Clemson added commitment #7 for its 2011 class Friday with a pledge from ATH Robert Smith (6-0 185) of Woodland High School. Smith plays quarterback and defensive back for coach Reed Charpia who says the Tigers want him for the secondary. “He has great instincts,” Charpia said. “He knows how to play defensive back because he plays quarterback and has to know all the reads. He’s like a linebacker playing quarterback. He has good quickness.” Smith suffered a torn ACL and two torn cartilage in his left knee in the sixth game of the season and had surgery so he missed the last half of the season. Before the injury, Smith had thrown for 1386 yards and eight touchdowns and rushed for 376 yards and five touchdowns. In his freshman and sophomore seasons, Smith combined for 4900 passing yards and 50 touchdowns, and he rushed for 1700 yards and 18 touchdowns. Smith has been to a couple of camps at Clemson and said the relationship he’s built with the coaches led to the early commitment. “Since I was a freshman, Clemson has been after me,” he said. “The camps made me realize that they wanted me. The made me feel part of the program. Even after I was hurt, they kept checking on me.” Clemson is his only official offer at this point though he’s also heard from USC, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Vanderbilt. He said Georgia is the other school he really likes and he will go there for a junior day January 30th. Smith said he wants to play quarterback in college and there’s only one way he’d change his commitment. “That would be if some school guarantees me a chance to play quarterback,” Smith said. He does expect Clemson to give him an early look at quarterback.
Byrnes RB Marcus Lattimore remains undecided between USC and Auburn though he has said publicly the Tigers have a slight edge over the Gamecocks. One reason for that appears to be his concerns about the state of the USC offense. “I’m unsure about the offensive mentality,” Lattimore told the Spartanburg Herald-Journal. “I don’t know about the running game and what they are trying to do. (New offensive line ) coach (Shawn) Elliott seems real intense. I think he can make them better, but I know coach Wolford made them better.” Lattimore has no such concerns about the Auburn offense. “The tradition of running backs at Auburn, that’s what they are known for,” he said. “I’m used to their offense. That’s what we did (at Byrnes). I really like (offensive coordinator) Gus Malzahn. I know they will get me the ball in many different ways.” Lattimore will made his decision known February 2nd. Next week the head coaches will be in for their final meetings, Gene Chizik on January 28th and Steve Spurrier on January 30th. “It will come down to where I feel is the best chance to really win a championship and accomplish what I want to do,” Lattimore said. Lattimore is planning to take an unofficial visit to Auburn this weekend.
USC commitment ATH Chris Payne has not yet returned to Fork Union Prep, VA and a decision on whether or not the school will allow him to return will be made later this week according to Fork Union coach John Shuman. “He had some insubordination on some of the rules at school,” Shuman said. “We’re working on getting him back in.” Payne needs to finish up the school year at Fork Union if he has any hope of joining the Gamecocks in the fall. If he’s not readmitted, he’ll likely have to go to a junior college and get a degree there to be able to enroll at a major program.
Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel is having an in home visit with OL Morgan Moses (6-7 320) of Richmond this afternoon according to Moses’s former coach at Fork Union Prep, VA. John Shuman said Tressel was by the school earlier today before going on to Richmond to visit with Moses who completed his work at Fork Union in December. Moses also has been looking at USC, Florida and North Carolina. USC offensive line coach Shawn Elliott plans to meet with Moses later in the week if a visit can be scheduled.
DL Calvin Smith (6-4 275) of Hialeah, FL opened back up his recruitment after Lane Kiffin left Tennessee for Southern Cal. According to Smith’s father, Smith has two more officials he can take, but only one has been decided. “I know he is going to Alabama for one,” said his dad. “There are like six or seven schools wanting him for that final visit. South Carolina, North Carolina, Louisville, New Mexico, and a couple of other schools want him in.” Smith’s dad says each school has an opportunity for that final visit. “I’ll know for sure by tomorrow where he is going to take it,” he said. “We’re not going to announce which school he chooses until signing day.” His father did not indicate a favorite. Smith has offers from over 30 schools including USC, Tennessee, Florida, FSU, Illinois, New Mexico, LSU, Alabama, North Carolina, Louisville, and Auburn. Smith’s father says USC has a shot at that final official.
Clemson commitment DB Darius Robinson of Atlanta told Rivals.com that he may still take official visits to Georgia Tech and Auburn over the final two weekends. Robinson said he “has a little doubt running in my head” and he’s contemplating taking the visits. Georgia Tech offered Robinson Saturday.
