South Pointe DE Jadeveon Clowney has won local, statewide and national acclaim already, and now he’s picked up his biggest individual honor. He was named Thursday as USA Today’s National Defensive Player of the Year. He’s the second player from South Carolina to be named a national player by the year by the paper. Spartanburg running back Stephen Davis was chosen in 1991. Clowney and his mother will also be going to New York soon for a photo shoot for ESPN. Next week Clowney will be in Orlando for the Under Armour All American Game. Carroll will serve as one of the defensive coaches for Clowney’s team. As for recruiting, Clowney remains firm on three of his final four official visits. He is set to see Florida State January 7th, Alabama on the 14th and Clemson on the 21st. He plans to make a fifth visit on the 28th to either Auburn, LSU or Ohio State. He’s already been to USC. Clowney will decide on that fifth after the Under Armour Game. Clowney is remaining open regarding the teams right now. Carroll also said he’s expecting his defensive linemen Gerald Dixon and his brother Gerald Dixon Jr. of Northwestern to make a commitment in early January. The brothers are expected to pick USC.
LB Tony Steward (6-2 220) of St. Augustine says that Clemson, Florida State, and UCLA are his top three schools. He has already visited UCLA and will visit Clemson and FSU in January. Steward also has a visit to Alabama scheduled for January 7th but is not sure if he will make that trip. “I’m not 100 percent sure I’m going to Alabama,” said Steward. “That is the same week of the Army All-America game so I’m not sure I can make it. I may try to go there on my way back from Texas but I don’t know yet.” Steward said that if he cannot make the trip, he will not reschedule. He will be at Clemson on January 14th and FSU the following week. He says he will not take any other visits following his trip to Tallahassee. Steward has spoken with Clemson wide receiver coach Jeff Scott and defensive coordinator Kevin Steele recently and says he has a good relationship with both. He will likely wait until National Signing Day before announcing his decision. Steward does not have a favorite.
RB Marlin Lane (6-1 205) of Daytona Beach, FL took an official visit to Auburn last week leading to internet reports that Lane could be reconsidering his commitment to Clemson. Lane said that is not the case. “I am 100 percent committed on Clemson,” he said. “I am locked in with Clemson all the way. I am not going anywhere.” Lane did acknowledge that his trip to Auburn went well but confirmed that his commitment to the Tigers is firm. “I was like the second one to commit to Clemson my 10th grade year,” he added. “I am not going to change that. I have been locked in for two years and that isn’t going to change. Period.”
OL Xavier Ward (6-7 260) of Moultrie, GA now has three official visits scheduled. He will go to Alabama on January 7th, Florida the following week, and Auburn the week after. He says he will take one more visit after that and will choose between Clemson and Georgia. “Signing Day is February 2nd so I don’t have time to take two more visits,” said Ward. He continues to say these five schools are even and he does not have a favorite. The last time Ward has heard from Clemson was about two weeks ago when Tigers assistant coach Danny Pearman spoke with him over the phone. “I can’t remember the last time I heard from Georgia,” he added. Ward went on to say he is not leaning towards either the Tigers or Bulldogs for that final visit.
DL Leon Mackey of Hinds JC, MS did not take an official visit to Mississippi State last weekend as he had planned. Instead, that visit has been moved to January 7th according to Hinds assistant coach Dwike Wilson. Mackey has taken official visits to USC, Texas Tech, Alabama and Tennessee. Wilson said all the schools remain involved. “He’s keeping it close to the belt,” Wilson said. “The decision will come the second week in January. He wants to be open minded. He talks to all the coaches. All five schools are still in it.” Mackey is at his home in Delaware for the holidays and will return to Hinds after his official visit to Starkville. He will consult with his coaches at that time, and his brother will also play a major role in his decision.