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Clemson offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Chad Morris quickly identified some quarterback targets for this recruiting season after being hired by Dabo Swinney. Today he landed his #1 priority in Chad Kelly (6-3 205) of Buffalo. Kelly, the nephew of NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, picked the Tigers from a final list of seven which included Alabama, Florida State, Purdue, Michigan State and Syracuse. He visited Clemson in the spring and that trip catapulted the Tigers to the front of the line. Kelly continued to visit other schools to compare and contract with Clemson. This week he went to Alabama before making another stop at Clemson. Kelly said he was sold on Clemson from the beginning. “The family type atmosphere from the players, the fans, everyone in that community is Tigers, Tigers, Tigers,” Kelly said. “If you play football, they love you. Not many places have that. From the first day I went there I fell in love.” Kelly’s uncles were instrumental in his decision and he said all are on board with him. “My uncles were like, why haven’t you committed yet,” he said. “My uncle Jim is happy for me.” Last season Kelly passed for 2194 yards and 24 touchdowns and rushed for over 1000 yards. The dual threat quarterback became the first quarterback in New York state history to pass for over 2000 yards and rush for over 1000 yards in the same season. He will not enroll until next summer and he fully expects to compete for the starting job from day one. “I’m going to go in and compete right away,” he said. “I know that. We run the same exact offense. I’m already getting a feel for things.” Kelly is the 9th commitment for Clemson’s 2012 class.
Manning Coach Robbie Briggs said Thursday DL Phillip Dukes has been accepted by USC and he will enroll for summer school July 4th. Briggs had reported about three months ago that Dukes had made a qualifying test score on the ACT. That score held up and Dukes did not have to retake the test. “The last thing that had to be done was his transcript had to be overnighted to the Clearinghouse and to USC,” Briggs said. “He’s straight, he’s good to go. USC has given him the thumbs up. All the NCAA has to do is add his last semester credits.” Dukes was at USC Wednesday to watch camp along with his former teammate, rising senior DB Phillip Henry. Briggs said a slight groin pull hampered Henry Wednesday and hurt his 40 time. Right now he considers Henry an FCS level prospect but said that could change with a good senior season. Henry missed most of last season with a deep thigh bruise.
ATH Marty Williams of Fox Creek spent Wednesday at Clemson’s camp working at quarterback and defensive back. Clemson and Georgia are the only two schools he’s visited but he has several upcoming trips planned. He will be at Florida Monday and he will follow that up with trips to Georgia Tech and East Carolina. He also plans to visit USC. Williams has offers from Clemson, Arkansas, NC State, East Carolina, The Citadel, Minnesota, Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Georgia Southern, Florida and Notre Dame. Williams said Georgia Tech, NC State and Miami liked him as a quarterback. Clemson is recruiting him for defensive back and running back. Arkansas and East Carolina like him as a running back. Williams said USC is also interested. “They want me to come in for a camp,” he said. “They have an offer waiting for me but they don’t know where to put me.” Williams said he has no favorite right now and is not close on a decision. “I’ve only been to two schools so far,” he said. “I know there are a lot of opportunities out there for me.”
LB TJ Burrell of Goose Creek is making his first camp appearance this week at Clemson. He’s also considering going to camps at NC State and North Carolina. He has also visited Clemson, USC, North Carolina and Alabama. He’s looking at making a decision early in the season and has Clemson out in front right now. “They were my first offer and they’ve been working hard to get me from day one,” Burrell said. “They are trying hard so we’ll see what happens.” Burrell has offers from Clemson, USC, Duke, Vanderbilt, Illinois, East Carolina, Kentucky and Newberry. He’s also drawn interest from Alabama, Georgia Tech and North Carolina.