DL JC Copeland (6-0 273) of LaGrange, GA, who has been committed to Tennessee thru the coaching change, took his official visit with the Vols over the weekend. “I still like ’em,” Copeland said. He didn’t meet new coach Derrick Dooley. He spent most of his time with recruiter Lance Thompson. Copeland said Dooley will visit him this week. He’s also expecting a visit from USC. Copeland is scheduled for an official visit to South Florida next weekend and USC the following weekend. He said he may or may not take those visits.
Calhoun County OL Eric Mack, who said after his official visit to USC Sunday he was firm with the Gamecocks and would not take any more visits, does plan to take an unofficial visit to Auburn next weekend with teammate ATH Shamier Jeffery who is going there for a junior day. Mack, who has been hotly pursued by the Tigers, made an official visit there in September. Mack has scratched his plans for an official visit to Florida.
USC commitment OL Trammell Williams (6-3 285) of Jacksonville made his official visit over the weekend and leaves Columbia firmed up with the Gamecocks. He had a visit scheduled with Oregon for next weekend but said he will not take it and he’s set with USC. “Everything went real well being around the other commitments,” Williams said. “Lattimore, Eric Mack, AJ Cann. I was really impressed with the guys we’ve already got, the class they’ve put together. The facilities are real good and the future things look good.” Williams said he spent the whole weekend with new line coach Shawn Elliott and likes him. Williams said he will report for summer school June 1st.
DL Ethan Farmer (6-4 275) of Tabor City, NC made his official visit to Clemson over the weekend. “It went good,” he said. “I talked with coach Swinney and the rest of the coaches, and I met wth the other players. Kourtnei Brown was my host. I just like the way the campus is. The West Zone is pretty neat. They talked to me about tight end and defensive end.” Farmer said things are “neck and neck” between Clemson and North Carolina at this point and he will have a Signing Day decision. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is scheduled for his in home visit Tuesday, and North Carolina coach Butch Davis is also expected in this week. Farmer will take the SAT next weekend and will visit North Carolina January 29th. He said he will also try to work in a visit to NC State.
Three all star players from the state committed to Furman over the weekend. Shrine Bowl LB Malcolm Howard, North-South LB Marcus McMorris of Newberry, and North-South kicker Ray Early of Darlington all made their pledges to the Paladins while on official visits.
Irmo RB Mustafa Green (6-1 200) made an official visit to NC State over the weekend. He did not commit. Green also has visited Rutgers and is hearing from Georgia and Maryland. He said he might set up additional visits, or he might have a decision by the middle of next week between NC State and Rutgers. He did not name a favorite.
Sumter QB Stephen Curtis (6-3 220) made an official visit to Florida Atlantic over the weekend and committed to the Owls. “It was great,” Curtis said. “They offered and I committed. I liked everybody there. I’ll fit in great with them. They’ll have a new stadium by the start of 2011. And Coach Schnellenberger was my favorite.” Curtis also had offers from Furman and Liberty. This season he passed for 2700 yards and 36 touchdowns, and he also rushed for 15 touchdowns.
LB Ferlando Bohanna (6-0 230) of Memphis made his official visit to Mississippi State over the weekend and re-affirmed his commitment to the Bulldogs. “It went so well,” Bohanna said of his visit, “I’m going to cancel my visit to Clemson,” which was scheduled for January 29th. “I just confirmed my commitment. I like the linebackers coach. I like him a lot. That was the perfect fit for me.” Bohanna is scheduled to visit Clemson this coming weekend and he said he might still take that visit.
RB DJ Howard (5-11 193) of Lincoln, AL made his official visit to Auburn over the weekend and told AUTigers.com he is firm with his Auburn commitment and won’t visit anywhere else. Clemson had been working him for a visit.
WR Ace Sanders (5-9 165) of Bradenton, FL made his official visit to South Florida over the weekend. He did not commit according to his mother who was with him on the visit. Sanders and his parents are still set with their plans to visit USC next weekend. West Virginia is scheduled for January 29th. USC head coach Steve Spurrier has had his in person visit with Sanders. South Florida coach Skip Holtz would like to have his in home visit this week.
DL Ego Ferguson Jr. of Hargrave Prep, VA Saturday night settled on his final two official visits. Ferguson will visit Florida State January 22nd and Miami on the 29th. He has eliminated USC and Oklahoma. He has visited LSU, Notre Dame and Cal.