RB Kendric Salley (5-11 215) of Williston-Elko committed to USC Friday afternoon becoming the Gamecocks’ first commitment for the 2012 class. Salley was offered late last month and he made the call to recruiter Shane Beamer to accept the verbal offer. Salley was among the state’s top rushers this season with over 2000 yards and 36 touchdowns. USC was his first official verbal offer and his coach says that’s all he needed. “He’s always wanted to go to USC,” Dwayne Garrick said. “He grew up a Gamecock fan. He said he doesn’t care who else might come in, South Carolina is where he wants to be. He said it’s where he’s always wanted to go.” Garrick said Salley has great lower body strength and can take the punishment that comes with carrying 30 or more times a game. He also has excellent vision and cutting ability.
At one time or another, Marlboro County LB Lateek Townsend (6-3 207) has had Clemson or USC as his favorite. He’s even talked strongly about going to Southern Cal. But now, he’s trying not to point in any one direction as he plans out his final three official visits. “You never know what can happen,” he said Thursday night. “Some people go to a school because of a coach but right at the end of a season you’ll see coaches leaving school. You just have to make the best decision.” Townsend said his list right now is made up of USC, Clemson, Michigan State, Florida, Tennessee, LSU and Southern Cal. “I wouldn’t say I have a favorite,” he said. “I’ve just got to keep looking and eventually I’ll find the home.” Townsend has taken official visits to USC and Southern Cal and has not set any other visits. “I know I can go to a lot of schools and win games and win championships,” Townsend said. “I’ve just got to find a fit for me. Coaches that are going to take care of me. A coaching staff that when I get down I can go and talk to them. The air will go out of that football sometimes and you’ve got to have a plan. I want to make sure I go somewhere academically as well as has good football.” Townsend will play in the Shrine Bowl and the US Army All American game. He plans to go to Signing Day with his decision.
TE Jerrell Adams (6-5 220) of Scotts Branch said Thursday night he likely only take official visits to USC, Clemson and Auburn. He is set to visit USC January 21. He’ll most likely visit Clemson the week before. Adams said coaches from USC and Clemson have been in to see him this week. He said a coach from Arkansas is scheduled to visit him Friday. Adams said right now he’s even between USC and Clemson
DL Leon Mackey of Hinds JC, MS is taking an official visit to Alabama this weekend. He’s also taken official visits to USC and Texas Tech. He’s looking at Ole Miss, Tennessee and Mississippi State for his final two visits. USC and Texas Tech are the top two with him according to Hinds assistant coach Dwight Wilson who is helping Mackey with his recruiting. “He loves coach Ward at South Carolina,” Wilson said. The coach added that the deciding factors for Mackey will be playing time, the strength coach and position coach, academics and where he thinks he can be prepared for the next level. Mackey goes on Christmas break December 18th and returns to school January 9th. The coach expects a decision from him by January 16th. Mackey’s brother also will play a big part in his decision.
QB Everett Golson (5-11 175) of Myrtle Beach Thursday changed his verbal commitment from North Carolina to Notre Dame. Rich Chrampanis of WPDE TV in Florence-Myrtle Beach reported that Golson made the change after in home visit with Notre Dame coaches on Wednesday. He made an official visit to South Bend in mid-November. Golson committed to North Carolina as a junior with the idea of playing football and basketball there. But the NCAA investigation of the football program caused Golson to rethink that pledge. Golson missed most of the regular season with a hand and leg injuries. He still has thrown for 22 touchdowns going into Saturday’s 3A state championship game.
OL Xavier Ward (6-7 260) of Moultrie, GA still has not scheduled his official visit to Clemson but plans to do so soon. Tigers assistant coach Danny Pearman stopped by Ward’s school on Tuesday to meet with him. “We just talked about sitting down soon to decide on a day for me to visit,” said Ward. Florida coaches also stopped by one of his practices earlier this week. Ward says he has only one official visit scheduled and that is to Alabama on January 7th. He plans to take officials visits to Clemson, Florida, Auburn, and Georgia as well. These are his top five schools and he says they are all even.
Alabama has long been one of the favorites of South Pointe DE Jadeveon Clowney and Wednesday night Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban had his chance to sell himself and his program to Clowney and his family. South Pointe head coach Bobby Carroll also sat in on the meeting. “It seemed like it went good,” Carroll said. “Saban, as always, put on a great show. It looked like it went well. He does no negative recruiting about any other school in the country. It was all about the University of Alabama.” Clowney has taken his official visit to USC. He is set to visit Florida State January 7th and will go to Alabama the second or third weekend in January. He’s also looking at Ohio State and LSU for visits. Ohio State coaches plan to be at his practice Friday. USC recruiters Brad Lawing and Ellis Johnson met with him Sunday. Clowney will actually be in Columbia Thursday. His team will practice at USC in preparation for its state championship game Saturday. And Clowney will attend an awards banquet later that night in Columbia.
LB Mike Rose (6-4 215) of Hillcrest has three official visits coming up. He will head to Wake Forest this weekend, NC State next weekend, and Maryland the following weekend. Rose has already taken one official visit to Louisville and says these are his top four schools. “They are all pretty much even, I would say,” said Rose. He says he will make a decision sometime following Christmas. Rose totaled 86 tackles, 16 for loss with nine sacks this season. He forced six fumbles, blocked four field goals and a punt, and rushed for four touchdowns.
DE Ray Drew (6-5 250) of Thomasville, GA has taken official visits to LSU and Auburn and says he will likely take one to Clemson. “I’ve been talking with their coaches and they want me to come in sometime in January,” said Drew. “I would says that it’s a good possibility I’ll go.” Drew has received in-home visits from Clemson and LSU this week, Georgia and Michigan came to one his basketball games, and Florida has come by his school. Drew says he is unsure which two schools he would visit with his remaining trips and says he is not sure if he will take those visits at all. He does not have a favorite.