PK Will Roper (5-11 200) is transferring from Arizona State and is trying to decide between Clemson and USC. Roper, a native of Hendersonville, NC, visited Clemson in May and was at USC two weeks ago. Both schools will take him as a walk on if he gets accepted. Roper said he had one class at Arizona State which has negatively affected his transcripts, but Tuesday he got the word from Arizona State that he is eligible to transfer. As for a preference at this point, Roper said it’s Clemson. “I really liked my visit to Clemson and I’m thinking about going back for a second visit,” Roper said. “If I get in to Clemson, it’s a high probability of me going there. I’m waiting to be accepted at Clemson. I liked the Clemson coaches. They treated me like a running back, treated me really well.” But, Roper said his decision is not clear cut. “My dad favors South Carolina because he’s worried about Clemson’s staff getting fired. I’m looking for what’s going to be the best opportunity (to kick). USC may be the best opportunity for earning a scholarship. I met with Coach (John) Butler (USC special teams coach). He’s a nice guy, I liked him a lot.” Roper hopes to make a decision as soon as possible once he’s accepted by the schools. Roper attended a prep school for a year after high school and spent one season as a walk on at Arizona State. He will have to sit out this season and he will have three years of eligibility starting in 2012.
OL Ryan Raley (6-4 300) of Fairfield Central camped at Clemson earlier this week. “From what I understand, he had a god camp,” said Coach Demetrius Davis. Raley has offers from SC State and Morgan State. “The thing is, I just moved him to center which is the position I think he’ll play at the next level,” he said. “I think he’ll get more offers once teams have more film on him.” Other schools that have shown interest include USC, Clemson, Maryland and Georgia Tech.
LB Darius Hall (6-0 222) of Miami received an invitation from Clemson to attend a camp and plans to do so in two weeks. “I’m really excited about it,” Hall said. “I think there is an offer waiting for me there. I am real interested in Clemson.” It will be his first trip to the Upstate. Hall will camp at Miami on Sunday and Louisville in July. His offers are from Oklahoma State, Memphis, North Carolina Central, Marshall and Cincinnati. Hall has given a soft verbal commitment to Oklahoma State.
OL Iyan Roseborough (6-4 300) of Fairfield Central has offers from VMI and Georgia State. He is hearing from Wofford, Marshall, NC State and Georgia Southern. “Marshall is showing a lot of interest,” coach Demetrius Davis said. “They could offer him real soon.” This weekend, Roseborough will camp at North Carolina and NC State. Next weeked, he travels to Maryland. He does not have a favorite according for Davis.
DB Devontre Parnell (6-1 175) of Fairfield Central has offers from Vanderbilt, Kentucky, NC State, Louisville, Wake Forest, Illinois, Wake Forest, East Carolina and Marshall. Maryland is close to offering according to his coach, Demetrius Davis. “They could offer in the next couple of weeks,” Davis said. Davis will visit Vanderbilt, Kentucky and Louisville this summer and is considering attending camp at USC. “He may go to Carolina for a one-day camp to work out for their coaches,” he said. “We’ll see what happens.” Other schools showing interest include North Carolina, Michigan and Tennessee. No favorites for Parnell per his coach.
Travelers Rest junior DB AJ Starks (6-0 180) competed at USC’s camp Wednesday and at Clemson’s camp on Thursday. And apparently he was very impressive. According to his coach, Starks generated a lot of interest from the two staffs and could be in line for offers during the upcoming season. His coach said several Gamecock coaches contacted him about Starks after the camp. And today at the Clemson camp, Tiger head coach Dabo Swinney came over to talk with Starks along with defensive coordinator Kevin Steele, secondary coach Charlie Harbison and defensive line coach Dan Brooks.
Rising junior Malik Price-Martin (6-8) of Miami is projected as one of the top players in the class of 2013 and USC is one of his early offers. And the Gamecocks might have an extra edge in their dealings with Price-Martin. According to a source, Gamecock head coach Darrin Horn is bringing in Ian Gibson as a graduate assistant coach. Gibson was at VCU as a grad assistant last season. He’s a graduate of North Florida. And he attended the same high school that Price-Martin attends, Monsignor Pace. That may give the Gamecocks a strong connection when it comes to recruiting Price-Martin who also has offers from Miami and Ohio State. He’s also drawing interest from Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Kansas State and Louisville. He averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds per game last season.