LB Cassanova McKinzy of Birmingham, who has been committed to Auburn, is sticking with that commitment his coach said Tuesday. McKinzy visited Clemson over the weekend. “He really enjoyed his trip,” coach Bruce Breland said. “It was everything he thought it would be. He was impressed by the coaches. But he has not changed his commitment. He is planning to stick with Auburn.” Breland said no other formal announcement is necessary since McKinzy had previously announced for Auburn. Breland said he’s not aware of any coaches planning to visit McKinzy this week.
According to his coach, North Carolina is now a factor with DE JaMichael Winston of Mobile, AL. Coach Kerry Stevenson said Winston will visit either North Carolina or Michigan State this weekend. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio are scheduled to visit with Winston today. Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino is expected in Wednesday. Winston has been committed to Arkansas but he visited Clemson last weekend.
OL Jonathan McLaughlin of Mauldin has committed to East Carolina.
USC recruiter Shawn Elliott checked in on Spartanburg High junior LB Justin Bridges-Thompson last week according coach Freddie Brown. The Gamecocks have not offered but are interested as are Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, Miami, Oregon, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Florida, Mississippi State, Tennessee and Purdue. He has offers from Pittsburgh and Wake Forest at this point. Bridges-Thompson was scheduled to visit North Carolina and NC State last weekend. Brown said Oregon is one of the schools that likes Bridges-Thompson a lot. Bridges-Thompson had 155 tackles last season.
Junior OL Cameron Dillard (6-3 285) of Canton, MI has offers from Western Michigan, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Buffalo and Bowling Green with interest from Clemson, Michigan State, West Virginia, Arkansas and Indiana among others. This weekend, he will travel to Clemson for a junior day. “Coach (Robbie) Caldwell has been wanting me to come visit so I’m going down with my parents Saturday,” Dillard said. Dillard’s father is from South Carolina and a 1994 graduate of The Citadel. “I’m from North Carolina and we moved to Michigan six years ago,” he said. “Distance is not a problem for me. My grandparents live in Greensboro and my parents can always come and visit me,” Dillard added. He has a lot of interest in the Tigers. “They have the three As I am looking for in a school,” he said. “Atmosphere, athletics and academics. I like coach Caldwell a lot. He is family-oriented and really funny. They’re a blue-collar team and I’m a blue-collar guy.” He will visit Michigan State on February 5th and West Virginia on the 11th. He will also take trips to Indiana and Purdue. Dillard does not have a favorite.
Junior DB Tre Bell (5-11 170) of Jersey City, NJ got an offer from USC January 18th, his first. “I was so happy to get my first offer from them,” Bell said. “They let me know they believe in me and think I can help their team.” Bell is receiving interest from West Virginia, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Rutgers, Boston College and Connecticut. Though he does not have any favorites, he thinks highly of the Gamecocks. “I know they won their bowl game and finished with a very good record,” he said. “I watched them several times this year and they have a tenacious defense.” Bell will visit USC this spring. “I can’t wait to get down there and learn more about the program,” Bell added. He has plans to visit West Virginia February 11th. As a junior, Bell had 36 tackles, three interceptions, 10 pass deflections and two forced fumbles.
One of the top prospects scheduled to be at Clemson Saturday for the Tigers’ junior day is DE Tyquan Lewis (6-4 220) of Tarboro, NC. According to his coach, Lewis has been offered by the Tigers, East Carolina, Virginia Tech, Duke and Wake Forest. USC is also showing interest. Last season he had 63 tackles and 12 sacks. “He plays the game the way it should be played,” coach Jeff Craddock said. “He plays so hard. He loves to play football and plays wide open on every play. He’s tough to trap due to his strength. He’s hard to run around because he’s so fast.” Lewis has had Clemson among his early favorites.
USC’s sour basketball season thus far has not turned off one of the Gamecocks’ targets for 2013. 6-4 Matt Howard of AC Flora has been to three Gamecock games this season, and he’s hanging in with Darrin Horn’s crowd. “It just gives me a sense I could come in and play early,” Howard said. He has offers from USC, Virginia Tech, Harvard, and VCU, Georgia Southern, Jacksonville, Richmond, UNC Wilmington, Holy Cross, Presbyterian and Tennessee State. Clemson is also showing interest. Brad Brownell and Horn have been at Howard’s games this season. “I like both of the in state schools but I’m interested in the schools that are interested in me.” He added that right now USC, Clemson and Harvard would be his favorites. Harvard has scouted him twice and he hears a lot from coach Tommy Amaker. Howard said he’d like to decide on his birthday of October 8th, but the decision could come earlier. This season he is averaging 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 blocks per game.