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The wait is nearly over for a decision from DB Chaz Elder of College Park, GA. “He’s seen enough to make his decision and it’s just up to him and his mom deciding where they will be most comfortable,” said Elder’s coach Ryan Andrews Sunday night. “It could happen any day. I’m trying to get a definite date. It will be between now and the 26th (of August). He had originally planned to do it on the 26th but it will be earlier because we play on that date. It will be before the 26th.” Elder has been favoring USC for sometime over Georgia and Vanderbilt. Andrews said the Gamecocks appear to be in strong shape but he’s not ready to anoint them the victor. “I think everybody has a feel for where he’s going to go,” he said. “He has a good relationship with Coach (Lorenzo) Ward and that helped South Carolina’s case. Them and Clemson were among the first schools to talk to him about playing corner, and that’s what he wants to do. After hearing about that, Georgia and Vanderbilt changed their perspective on him. I wouldn’t say it’s a closed door situation saying it’s all South Carolina, but that’s who he’s been most comfortable with.” Elder has been in contact with his recruiters from all three schools. He will not take any more visits before making his decision.
LB Nick Dawson of Charlotte was planning a trip to Clemson Monday but is not sure he will take the visit. “I called one of the coaches yesterday but he didn’t answer,” Dawson said. “I was waiting to hear back from them. I’m not going if I don’t get a call.” Dawson has the Tigers in his top five along with Louisville, Tennessee, North Carolina and Miami. He visited Louisville last week under sad circumstances. “I was in Kentucky for my grandfather’s funeral so we went by Louisville,” he said. “I loved it there.” Dawson is not ready to make any decisions on official visits. “I don’t know where I’m going to go right now,” he admitted. “I’m tired of seeing the same schools all the time and want to see something new.” Dawson does not have a favorite.
Clemson added some inside muscle to its 2012 basketball recruiting class with Saturday’s commitment from Josh Smith (6-8 250) of Charlotte. Smith averaged 12 points and 8 rebounds per game last season and is looking to take his game to a higher level this season. “My footwork is the best part of my game,” Smith said. “I just added facing up to the basket as part of my game. I rebound well and run the floor well.” Smith said Clemson jumped on him earlier in the summer after seeing him in an AAU event. ‘I progressed a lot and I worked hard, and they think I’m ready to play on that level of basketball,” he said. ‘I like the program because they run a lot of motion offense. You don’t have to be stuck in one place. It helps you display your talent. And he (Brad Brownell) is a defensive coach.” Smith said he chose Clemson over Old Dominion, Temple and Appalachian State. He didn’t have a lot of ACC or SEC offers but is not concerned about what some fans might say about that. “I don’t have to prove anything to anyone,” Smith said. “I just have to play my game. It feels great (to be going to the ACC). I’m so excited.” Smith said he will sign in November. He’s the third commitment for the Tigers’ 2012 class.
The state’s top senior basketball prospect 6-9 Brice Johnson of Edisto Sunday cut down his list as part of his process of deciding on his five official visits. Johnson has USC, Clemson, Florida, North Carolina, Baylor, Ohio State, Connecticut and NC State on his final list. Later in the week, according to his AAU coach Dion Bethea, Johnson plans to decide on his five official visits. Bethea said this coming weekend Johnson will take unofficial visits to North Carolina and NC State. Johnson saw his stock skyrocket this summer with his performance on the AAU circuit. Analysts are now listing him among the top 30 prospects in the country.