USC head coach Steve Spurrier did not make it to the in home visit with former commitment DB Thomas Finnie of Miami Wednesday night, but he did talk on the phone with him at least once on Friday after Finnie switched his commitment to Miami. Spurrier was supposed to join recruiter Jeep Hunter for an in home visit with Finnie and his family Wednesday night but canceled out. Hunter attended the meeting himself. Finnie had been accepted into USC Friday morning. He and his family were going to drive up from Miami Friday for his official visit and he was to start classes Monday. But he and his father drove to Coral Gables instead, met with Miami head coach Al Golden, and he committed to the Hurricanes. Miami Central coach Telly Lockett talked again with Finnie Friday afternoon trying to make sense of it all. “I’m still a little baffled,” he said. “I don’t know how it happened. Everything was signed, sealed and delivered.” Finnie’s departure leaves USC with 26 commitments for the class. The Gamecocks do plan to scout out another defensive back for the class.
Clemson commitment WR Sammy Watkins of Ft. Myers, FL plans to take an official visit to Florida later this month. The decision by Watkins comes in the wake of Clemson’s shake up on its offensive staff and the hiring of Aubrey Hill as receivers coaches from Miami. Watkins said in an interview with Scout.com while at the Army All American Game in San Antonio that he had been talking with Florida and decided to make the visit. “I’m sticking with Clemson right now but I’m seeing what anybody’s got to offer,” he said. Another factor for Watkins to consider regarding Florida is that his brother plays for the Gators. Watkins is scheduled to visit Clemson January 14th.
DL Gabe Wright (6-4 290) of Columbus, GA played in Wednesday’s Under Armour Game. This weekend he’ll take the first of his four official visits this month with no real favorite but with an idea about a favorite. “If today were Signing Day, I’d sign with Auburn, but I’ll take my visits and see how it goes,” Wright said. “Things are pretty much equal. There’s no clear leader. But if anybody were in front, it would be Auburn.” Wright will visit Alabama this weekend, Tennessee, on the 14th, Clemson on the 21st and Auburn on the 28th. The only head coach to meet with him thus far is Tennessee’s Derek Dooley.
Following a season in which the placekicking was at times a problem, Clemson has decided to try to bring in another kicker for next season. The Tigers have offered Ammon Lakip (5-11 175) of Alpharetta, GA and he has scheduled an official visit with them for January 28th. “They called me a couple of days ago for the first time,” Lakip said. “I hadn’t really been talking to them, but Coach Swinney called me last night and made the offer.” Maryland, Georgia Tech, Air Force and Auburn also have offered Lakip and Connecticut has talked to him about walking on. He plans to visit Auburn January 14th and Georgia Tech on the 21st. Lakip is friends with Clemson punter Dawson Zimmerman and with former Tiger kicker and former soccer star Mark Buckholz. Lakip booted a 51 yard field goal in the in the state playoffs in November.