July 23, 2014

Rolin’s about face forces USC to check JUCO ranks

Matt Rolin

The defection of LB Matt Rolin from USC’s 2013 class Sunday is a significant blow in that once healthy from his knee injury, he figured to be one of the better linebackers in the program. And the Gamecocks need linebackers considering they are losing four in this senior class and have only three left in the program. The Gamecocks have four linebacker commitments now in the 2013 class….Gerald Turner, Kight Dallas, Mohamed Camera and Larenz Bryant. They have one uncommitted linebacker prospect on their board in highly regarded Yannick Ngakoue of Washington, DC. A source said Sunday night Gamecock linebackers coach Kirk Botkin will look into the junior college ranks for a replacement for Rolin. The Gamecocks now have 21 commitments for the 2013 class. Recruiting coordinator Steve Spurrier Jr. said Friday night he was looking at signing a class of 22 or 23 and said the Gamecocks have two “silent” commitments that, of course, have not been publicly counted in the current class. RB David Williams of Philadelphia and OL Na’Ty Rodgers are on record as favoring the Gamecocks at this point.

DE Ebenezer Ogundeko of Brooklyn made an official visit to Syracuse over the weekend. That was his final visit. Clemson and Florida were the other two. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney had his in home visit last week and Florida coach Will Muschamp is due in this week. Ogundeko had considered making an announcement December 21st, the last day of school before the holiday break. But he said Sunday night he will now wait until the Under Armour Game in January to reveal his decision. He has been favoring Clemson and Florida.

DB Adrian Baker of Hollywood, FL made his official visit to Clemson over the weekend. He’s been committed to Florida State but is far from firm with that pledge at this point. “It was a great trip,” Baker said. “I had lots of fun.” Baker got the chance to watch the Tigers’ first bowl practice. He also attended the basketball game with Arizona. Baker also was on hand Saturday night when Dabo Swinney got the word from secondary coach Charlie Harbison that he was leaving for Auburn. Baker said Harbison’s departure does not affect his attitude towards Clemson. Baker will visit Oklahoma this coming weekend. He is scheduled to visit Florida State January 11th but is not sure he will take that visit. Right now he plans to wait until Signing Day before announcing.

DE Carl Lawson of Alpharetta, GA has been an Auburn commitment since March but started looking around after the Tigers fired Gene Chizik. Reached Sunday night, Lawson no commented to most questions. “I have to look out for my best interests,” he said in explaining the near vow of silence. He did allow that he has had an in home visit a couple of days ago with new Auburn coach Gus Malzahn. “I’m still committed to Auburn,” he said. “I like the coaches.” Lawson said recruiters from numerous schools have been by including Clemson’s Tony Elliott, and he confirmed he will have an in home visit with Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney. He would not confirm any plans he has for official visits.

DB Korrin Wiggins of Durham, NC has been a North Carolina commitment but he said at the Shrine Bowl today he will take an official visit to Clemson January 11th.  He’s also looking at Ohio State.