#STRecruiting Notebook July 13th (UPDATED); Baseball recruits drafted, #Gamecocks with new basketball offer; Gardner lands another SEC offer

Clemson OF/QB Will Taylor, who was projected in mock drafts to be a top 20 pick, was finally taken in the MLB Draft Tuesday afternoon. The Rangers used their 19th round pick, #554 overall, on Taylor who has already enrolled at Clemson. Taylor’s asking price to sign and not play football and baseball for the Tigers scared off teams until the Rangers made a reach for him in the 19th round. The Rangers can attempt to negotiate with Taylor who reportedly plans to remain in school.

A third member of USC’s recruiting class was drafted Tuesday. RHP Drew Baker of Chipola JC, FL was taken by the Phillies in the 11th round with pick 325. Other Gamecock recruits who were drafted were third baseman Cooper Kinney by the Rays in the 1st round and righthander Hunter Parks by the Reds in the 8th round.

We’re told the private commitment for USC who was going to go public on Wednesday may now wait until Thursday. Head coach Shane Beamer put out his commitment alert Sunday for a player who is expected to be among the top-rated of the Gamecock commitments, if not the top rated.

Another of the state’s top prospects came off the board Monday night when Hilton Head LB Jaylen Sneed (6-3 220) announced a commitment to Notre Dame over his other finalist Oregon. In June he took official visits to both of those schools and Tennessee. Sneed is rated a four-star in the 247Sports Composite and ranked the #8 linebacker nationally and the #2 prospect in South Carolina. USC was among his offers, but Clemson was not. The new Gamecock staff reoffered him in January, but the relationship you would have expected to be developed between an in-state school and a top in-state prospect never materialized. Sneed was limited to three games last season due to Covid. As a sophomore he had 76 tackles with 18 tackles for loss and 4 sacks.

Just a few miles up US 278 from Sneed, three-star DE DJ Aiken of Bluffton also is finding his strongest interest coming from outside the state. Aiken did visit USC in early June, and he returned for a seven-on-seven late in the month but said he’s not communicating with the Gamecocks. And he’s hearing nothing from Clemson. Aiken visited Georgia June 19th, and he wants to visit Florida State and FIU in late July. He said after a couple of more weeks, he’d like to make his decision. “I’ve been talking to Georgia lately, and they’re mostly the option. They are in touch a lot. Right now, their class is kind of full, so I’m just waiting to see if I can move forward. I’m still talking to more coaches and my recruitment is still open.” Aiken said one other school he’s been hearing from is Florida State.

USC offered 2023 6-10 Baye Fall of Parker, CO. He’s rated a 5-star and ranked the #8 prospect nationally and the #1 center nationally in his class.

USC offered 2025 PG 5-11 Eli Ellis of Moravian Prep in North Carolina. West Virginia also has offered.

2023 6-8 Brandon Gardner of Gray Collegiate was offered by Florida and Georgia.

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