July 28, 2014

#STRecruiting: Huggins thinking hard about Georgia after taking a visit

Albert Huggins

Albert Huggins

A recent  visit to Georgia has DL Albert Huggins of Orangeburg-Wilkinson strongly considering the Bulldogs.  Huggins continues along in the recruiting process without a favorite, but Georgia certainly has made a move with him.

“I’m still going to look around and all, but in the end, Georgia is going to be right there with me,” he said.

The visit was an opportunity for Huggins to get an up close look at Georgia and he enjoyed his time in Athens.

“We saw the facilities and the academic center, which was really, really nice,” he said. “The dorms were like apartments and sit right next to the cafeteria, so I liked that too.  I got a chance to spend time with the coaches and get to know them. It was a really good visit.”

Huggins had considered attending the Friday Night Lights at Florida but did not make the trip. He did say he would like to make that trip before the school year begins.

He has not decided on visits for the fall and remains in touch with Clemson and USC.

#STRecruiting: News not expected to be good tonight for Clemson with McCloud

Ray Ray McCloud

Ray Ray McCloud

Clemson has landed its fair share of top rate talent out of Florida in recent years.  Monday night at 6:30 PM the Tigers will learn if they’ve snatched another of the brightest stars from the Sunshine State.

WR Ray Ray McCloud of Tampa will announce his choice on local cable in Tampa with his decision down to Clemson, Florida, Maryland and UCLA.  He visited Clemson twice last year and this spring.  He’s also been to Florida multiple times including Friday night.

‘I’ve always liked the Clemson offense,” McCloud said in April.  His best friend is current Clemson commitment Deon Cain but he said recently that’s not a factor.  “If I end up going there, I go there.”

But most observers don’t feel this will be Clemson’s day instead pointing towards Florida for McCloud’s decision.  McCloud actually had his decision made last week before going to Gainesville with members of  his family.

#STRecruiting Bullets: Auden Tate; Mon Denson; Traveon Samuel; Brandon Sandifer; Jarred Reuter

  • Auden Tate

    Auden Tate

    WR Auden Tate of Tampa visited USC Saturday for the Gamecock Showcase Camp.  He did not participate but did tour around the campus and visit with assistant coaches GA Mangus and Everette Sands.  Tate had the Gamecocks in his top ten but he said he’s no longer considering them.  “I wasn’t really comfortable while I was there,”  he said.  “I didn’t get that positive feeling.”  Tate still has Clemson, Michigan, Florida State, Georgia, Florida, Ohio State, Miami, Missouri and Wisconsin on his list in no order.  He has yet to visit Clemson but he plans to and said the Tigers still have a shot.  He has also been to Maryland.  He feels Miami and Florida are showing the strongest interest.

  • RB Mon Denson of LaGrange, GA was at USC Saturday and afterwards said he was favoring the Gamecocks.  But Sunday night he tweeted out a top five, in no order, of USC, North Carolina, Arkansas, Wisconsin and Tennessee.
  • WR Traveon Samuel attended USC’s camp Saturday and had a good experience.  “It went great,” he said.  “Nice place with great coaches. I like the style of offense.”  Samuel said the idea of committing was discussed but he didn’t pull the trigger.   He does not have any future visits planned and won’t make a decision for several weeks.
  • OL Brandon Sandifer of Warner Robins, GA was at Florida Friday and USC Saturday.  Sunday night he reported a top three, in no order, of USC, Florida and Alabama.  A decision could come in a couple of weeks, if not sooner.
  • PF 6-8 Jarred Reuter of Brewster Academy in New Hampshire Sunday released a top five of USC, Virginia, Rhode Island, Providence and Iowa with no leader.








#STRecruiting: Durant happy and relieved to get commitment behind him

Davon Durant

Da’von Durant

It was a while in the making but former Greenwood star linebacker Da’von Durant (6-2 235) can now realize his dream of playing at USC.  Durant, who attends Butler JC in Kansas, committed to the Gamecocks Sunday morning after making an unofficial visit Saturday.

Durant had favored the Gamecocks since his Shrine Bowl season of 2012 and after a two year stint at Butler, he will be able to join the Gamecocks in January.

“It feels good, a lot of pressure has been taken off me now,” said Durant who had wanted to commit in the spring but held off while working on his grades to get to where he would have a chance to enroll at mid-term.    “I feel more relaxed and I can concentrate on my school work going into the season.  It’s going great and I’ll be finishing on time in December and enroll in January.”

Durant played in seven games last season according to the Butler website recording 12 tackles and 3 sacks on a defense that allowed just over 11 points per game.  He’s expecting to make a much bigger impact this season and then carry that over to USC in 2015.

“They want me to be that guy that controls the defense, the quarterback of the defense, and make stuff happen,” Durant said of USC defensive coaches Lorenzo Ward and Kirk Botkin.  “I’ll have a spring to go in and get out there and learn.  I play hard and give 100% on every play.  I feel I have a lot to prove and I have a chip on my shoulder.  I’m so much better than I was in high school.  No doubt when I’m on the field I can be the best linebacker in the country.  Coach Botkin is a great coach and will give me the tools that I need.”

Durant also visited Arizona State in the spring but said except for his official visit to USC this season there will be no other visits for him.




#STRecruiting: Gamecocks land JUCO standouts Lewis and Durant

Lewis (L) & Durant back together again at USC

Lewis (L) & Durant back together again at USC

The Greenwood High School program has proven once again to be good to USC, though in a round-about way this time, as former Eagle teammates DE Marquavius Lewis (6-4 270) and LB Da’von Durant (6-2 235) committed to the Gamecocks this morning.  Lewis now attends Hutchinson JC, KS and Durant is at Butler JC, KS and are regarded among the best at their positions in the junior college ranks.

The pair was together over the weekend at USC for the Gamecock Showcase Camp with Lewis on an official visit and Durant visiting unofficially.  The fact they committed together was just happenstance.

“We talked about it but we never talked it thru,” Lewis said Sunday morning.

Lewis had also taken official visits to Miami and Arizona State and was talking with Alabama and Florida,  but had narrowed his focus to USC and Auburn.  Several members of his family joined him on the visit and the family pull was big in his decision,  both his own and the USC family.

“Just the family and the vibe they have around South Carolina,” Lewis said.  “It feels pretty good and is the right thing for me and especially for my family though they would have supported me no matter what.”

JT Surratt served as Lewis’ host player on the visit and he spent time with defensive coaches Lorenzo Ward and Deke Adams.  ‘They were telling me what type of player I am and what I can do there.  Coach Spurrier said he needs me and I would be a big player in their defense.”

Last season Lewis recorded 60 tackles with 17 for loss, 13 quarterback hurries and 6.5 sacks.  He is on track to graduate in December and will have two years to play two.

Durant was the more highly regarded of the two coming out of high school.  He was a Shrine Bowler and had multiple major offers, but he was always a strong lean to the Gamecocks going back to his days at Greenwood.  In April Durant said he was ready to commit to USC.

‘Me and coach Botkin have a great relationship,” he said at that time.  “He said he’s ready to get me back home on the field to make plays.”   However, Durant held off on making a pledge then as he focused on his academics, and the Gamecocks wanted to make sure he has a chance to make it out of the junior college this winter which Durant has said he is on track to do.   He will have three years to play two.

These commitments give the Gamecocks 26 for the class including at least three carry overs from the 2014 class.