The ink is not yet dry for the signings of the 2023 recruits and coaches and fans are already sweating out the decisions of the top 2024 prospects. Two of those in South Carolina are WR Mazeo Bennett and OG Blake Franks of Greenville High. Both were busy over the weekend with Bennett visiting USC on Saturday and Franks visiting Clemson Saturday and Auburn Sunday.
Greenville High coach Greg Porter spoke with both players Monday following their weekend activities. Both are moving pretty quickly toward decisions with Bennett being an any day or any week sort of thing coming off his visit with the Gamecocks.
“I think he had a great time. It was really a positive experience,” Coach Porter said. “I think Shane Beamer and his coaching staff have done a tremendous job in recruiting him. I think they have been very consistent, especially after he decommitted from the Tennessee situation. I think they just showed the young man what love is all about and what family is about. I think that is what he’s looking for, something that’s going to remind him of his family and where it feels like home to him. This past weekend was a really, strong positive thing for them.”
Bennett surprised a lot of folks by committing to Tennessee last October. He decommitted in December. Porter wants to be sure they don’t go through that scenario again, but he doesn’t expect Bennett to drag out the process much longer.
“I don’t think that’s his personality,” Porter said. “I think they are just waiting for the right time and how they want to do it. He went kind of fast with the Tennessee deal and then you decommit, and I’m encouraging him let’s not do that no more. About this commitment, really think about it because there’s no turning back. I don’t want there to be a reflection on his character, his family or our school, but it’s not about us, it’s about him, and I don’t want nothing bad coming towards him. I think that’s all they are doing right now.”
Bennett went to Alabama for a junior day January 7th. He checked out Miami the next weekend while he was there for a 7-on-7 event. He also visited USC in July for their cookout and returned for a game in September.
As for Franks, USC and Clemson have been the strongest with him. He visited USC January 21st for their junior day.
“That’s another one that’s torn because both schools offer so much,” Porter said. ‘You got to be happy with one of them. He and his family are coming up with a plan for their announcement as well. I don’t think they want to ride this out to his senior year. I don’t foresee that with them. I think they want him to get to a place where he’s happy, make a decision and we roll with it so he can go into his senior season really at peace and knowing that I’m going to play the game because I love the game, not playing to solidify an offer. That’s two different mindsets.”
The Auburn visit, however, gave Franks a third option to consider.
“Then he went to Auburn and thew a monkey wrench in it. I wasn’t anticipating or expecting the Auburn visit,” Porter said. “That’s kids. Coach (Jake) Thornton, who was at Ole Miss when he first offered him, is now at Auburn, and that’s the connection.”