There was more under the tree on Christmas day for junior DB Darin Smalls of Summerville than just a bunch of gifts. He also received an offer from Clemson. The Tigers join USC and Virginia Tech as offers for Smalls who projects to be one of the state’s top prospects for 2014. Smalls said Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables contacted him with word of the offer. “I like the town and the surroundings,” Smalls said of Clemson. “The coaching is good and the atmosphere is nice.” Smalls has been favoring USC and said the new offer did not change that. “My favorite as of right now is still USC,” Smalls said. Smalls had 58 tackles last season and totaled 11 interceptions over the past two seasons.
Clemson remains a strong contender for LB Shaun Hamilton of Montgomery, AL. “Clemson is on me real hard,” Hamilton said. “They are constantly just talking to me and one me and making sure I’m still interested, showing a lot of love.” Florida is his most recent offer and Hamilton said Clemson and Florida are recruiting him the hardest at this point. He visited both during the season. He plans to go to junior days at Clemson, Florida, Alabama, LSU and Auburn and those are his top schools right now. There is no favorite and Hamilton plans a decision this spring or summer. This season Hamilton had 101 tackles with 26 tackles for loss and 4 sacks.
6-2 PG Tyrone Johnson said Wednesday he will transfer to USC from Villanova. Johnson will enroll at USC in January and will become eligible to play for the Gamecocks at the conclusion of the fall semester in 2013. Johnson is a New Jersey native and he played one season at Villanova appearing in 32 games and averaging 3 points and 2 assists per game. He also considered George Washington and Illinois but said his relationship with Gamecock coach Frank Martin was a big reason he picked the Gamecocks. “One thing that stood out to me was him being a first year coach and trying to build that program back up, and me always being a guy who is always working hard,” Johnson said. “It was a great environment when I came down on my visit (in November), great people, and a great staff that coach Martin has, and the players. We just felt like South Carolina is the best place for me to go for my game to flourish and for me to be the best Tyrone Johnson.” Johnson was a highly touted prospect from Plainfield, NJ when he signed with Villanova in the fall of 2010. He decided prior to this season to transfer and he remained at Villanova and practiced with the team while deciding on his new school. And at his new school, Johnson believes what he does will work well. “His (Martin) type of style, it fits my style with up tempo play and always being aggressive,” Johnson said. “The way that he coaches fits my style of play and fits my personality.” Johnson will have two and a half years of eligibility with the Gamecocks.
USC has picked up a 2014 commitment from RHP Dylan Rodgers of Spartanburg Methodist JC according to John Whittle of TheBigSpur.com. Rodgers is a freshman at SMC. He prepped at Union County and was 6-3 with a 2.26 ERA last season. He had 69 strikeouts in 59.2 innings. Rodgers was 8-2 as a junior.