DB Pharoh Cooper of Havelock, NC committed to USC Thursday night becoming the Gamecock’s third commitment of the day. Cooper picked the Gamecocks over offers from NC State and East Carolina. He also drew interest from North Carolina, Alabama, Wake Forest, Tennessee, Ohio State and Pittsburgh. Cooper said earlier in the week he was going to commit to USC but thought it would happen next week. “I felt comfortable with the coaching staff and I loved the facilities,” Cooper said earlier in the spring after visiting USC. Cooper will play quarterback this season. Last season he accounted for 28 touchdowns receiving, rushing and in returns. He had 1300 receiving yards, and as a cornerback he had six interceptions.
USC recruiter Lorenzo Ward has targeted DE David Johnson of Lithonia, GA for the last two years and that effort paid off Thursday with a commitment. “We teach our kids a lot about loyalty, and South Carolina has been loyal to him since the end of his 9th grade,” said Lithonia assistant coach Lloyd Morrison. “He also likes the scheme. He likes how they allow (Jadeveon) Clowney to rip and go after it. That’s appealing to him.” The 6-2, 250 pound Johnson is being recruited as a defensive end but could grow into a tackle. His versatility is what makes him special. “He can play with his hand on the ground but he moves like a defensive back,” Morrison said. “That 250 pounds are well proportioned. He’s a down hill player coming to smack you in the mouth.” Johnson also liked Auburn a lot, and he also had offers from Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Mississippi State, NC State and Pittsburgh. He’s the third player in three years from Lithonia to commit or sign with the Gamecocks. Two years ago Ward landed LB Cedric Cooper. Last year it was OL Joe Harris. Morrison said Harris is still working to qualify and is waiting on his most recent test score to return. He said if Harris does not qualify, he will enroll at Fork Union Prep in Virginia.
DE Devin Washington (6-3 225) of Orlando became USC’s second commitment of the day Thursday when he announced a pledge to the Gamecocks on Twitter. “Just committed to the University of South Carolina,” Washington tweeted. “So happy to be a part of the Gamecock nation.” Washington recently named the Gamecocks as his favorite over nearly 30 other offers. “Everything about South Carolina is nice,” Washington said earlier in the spring when he nearly committed to the Gamecocks after a visit. He had narrowed his list to a final ten of USC, Clemson, Central Florida, Vanderbilt, NC State, Duke, South Florida, Florida International, Ole Miss and Missouri. Last season Washington had 55 tackles with 11 for loss and 6.5 sacks.
USC recruiters checked in on LB Matt Rolin of Ashburn, VA Tuesday and Wednesday and solidified their position with him. “South Carolina is still my number one school,” Rolin said. “I recently took a visit to Virginia Tech where my brother plays. I like them and moved them to #2. Florida State is three, Florida is fourth and Georgia is five.” USC’s Steve Spurrier Jr. was in on Tuesday and Shawn Elliott was by the school Wednesday. “It was the typical thing, we kept it short,” Rolin said. “They came by and told me they really want me at South Carolina and all that stuff.” Recruiters from Ohio State, Georgia, Florida, Florida State, Maryland, Boston College, Virginia, Oklahoma, Baylor and others have been thru as well. Rolin said there’s an 80% chance he’ll make his commitment this summer, and if not then, after his season. He plans to visit USC in July when he’ll spend a week in Columbia with family. He also plans to see Virginia Tech one more time. Rolin said the decision most likely will come down to the Gamecocks and Hokies.
RB Tyshon Dye (6-0 205) of Elberton, GA has offers from Clemson, USC, Georgia, Tennessee, Southern Cal, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ole Miss and Auburn. Though he does not have a leader he named Clemson, USC, Auburn, Tennessee and Georgia as his top five in no order. “Between Clemson and South Carolina I’d probably say Clemson,” Dye added. “They were the first to offer me. I think they have a pretty cool coaching staff and I really like Sammy Watkins. “Clemson is one of the few schools Dye has visited. He also has visited Auburn, Alabama and Georgia. “I want to visit South Carolina,” he said. Dye has not been able to participate in spring drills because he is running track but did say each of the schools in his top five and Nebraska have been by to see him in recent weeks.
7-1 center Jordan Dickerson of Brooklyn said Wednesday night he recently received a qualifying ACT score and can now begin to set up official visits. And he said USC will be right in the mix. “I’m definitely giving South Carolina consideration,” he said. “They are one of my top picks for a visit. I talked to Coach Martin a couple of days ago. He said there is a scholarship there for me.” Dickerson said he probably will start taking visits in a couple of weekends. “I’m looking for a school that can develop me and is the best fit for me,” said Dickerson who attends the IMG Academy in Florida. Providence, Dayton, VCU, Florida State and Georgetown are other schools he has heard from. He wants to take some visits before he makes a decision. Last season Dickerson said he averaged 11 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks per game.