Clemson coaches are scheduled to visit with DE Jonathan Bullard of Shelby, NC Thursday according to his coach Mark Barnes. USC met with Bullard on Monday. Florida will also be in for a visit though Barnes was not sure of the date. The coach said Bullard might make his announcement at the Shrine Bowl next week but that is no longer an absolute plan. Bullard told his coach he might wait until he returns home after the game to finalize his decision.
DE Tyriq McCord of Tampa made a visit to Miami last weekend and came away with stronger interest in the Hurricanes. “He really enjoyed himself,” McCord’s coach Jeremy Earle said. “He definitely was very impressed.” Miami has been in to see McCord this week. USC recruiter GA Mangus was in last week and may be back this week according to Earle. He expects Florida to visit next week. McCord also has taken an official visit to USC. He will visit Georgia December 17th and will visit Southern Cal in January. He’s also considering Florida and TCU for visits. McCord remains open according to his coach. One factor to consider is his best friend is Georgia freshman linebacker Ramik Wilson. Georgia will be in Tampa for its bowl visit but will not practice at Jefferson High School, one of the two practice sites. Georgia will practice at the University of Tampa.
USC recruiter GA Mangus will drop in on committed LB Kaiwan Lewis and top target Eli Shumate Wednesday while in New Jersey. Lewis committed to USC earlier this season and will take his official visit to Columbia January 14th. Lewis has not visited any other schools. “They had a great season winning 10 games for the just the second time in their history,” Lewis said. “They also beat Clemson for the third time in-a-row. I look forward to getting down there.” He continues to speak with coaches and has an opportunity to play early next season. “Coach (Ellis) Johnson told be to be ready to contribute when I get there,” he said. “I’m just working hard to be ready.” He continues to encourage Shumate to join him at USC. “He’s still taking his visits and trying to decide what’s best for him,” said Lewis. “I think South Carolina has a good chance to get him.” Lewis is solid in his commitment and will not take any other visits.
DB Lucas Thompson of Winter Green, FL has USC, East Carolina and Miami. “I still want to take an official visit to South Carolina,” Thompson said. “I’m trying to set it up with them. I’ve seen their games on TV and when they show the crowd, you can feel the energy.” Thompson has visited East Carolina and plans to visit Miami as well. “I still get letters and stuff from the Gamecocks and am just waiting to talk to coach (Jeep) Hunter,” he said. Thompson does not have a favorite with the three schools even.
OL Jonathan McLaughlin of Mauldin will take an official visit to Marshall January 13th. He heads to East Carolina the following week. “They came down sometime last week and we set my officials to both schools,” McLaughlin said. He plans to take an official visit to Wake Forest as well but has yet to schedule a date. SC State visited with McLaughlin last week but are not in his top three currently. “I’m really focusing on Marshall, East Carolina and Wake Forest right now,” he said. “Those schools are showing a lot of interest.” McLaughlin has been to games at NC State and North Carolina recently but has not received offers from either. Next week, the Mauldin lineman will represent South Carolina in The Shrine Bowl. He does not have a favorite.
USC has emerged as the strong favorite for junior RB Harold Atkinson (6-1 205) of Carolina Forest. “Coach (Jay) Graham likes him a lot,” Carolina Forest coach Drew Hummell said. “He’s very high on Carolina. He likes what they do and how they use (Marcus) Lattimore. He likes Clemson, too. But he’s intrigued with being in the SEC. If Carolina made the move, he would jump on it today.” Minnesota and Indiana re the offers for Atkinson at this point. He’s also drawing interest from NC State, Notre Dame, Southern Cal, Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State, Penn State, Oregon and Georgia Tech. “Georgia Tech loves him as their B-back guy,” Hummell said. NC State checked in on Atkinson last week. This season Atkinson was at three USC games. He’s also been to Clemson. Last season he rushed for 1523 yards and 14 touchdowns. “He reminds me a lot of Lattimore,” Hummell said. “He’s very good between the tackles and he breaks a lot of tackles. He’s a big back that fits the mold of the USC, Alabama and LSU backs.” Hummell said Atkinson could grow to 220-230 pounds in college.
Teammates 6-1 Ian Baker and 6-5 Carlos Morris of Jacksonville Tuesday de-committed from USC. The pair committed to the Gamecocks August 23rd but decided against signing in November. “We talked about it and we just want to make sure we’re making the right choice,” Baker said on November 8th. At that time Baker said they remained committed to the Gamecocks. It also was pointed out that their coach normally doesn’t allow his players to sign in November. But now the pair has reopened their recruiting over concerns about Darrin Horn’s future. USC, however, will remain on their lists. At the time he committed, Baker also claimed offers from Miami, Providence, Tennessee and Marshall, and Morris claimed offers from Arkansas, Cincinnati, South Florida, Seton Hall, Miami, Georgia, James Madison and Providence.