seasons at Spring Valley.