Highly touted DB Ronald Darby of Oxen Hill, MD will make an official visit to Clemson this weekend. “He is on the plane right now flying down,” his coach Donnell Douglas said Friday afternoon. Earlier in the week Douglas was told by Darby he was down to Florida State, Auburn and Notre Dame and was not taking any more visits. But late in the week Darby changed his plans and decided to visit Clemson. “I think he just wanted to go down there and check it out,” Douglas said. “Out of respect, he decided to go down there and see what the coach has to say.” Douglas said Darby also considered visiting Ohio State and Florida this weekend. This will be his fifth official visit. He also visited Notre Dame, Florida State, Auburn and Maryland.
DL DJ Reader of Greensboro, NC makes his official visit to Clemson this weekend. His parents will join him on the trip. The Shrine Bowler has visited Maryland and will see North Carolina next weekend. He plans to announce his decision on Signing Day at around noon. Clemson recruiter Robbie Caldwell met with Reader after basketball practice Monday. He was the only coach to see him this week due to exams according to his coach. “It was a good visit and a chance for coach Caldwell to sit down and talk to him,” Damon Coiro said. “Maryland, Clemson and North Carolina have been consistent with him.” Dan Brooks also has been recruiting Reader for Clemson. A third coach will come into play this weekend…Clemson baseball coach Jack Leggett. “The trip to Clemson this week is big for baseball and for him to sit down with coach Leggett,” Coiro said. “It’s a big deal in the decision making process. He’s good enough to do both.” Reader is a pitcher and a first baseman and could be a draft pick this summer. In football last season, the Shrine Bowler had 70 tackles and 12 sacks. “He’s athletic and explosive,” his coach said. “He’s a tough kid to move around.”
As of Thursday night, Clemson was set to host three prospects for official visits this weekend and USC none. Headed to Clemson are LB Cassonova McKinzy of Birmingham, DE JaMichael Winston of Mobile, and DL DJ Reader of Greensboro, NC. McKinzy has been an Auburn commitment. He was there last weekend for an unofficial visit. He will choose between Auburn and Clemson. Winston is an Arkansas commitment and he visited there last weekend. He is scheduled to visit Michigan State January 28th. Reader has visited Maryland and will visit North Carolina on the 28th. He has had Clemson at the top of his list. While USC has no visits scheduled for the weekend, three Gamecock targets are hitting the road. DB Chris Moody of McDonough, GA is set for Vanderbilt. He visited Central Florida and South Florida last week and will visit USC January 28th. DE Josh Dawson of Tucker, GA, a Vanderbilt commitment, will also be in Nashville. He was at Georgia last weekend and will be at USC on the 28th. And Gaffney WR Quinshad Davis will visit North Carolina. He was at Wake Forest last weekend and is scheduled to visit Tennessee on the 28th. No USC recruiter visited Davis during the week which could mean the Gamecocks are cooling their interest in the Parade All American.
USC offensive line coach Shawn Elliott has already landed a commitment from one of Dillon’s big two offensive linemen for 2013 in DJ Park. Now, he’s focusing on Bryce King and will be at the school Friday. King picked up offers this week from Tennessee and Virginia Tech. He also has offers from Clemson, LSU, North Carolina and NC State. King said Thursday night Clemson offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell has taken over recruiting his area for former assistant Kevin Steele, and he talked on the phone with Caldwell Thursday night. Tennessee was by the school earlier in the week. King said he will attend Clemson’s junior day January 28th, one at Tennessee in February and the junior day at USC. He has no favorite, and he said Park’s commitment to USC does not affect him though they have talked about playing together. King said he would make his decision about midway thru his senior season.
Clemson and USC had recruiters at Goose Creek High this week and one player on their check on list was LB Gerald Turner. He has offers from both and is also getting interest from Georgia Tech and Notre Dame. Clemson coaches were in Tuesday. “We didn’t meet that long,” Turner said. “It was in between classes. But I talk to coach (Tony) Elliott on a daily basis.” USC recruiter Steve Spurrier Jr. was in on Wednesday. “He talked to me about their junior day and about my grades,” Turner said. “I’m going to go to Clemson and USC for junior days and I might go to Georgia Tech.” Turner said he does not have a favorite and has no timetable for a decision. He did not grow up in South Carolina so did not follow the in state schools. Last season Turner had 85 tackles and 9 sacks.
