Bluffton DE DJ Aiken (6-5 265) could be one of the state’s more dominant defensive players in 2021. His team was only able to play five games last season due to Covid, but he recorded 10 sacks and 5 tackles for loss. The size and potential certainly are there. What he’s looking for in recruiting the right place to release all his talent. That could be USC.
The Gamecocks have not offered, but defensive line coach Jimmy Lindsey is highly interested.
“It’s really good, very supportive,” Aiken said of his regular contacts from Lindsey. “Checking on me in school and out of school. How I’m doing in school. It’s just a daily thing. I’ve been talking to them 24/7.”
And what Aiken has been hearing from the Gamecocks, he likes.
“They just say they really like me,” Aiken said. “They think I’m one of the top players in South Carolina, or I can be. They have put me as one of the top players of their recruiting. They want to get me down there to see what I’m really like in person and work out with them. I guess we’ll see what goes from there.”
Aiken said he has a June 21st visit set with USC, and he’ll work out for the coaches then. He’ll return three days later with his team for a camp. Aiken said it would be special to leave Columbia on one of those days with an offer in his back pocket.
“It would be good,” Aiken said. “Everybody wants to have an offer from USC. It’s a really great school, a great city. It’s just a brotherhood over there. It’s a great coaching staff, new coaching staff, so it would be good to catch on with them. But I’m pretty sure any team I play for I can do good for.”
Along with USC, Aiken said he’s talking regularly with East Carolina, Wake Forest, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, NC State and Appalachian State. As for Clemson, Aiken said the Tigers have been in touch with his head coach. Aiken is also looking for a visit to Wake Forest, and he will go with his team to camps at Appalachian State and North Carolina.
- Spring Valley QB Dequandre Smith said he is going to camp at Clemson June 2nd and at Duke June 6th.
- South Pointe CB Quan Peterson (6-1 175) is set to visit USC June 1st and workout for the Gamecock coaches. He has offers from Syracuse and Marshall and has scheduled officials to each June 18th and June 15th respectively. He has several other unofficial visits scheduled including Coastal Carolina June 10th. The Chants have offered as have Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Georgia Tech, Liberty, Appalachian State, Kent State, Howard and Charlotte.
- 4-star LB DeMario Tolan (6-2 205) of Orlando plans a two-day visit to Clemson starting Tuesday. He’s also going to visit Tennessee, Georgia, Florida State, Florida, Auburn, LSU and Miami in June.
- 2023 DE Malik Bryant of IMG Academy plans a visit to Clemson June 2nd. He’s also going to Georgia, Alabama, Maryland and Ohio State in June.
- Chapin WR Zavier Short (6-1 181) said he will camp at USC this Friday. The Gamecocks have been showing interest but have not offered. He will take an unofficial visit to Appalachian State Saturday, then he will camp at Clemson. The Tigers have been in regular contact but have not offered. He will visit Virginia Tech June 10th. Short has offers from Wake Forest, Marshall, Old Dominion, Coastal Carolina, Penn, Appalachian State, Army, Charlotte, Eastern Michigan, Yale, Middle Tennessee and William and Mary.
- 2023 SAF Caleb Downs (6-0 185) of Hoschton, GA was offered by Clemson. He’s rated a 4-star and ranked the #3 safety nationally in the class in the 247Sports Composite. Some of his other offers are Notre Dame, North Carolina, Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State, Texas A&M, Michigan, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Stanford, Arkansas, Penn State and Tennessee.
- USC target CB Nick Cull of Donalsonville, GA will visit Florida June 1st. He has an official set with Miami June 18th and plans to take one to USC in June.
- Clemson target DE Cyrus Moss of Las Vegas has set an official visit to Notre Dame for June 18th.
- TE Jaleel Skinner of Greer is taking an unofficial visit to Florida State Tuesday arriving just after midnight at Doak-Campbell Stadium.
- 2024 QB Jadyn Davis of Catawba Ridge plans to visit Georgia Tuesday.
- DE Rashaud Pernell (6-3 255) of Highland Springs, VA has set an official visit to Coastal Carolina for June 11th.
- Frank Martin’s son, 6-5 Brandon Martin, announced he is transferring to USC from Upstate. He played 56 games in three seasons for Upstate, only 3 games last season. He had career averages of over 5 points and 2 rebounds per game.
- Clemson is in final three for Illinois State transfer 6-10 Dusan Mahorcic according to Adam Zagoria. Utah and Texas are the other two. He plans to announce Friday. Mahorcic averaged 10 points and 7 rebounds per game last season.
- USC offered 4-star 6-3 Judah Mintz of Oak Hill Academy, VA according to Jacob Polacheck of ZagsBlog. Mintz is native of Maryland. He’s ranked the #15 combo guard nationally in the 247Sports Composite. Florida, LSU, Penn State, Maryland and Pitt are some other offers. He has scheduled an official visit to Penn State June 10th.
- USC offered 6-6 Cam Whitmore of Odenton, MD. He’s rated a 4-star in the 247Sports Composite and ranked the #30 small forward nationally. Maryland, Florida, North Carolina and Connecticut are some other offers.
- 6-5 Lewis Duarte of Victory Christian School in Charlotte is scheduled for an unofficial visit to USC Tuesday.