Clemson hired Brent Venables as new defensive coordinator just in time to meet with four major defensive recruits who made official visits over the weekend. The Tigers hosted LB Cassanova McKinzy of Birmingham, DE Jamichael Winston of Mobile, DL DJ Reader of Greensboro, NC and DB Ronald Darby of Oxen Hill, MD.
McKinzy has been committed to Auburn but was tight lipped about his decision Sunday following his visit. “I don’t want to talk too much about that right now,” McKinzy said after returning to Birmingham. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is to visit McKinzy Tuesday. Auburn coach Gene Chizik will be in on Thursday. McKinzy said he enjoyed his stay at Clemson. “I like their players and their coaches seem down to earth,” he said. “Coach Venables was real cool. He seems like he’s in it for the right reasons.” McKinzy did tell Scout.com Sunday night he’s still holding to his Auburn commitment at this time.
Winston has been an Arkansas commitment and will visit Michigan State this coming weekend before making his final decision.
Reader is down to the Tigers and Maryland. He had planned to visit North Carolina this coming weekend but the Tar Heels filled up at his position. “He really enjoyed his visit,” Reader’s coach Damon Coiro said. “He has some decisions to make.” Reader also met with Clemson baseball coach Jack Leggett on his visit. He plans to play both sports in college. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is scheduled for his in home visit Thursday. Maryland coaches also are expected to visit this week. Reader has planned to make his announcement on Signing Day.
Darby, who was once a Notre Dame commitment, also is strongly considering Auburn and Florida State. He does not have any more official visits to take and he might not announce until after Signing Day. That’s because he plans to play in the International Bowl which is on Signing Day in Austin, TX.
Perhaps the most intrigue on Sunday came from a prospect that stayed home. USC commitment RB Mike Davis said Sunday afternoon he would to take an official visit to Clemson following thru on a visit he had scheduled weeks ago. His brother, former Clemson star running back, had in fact been urging his brother to make the visit. But later in the afternoon James Davis, on his Twitter account, posted that the visit was off at the request of Swinney. “He (Swinney) sent me a text saying he did not want my brother to come on a visit for ect reasons.” James Davis, who was at Clemson over the weekend, went on to write some less than flattering things about Swinney and his opinion about how the cancellation of the visit was handled.
USC apparently has missed on DB Chris Moody of McDonough, GA. He committed to Vanderbilt over the weekend while on his official visit. Moody is scheduled to visit USC this coming weekend. It is not yet known if he will make that visit.
And it looks like USC will miss out on a shot with Vandy commitment DE Josh Dawson of Tucker, GA. Last week he scheduled an official visit to USC for this weekend. But he visited Vandy over the weekend and decided not to visit USC. He will finalize a decision between Georgia and Vandy.
Gaffney WR Quinshad Davis made an official visit to North Carolina over the weekend. He also has visited Wake Forest and is scheduled to visit Tennessee this weekend. USC also has been on Davis’ list, but no USC recruiter visited Davis last week which could mean the Gamecocks are cooling their interest in the Parade All American. Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley made an in home visit with Davis last week.
WR Chris Brown of Hanahan had a brief meeting with USC recruiter Steve Spurrier Jr. last week at his school. Brown has been committed to Notre Dame and Spurrier Jr. wanted to check with him on the status of that commitment and if he would be interested in visiting the Gamecocks. Brown said Friday night he is solid with the Fighting Irish and will not take any more visits.
DE Kenderius Whitehead of Atlanta committed to NC State last week stunning Clemson and Georgia and surprising USC. Whitehead was, for most of the recruiting campaign, thought to be a strong lean to Georgia. Then he visited Clemson and it appeared the Tigers were in strong shape. And last week, USC met with him and got him to schedule an official visit for this weekend. But Whitehead apparently ended it all last Wednesday night when he notified the Wolfpack and made his pledge.
USC has not thrown in the towel totally on DB Eli Shumate of Ramsey, NJ. Shumate once favored the Gamecocks before changing to Notre Dame. He committed to the Irish earlier this month. Last week, USC recruiter Jeep Hunter met with Shumate for a few minutes at his school. Shumate was open to the conversation but has not indicated any shift away from the Irish at this point. Hunter also visited with USC commitment LB Kaiwan Lewis while in New Jersey. He also checked in on some juniors including DB Tre Bell of Jersey City who was offered by the Gamecocks last week.
OL DeQuan Miller of AC Flora has committed last week to Wofford according to his coach Dean Howell. Miller played in the SCADA North-South Game in December. He also had offers from The Citadel and Holy Cross, and he drew interest from Georgia Tech and Army.
Spartanburg Dl Jaquille Oden committed to Newberry last week. He also had an offer from NC Central and interest from Elon and Purdue. Oden played in the North-South game and was a two time all region performer.
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 was at the school Friday. King picked up offers last week from Tennessee and Virginia Tech. He also has offers from Clemson, LSU, North Carolina and NC State. King said 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 last week. Tennessee also was by the school last week. King said he will attend Clemson’s junior day this weekend, 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 last 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. “I’m going to go to Clemson and USC for junior days and I might go to Georgia Tech,” Turner said. He 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.
WR Tramel Terry of Goose Creek visited Clemson two weekends ago and is going back this Saturday for junior day. He’s also going to USC and Georgia for junior days. Terry said he has no favorites right now but “Clemson gained a lot of ground. It was good to see what Clemson was all about. It was my first time interacting with players.” Last season Terry rushed for 850 yards and 10 touchdowns and had 44 catches for 876 yards receiving with 10 touchdowns. Terry said he has not planned time frame for making a decision. “Just when it hits me,” he said.
USC’s first quarterback offer for the 2013 class went out last week 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 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 games 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.
LB Devaris Brunson of Lake City is a three-year starter and is coming off his best season heading into his senior campaign. Brunson led his team in tackles with 172 adding 18 for loss, 10 sacks, and interception, three forced fumbles and eight fumble recoveries. Clemson and USC are showing the most interest right now but he is also hearing from North Carolina, NC State, Tennessee, Florida and Nebraska. Brunson will visit Clemson Saturday for a junior day.
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, Wisconsin, Missouri and Illinois among others. He excepts an offer from Wisconsin Wednesday. Tuley-Tillman does not have any favorites but did say the schools that most interest him include USC, Michigan, Alabama, Arkansas and Michigan State. He plans to visit Columbia over the summer. He visited Illinois Saturday and has visited Michigan several times. He also has visited Ohio State, Notre Dame, Indiana and Illinois. He will visit Alabama on the 28th of this month.
OL Joshua Outlaw (6-4 275) of Lithonia, GA has offers from USC, Florida, South Florida and Eastern Kentucky. He is hearing from Clemson, Ohio State, Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and Georgia among others. Outlaw likes both South Carolina schools but has yet to visit either. Outlaw has been to a junior day at Alabama and attended a game at Georgia Tech. He does not have any favorites but expressed an interest in the Gamecocks and Tigers.
WR Juwan Dickey of Marietta has offers from South Florida and Southern Miss with interest coming from Clemson, NC State, Alabama, Oklahoma State and Tennessee. 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.