USC’s first quarterback offer for the 2013 class went out Wednesday to Christian Hackenberg (6-4 215) of Fork Union, VA. The Gamecocks join Tennessee, Rutgers, Virginia, Alabama, Connecticut and Miami as the early offers for Hackenberg who passed for 2200 yards and 21 touchdowns last season. Hackenberg’s father was the backup quarterback at Virginia behind Shawn Moore. But in high school he was recruited by Steve Spurrier while he was at Duke. Hackenberg now has the same opportunity his father had, and that is to play for Spurrier. “Playing for a guy who has done so much for the quarterback position is awesome,” Hackenberg said. “And (quarterbacks coach) Coach Mangus is a great coach and I can get along with him really well.” Hackenberg said he has no favorites at this point. He camped last summer at USC, Miami, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Virginia and North Carolina. Last season he went to game at Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee, Maryland and Rutgers. He also went to a junior day at Rutgers. He has not set any future visits but said he will try to get to USC, Alabama, Tennessee and Virginia. Hackenberg said he has no timeline for a decision but would like to decide sometime this summer. “When I get that feeling,” he said about when he will make his decision. Hackenberg said he is more of a pro-style quarterback “but athletic enough to make plays with my feet and extend plays.”
Junior LB Devaris Brunson (6-1 205) of Lake City is a three-year starter and is coming off his best season heading into his senior campaign. “We lost nine starters on our defense from last season,” coach Jim Rowell said. “Devaris is obviously a good player to start as a freshman but he had his break out season this year. We needed him to step up and he did.” Brunson led his team in tackles with 172 adding 18 for loss, 10 sacks, and interception, three forced fumbles and eight fumble recoveries. “He has good speed and a nose for the ball,” Rowell said. “18 tackles for loss will tell you that.” Clemson and USC are showing the most interest right now but he is also hearing from North Carolina, NC State, Tennessee, Florida and Nebraska. “I don’t think he really has any favorites right now and would love to play anywhere,” his coach said. “Of course, without any offers yet that is how anyone would feel.” Brunson will visit Clemson on January 28th for a junior day and attended a camp at USC this past summer. He was in attendance for several Clemson and USC games this season. Rowell did say that he felt USC and Clemson were in strong contention for Brunson’s services.
Junior OL Logan Tuley-Tillman (6-7 301) of Peoria, IL has offers from USC, Florida State, Arkansas, Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, West Virginia, Boston College, Tennessee, Oklahoma State, Missouri and Illinois among others. He excepts an offer from Wisconsin Wednesday. “They’re coming to see me tomorrow and they should offer,” Tuley-Tillman said. “That is just how they do it.” Tuley-Tillman does not have any favorites but did say the schools that most interest him include USC, Michigan, Alabama, Arkansas and Michigan State. “I really like South Carolina a lot,” he said. “They have a legendary coach and are coming off a big bowl win. They have one of the best running backs in the country and they have a big line. I like their style of play and the fact that they are in the SEC.” He plans to visit Columbia over the summer. Tuley-Tillman has visited Michigan several times and has also visited Ohio State, Notre Dame, Indiana and Illinois. He will visit Alabama on the 28th of this month. As a junior, he totaled 68 pancake blocks.
Junior WR Juwan Dickey (6-1 197) of Marietta has offers from South Florida and Southern Miss with interest coming from Clemson, NC State, Alabama, Oklahoma State and Tennessee. Dickey was visited by Mike Gundy of Oklahoma State Tuesday and really enjoyed his visit. “He is a really good guy,” Dickey said. “He and one of his assistants came by. I am going to visit them on June 1st for a junior day.” Dickey is receiving mail from Clemson but is unsure of their interest. “I really like them but I don’t know if they think I would fit into their offense or not,” he admitted. Dickey says his top schools are Oklahoma State, Alabama, USF and UCLA. He caught 72 balls for over 900 yards and had nine scores as a junior. Dickey does not have a leader.