July 30, 2014

#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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#STRecruiting: Gamecocks land one of Georgia’s top juniors at camp Saturday

Kyle Davis

Kyle Davis

ATH Kyle Davis (6-3 220) of Lawrenceville, GA, who is considered one of Georgia’s top prospects for the 2016 class, ended his recruitment Saturday before he was hardly started.  Davis committed to USC while attending the Gamecock Showcase Camp becoming USC’s first commitment for the ’16 class.

Davis is a teammate of USC 2015 commitment Connor Redmond and had no idea going into the camp that he would join him as a Gamecock.

“I had no idea. It just came to me,” he said. “I talked to my dad and he said, ‘Go ahead, you’ve got the green light.’ It was my decision. I’m proud of it.”

Davis will be a receiver with the Gamecocks.  He has also visited Georgia, Auburn and Vanderbilt but said his commitment is “solid.”

“They’re on the come-up,” he said. “A national championship is in the near future, I think.  It’s a nice town.  Everything is right there in walking distance. It was nice. I love it.  My goal is to get to the league, and Spurrier puts people in the league.  That was a big thing. When I got here it just sealed the deal.”
Davis is the first commitment of the weekend for the Gamecocks.  Two of their top running back targets, Ty’son Williams of Crestwood and Johnny Frasier of Princeton, NC did not make it in.  The Gamecocks did offer Mon Denson of LaGrange, GA while he was at the camp.
The Gamecocks are hopeful of landing a commitment from junior college DE Marquavius Lewis who is on an official visit thru Sunday.
(Interview conducted by Dwayne McLemore of GoGamecocks.com)

#STRecruiting Bullets: USC offers RB and becomes his favorite; Gamecock Showcase notes

Mon Denson

Mon Denson

Two of USC’s top running back targets, Ty’son Williams of Crestwood and Johnny Frasier of Princeton, NC did not make it to the Gamecock Showcase Camp Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium.  But a third, Mon Denson (5-11 214) of LaGrange, GA, did make it in and he was handed a scholarship offer after working out for the coaches.

And he now favors the Gamecocks.

“I’m excited about it,” Denson said Saturday night.  “They just wanted to see my move in person.  They are in my top five and they are my favorite.  It’s basically because I fit in with their offense and there’s a chance for early playing time.”

The others in Denson’s top five are North Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee and Wisconsin.  He has also visited North Carolina and Tennessee and he doesn’t have any other visits planned.

Denson said he has no timetable on his decision and plans to talk things over with his parents.   But could his current thinking lead to a USC commitment?

“We will see,” he said.  “Just wait on it.”

USC has one running back commitment in AJ Turner and plans to take one more running back in the 2015 class.  He’s being recruited to USC by Everette Sands and Joe Robinson.

The Gamecocks picked up one commitment Saturday in 2016 WR Kyle Davis and their best chance for another commitment for the weekend is junior college DE Montravius Lewis.  The Greenwood native is making his official visit and is on campus with several family members.  He will leave on Sunday.

Junior college LB Duvan Durant, Lewis’ teammate at Greenwood, made an unofficial visit to USC Saturday.

DB Carlton Davis of Ft. Lauderdale was a no-show Saturday but is expected to visit next weekend.   Another no show was committed DE Arden Key who recently visited LSU.

The Gamecocks had three offensive line targets at the camp in Christian Pellage of Brooksville, FL,  Brandon Sandifer of Warner Robins, GA and Nathan Gilliam of Knoxville.  Each has USC on their short list and is close on making a decision.

WR Auden Tate of Tampa also attended Saturday’s camp.  Tate is originally from Irmo and combined a visit with family with his stopover at USC.  He’s also camped at Maryland this summer.  Clemson also is on his list along with Florida State, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Miami, Missouri and Ole Miss.  He wants to take his official visits before making a decision.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’M EXCITED ABOUT IT….THEY ARE IN MY TOP FIVE AND THEY ARE MY FAVORITE…BASICALLY HOW I FIT IN WITH THE OFFENSE AND A CHANCE FOR EARLY PLAYING TIME…TALK THINGS OVER WITH PARENTS..NO TIMEFRAME…UNC, ARK, UT, WIS….ALSO VISITED UNC AND UT…THEY JUST WANTED TO SEE ME MOVE IN PERSON…

#STRecruiting: RB Johnny Frasier on a look and see trip to USC this weekend

Johnny Frasier

Johnny Frasier

One of the most intriguing prospects who will be at USC’s Showcase Camp Saturday is RB Johnny Frasier (5-11 215) of Princeton, NC.  In three years Frasier has gone from a track performer to a highly coveted major college football prospect.  Last season was just his third ever playing football and he rushed for 3054 yards and scored 55 touchdowns.

“He’s still learning,” said his coach Derrick Minor.  “He’s learning how to drop the pad level.  He has natural vision.  He’s a patient runner who explodes thru the hole and leaves guys behind.  He has deceptive speed.”

Frasier has visited Florida State, Georgia, NC State and North Carolina and has camped at Duke.  He’s using all of these on campus moments to learn more about each school.

“He didn’t grow up a football fan so he’s still learning what the schools have to offer,” his coach said.  “He’s heard of Lattimore and we’ve talked about Spurrier and he’s got an idea about Clowney.  We’re trying to get his feet on as many campuses as possible.”

Right now Florida State would be the team to beat according to Minor.

“I would say that’s a good assumption but he’s going to weigh out all his options,” he said.  “He’s not going to divulge any secrets. I think he has an idea.  He always talks about Florida State and Duke and he brings up Georgia and he likes Michigan.  And he always mentions  South Carolina and Tennessee as well.  It’s good he’s going to South Carolina to help make that a definite top five or not.”

The coach said he’s encouraging Frasier to narrow his list by the start of the season to take some pressure off.  Frasier has told the coach he might have a decision by the end of the season or he might wait until Signing Day.

Alabama has been listed as one of Frasiers’  favorites along with Florida State, Georgia, Duke and Michigan but his coach said Frasier hasn’t mentioned Alabama much recently because they’ve been recruiting him primarily as an athlete rather than a running back.

USC running backs coach Everette Sands is recruiting Frasier for the Gamecocks.