The first of two big recruiting weekends in June for USC was a success with four commitments according to coach Shane Beamer via his “Welcome Home” tweets, and positive talk all-around by those who have commented publicly about the experience. Three of the four commitments have been confirmed by SAF Cameron Upshaw, TE Connor Cox and WR Kelton Henderson. They give USC five public commitments for the 2023 class.
The sixth could turn out to be SAF Jalon Kilgore who has set a commitment announcement for Wednesday at 2:00 PM. And QB Dylan Lonergan, also a visitor over the weekend, has set July 5th for his announcement. He has also visited Alabama and will visit Stanford on June 24th.
Upshaw (6-3 185 of Perry, FL) picked the Gamecocks over Florida State, Arkansas, Nebraska and Maryland. He had scheduled an unofficial visit to Florida State for Thursday and an official visit to Maryland for June 24th but said with the commitment he has shut down his recruiting. Upshaw said the Gamecocks not only won him over, but his family as well. “The love they showed to my family, it’s about me, but I wanted my family to feel comfortable with me going to a school. I didn’t want to go somewhere and they be worried about me, or not sure about the program or the school. So, when they showed my family the amount of love they showed them, and my momma fell in love with it, I’m like, I’ve got to come home now. The way South Carolina works, they don’t have people playing just one position. I get to learn corner, safety and nickel. Coach (Torrian) Gray said he’s going to start me out at the field safety position and depending on how well I run when I get there, he could see me playing nickel or boundary or corner.”
Kilgore (6-2 196 of Eatonton, GA) said Sunday night he had not yet made up his mind and was still considering USC, Clemson, Michigan, Oklahoma and Tennessee Tech. He took an official visit to Oklahoma the first weekend of the month. About his USC visit, Kilgore said: “I’ve been up there many times and I’ve seen pretty much everything. for football. This time I looked into my major and met with the academic counselors. They are just as strong with me. It’s about the culture there.” Kilgore said he might take more visits in the fall with Michigan as a possibility.
OT Oluwatosin Babalade (6-5 296) of Hyattsville, MD said Sunday night the official visit with the Gamecocks put them at the top of his list at this point. “That definitely put them at number one. They definitely showed out to me. We’ll see how things go from here. It was really about the family part. There’s a lot of schools that have the family part, but I felt it in the room with them. I just felt it the whole time. And the players, I just had whole conversations with them, and it was great.” Babalade has also visited North Carolina. This weekend he will visit Ohio State and will go to Rutgers June 20th and Maryland June 24th. Babalade said he wants to make his decision at the end of this month or in the first week of July.
WR Carmelo Taylor (6-0 170) of Roanoke, VA made his first official visit of the month to USC over the weekend, arriving a day after an unofficial visit to Virginia Tech. He will take an official visit to Blacksburg this coming weekend and the one to Penn State June 24th. He doesn’t plan to make a decision until sometime during his season. Taylor said what impressed him most on the visit was the family feel of the entire organization: “It was amazing. It was absolutely amazing. It was like a brotherhood. Being in South Carolina made it feel like it was a family down there. The whole football team was like a family. Nobody was arguing. Nobody got into a fight. Everybody was together. It was like they had a type of bond with each other.” As for what he heard from Shane Beamer and receivers coach Justin Stepp, Taylor said he got nothing but encouragement from the two. “I picked up a lot of things from two great coaches. I am truly honored to be able to sit here and say that. It’s just amazing that I was able to be in the presence of two coaches like them.”
The first three days of this week could prove bountiful for Clemson’s recruiting efforts. Tiger targets are set for commitment announcements on each day. Monday it’s LB Jamal Anderson (6-4 195) of Hoschton, GA. He also has Michigan State, Penn State and Utah on his short list. Tuesday TE Markus Dixon (6-5 230) of Warminster, PA will announce for Clemson, Oregon, Texas A&M, Cincinnati or Miami. Clemson was his only official visit. And at 2:00 PM Wednesday at his school, DT Victor Burley (6-4 278) of Warner Robins, GA will announce his choice from Clemson, Georgia and Tennessee. Burley took official visits to Tennessee and Michigan State and was scheduled for Ohio State this weekend, but he won’t make that trip. He had originally planned to visit Georgia this past weekend, but he nixed that visited. Burley said Sunday night he had made his decision. About his most recent conversations with Clemson, Burley said, “I’ve been hearing everything good from them. We just really have great conversations, and not just about football. Clemson can develop me as a person with the Paw Journey and the internships. Coach Eason said I’d just be playing D-line. They don’t really have positions there because all the D-linemen can play across the front.”
DE Jaybron Harvey, who made an official visit to USC over the weekend, named a top five of USC, North Carolina, Louisville, Oklahoma and Wake Forest.
Clemson offered 2024 DT Champ Thompson (6-3 280) of Norcross, GA.
Clemson offered 2024 CB Kaleb Beasley (6-0 175) of Nashville.
Clemson offered 2024 WR Alex Taylor (6-2 175) of Greensboro, NC.
USC offered 2024 DE Malik Blocton (6-3 250) of Pike Road, AL
USC offered 2024 TE Martavious Collins (6-4 220) of Rome, GA.
USC offered 2025 DT Armondo Blount (6-3 230) of Fort Lauderdale.
Camden DT Xzavier McLeod plans to name a top six on June 29th. His current top ten are USC, Auburn, LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma, Oregon, Georgia, Florida, Michigan and Florida State.
USC made the top 10 with 2024 CB Ellis Robinson of IMG Academy. The others are Southern Cal, Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Miami, Penn State, Georgia and Florida.
LB Dee Crayton, who took an official to Clemson June 3rd, was reported by Rivals as postponing an official to Auburn for this past weekend for a return visit to Clemson over the weekend.
2024 OT Kam Pringle took an unofficial visit to Clemson Saturday. He camped at USC Friday.
2024 LB Dakyus Brinkley of Katy, TX, son of former USC star LB Jasper Brinkley, was offered by Texas A&M.
2025 QB Gavin Owens of Wren camped at Kentucky Sunday.
Beaufort DT Eamon Smalls committed to West Virginia.
OL Aaron Fenimore (6-1 280) of Senoia, GA committed to Coastal Carolina.
The new staff at USC reoffered 2024 6-6 Cam Scott of Lexington.
Former USC commitment PG Bryce Lindsay was offered by Xavier.
6-8 Mayer Wol of Hickory, NC committed to the College of Charleston according to the Hoop State Network.