OL Na’Ty Rodgers of Pomfret, MD had made multiple unofficial visits to USC with others, but he took his official visit this past weekend solo, and with a purpose. He wanted to see what it was like for him by himself at USC and if it was the right fit. It was and he tweeted out his commitment Monday afternoon. “I really liked what I saw there by myself so I decided to pull the trigger,” Rodgers said. “The staff has always been great. It’s just a great place to be. The honesty of the coaching staff, the game day atmosphere, it’s a place where you look forward to going and playing. And it’s one of the greatest conferences.” Before making his announcement, Rodgers had to meet this morning with Maryland recruiters and give them the news. “Of course, they are not going to like it, but that’s recruiting,” he said. He also canceled a planned visit to Florida State for this weekend. Rodgers can play anywhere on the line but is more of a guard or tackle and will be open to whatever line coach Shawn Elliott has in store for him. “I’ll fit in wherever they want me to fit in,” he said. “I want to get down there and compete.” Rodgers is the fifth offensive lineman to commit for the Gamecocks’ 2013 class and the 20th commitment overall.
Dillon LB Joe Blue (5-11 230) Saturday became USC’s first commitment for the 2014 class when he made his pledge during an unofficial visit for the Vanderbilt basketball game according to his coach Jackie Hayes. “He likes the coaches and it’s only an hour and forty-five minutes away from Dillon,” Hayes said. “He likes the idea that he can watch them. I think he’s an inside linebacker but he’s a tailback, too. He’s always moving. He’s got great balance and always seems to be around the football.” Blue also has offers from Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Florida, Auburn, Southern Cal, NC State, Maryland, Alabama, Tennessee, LSU and Georgia. Hayes said Blue will not waver from his commitment. “When our boys commit, they don’t jump ship,” he said. The Gamecocks have a pair of Dillon offensive linemen in their 2013 class in Bryce King and DJ Park.
WR Ky Priester of Snellville, GA not only committed to Clemson Sunday, he trashed his former school of choice NC State. Priester, who was originally committed to Georgia, had been a Wolfpack commitment for months but started to waver after the coaching change there. After visiting Clemson over the weekend, Priester switched to the Tigers. Helping Clemson’s cause was the presence of new secondary coach Mike Reed who had recruited Priester to State. And Priester had some pointed comments about why he went with Clemson over their ACC Atlantic Division rivals from State in an interview with Michael Carvell of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I didn’t commit to the new staff, and that’s why I don’t feel like what I did was wrong,” Priester said. “I didn’t commit to the new staff. I committed to Coach O’Brien, Coach Reed and the rest of that (previous) N.C. State staff whom I had a great relationship with. I think they already knew (the switch) was coming. I really didn’t get along with the new staff. I didn’t have the same connection from when I committed to N.C. State, and the (previous) coaching staff was the only reason I committed there.” And Priester continued….“Clemson is better than N.C. State. That’s point blank period. They play better teams. We open up with Georgia. I believe Clemson has better coaching than N.C. State, and I’ll get more exposure there. I’m just trying to make a name for myself at the next level, and help my team out. I just want to win. I want to showcase my talent. There are a lot of people that don’t know about me.” NC State people certainly do now.
LB Skai Moore of Fort Lauderdale made his official visit to USC over the weekend and now has the Gamecocks out in front ahead of Vanderbilt. “I was really shocked,” he said. “I liked how the stadium was and the facilities, and the campus is beautiful. And Columbia itself is a great place. Everything was really nice.” Moore spent most of his time with Jordan Diggs, Ahmad Christian and Chaz Elder. He knows the Gamecocks have a need at linebacker and that’s big to him. “There’s a great need at linebacker right now and if I go in there and do my job and learn the playbook, there’s a possibility I could start against North Carolina,” he said That really attracted me.” Moore is also considering Vanderbilt, Arkansas and Tennessee. He will sit down with his family tonight to talk about where to go from here, but a decision is not far off. “I’m not making a decision tonight but we will eliminate some schools,” he said. “We will figure out where we will go from here. I want to make a decision as soon as possible. I’m not going to prolong the process.” Gamecock head coach Steve Spurrier and assistant Grady Brown are to meet with Moore Thursday. He’s not sure if he will take an official visit anywhere this weekend.
QB Asiantii Woulard of Winter Park, FL, who perhaps surprised some analysts by winning the Elite 11 competition last summer, will surprise some people again when he gets to his college team his father said Sunday night. Woulard visited Clemson over the weekend. “Some people think if he goes there (Clemson) he’ll be good but they’ll switch him to wide receiver,” Mike Woulard said. “I’m telling you, if there’s a level playing field, it’s going to be a problem for somebody. It (moving to WR) ain’t going to happen. I tell you, DeShaun Watson (Clemson 2014 QB commitment), he’s not going to come. If Asiantii chooses to go to Clemson and they start raving about him, he’s going to way, ‘What’s the point.’ I’m confident of that. A lot of people don’t know it yet, but you’ll see. I don’t know any kid who would come in there with (Chad) Kelly and a kid like Asiantii and the other guy (Cole Stoudt). If he’s that good, he’d probably say, ‘What’s the point.'” Of course, Woulard has not made his decision yet, and UCLA coaches are coming in Monday on the red eye to meet with him. But the Clemson visit did strengthen the Tigers with him. “He said it was a really, really, really great experience,” his father said. “He enjoyed meeting Sammy (Watkins) and Cole. He and (WR recruit) James Clark hung out together. He wants to make his decision sooner than later. He will announce it on ESPN on Signing Day.” Right now it’s Clemson, UCLA and Kentucky under consideration. “I can’t say if Clemson is out front,” Mr. Woulard said. “I don’t want to put any words in his mouth. He loves the people there. He said Death Valley was like no other place he’s ever seen.” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is scheduled to be in on Thursday for a meeting with the Woulards. They have not decided if Asiantii will make a visit to UCLA this weekend.
Clemson hosted OL Tyrone Crowder of Hamlet, NC and members of his family for a truncated official visit over the weekend. Crowder stayed just a day on campus because of family obligations back at his home. The Shrine Bowler had seen Clemson plenty of times before but the official visit served to further solidify Clemson’s lead position with him. “We really enjoyed ourselves,” said Crowder’s brother Charles McManus who was on the visit. “They are really genuine people. They were straight up with us. If he decides to go there, he would be in good hands. They would help him in that transition from a young man to a man. We talked a little about football. We talked about where the program is going to be next year.” Georgia remains in the background with Crowder and doesn’t appear to be much of a threat to Clemson. Oregon also has been in touch. But no other visits have been set and this one appears all but over in favor of Clemson. “Clemson is still the frontrunner because they have been so consistent,” McManus said. “I’d say he’s about 65-70% towards a decision.” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney will make his in home visit this week or next week.
WR Jordan Berry of Dutch Fork made an official visit to Wingate over the weekend and left with an offer. He also has an offer from North Greenville. Berry, who was the state’s leading receiver last season, also has an offer to walk on from USC. “I’m still processing, talking with my mom,” Berry said. “I want to try USC but those scholarships are making me think more about it.” Berry is taking the SAT this coming weekend and won’t be visiting anywhere. He is scheduled to visit North Greenville the following weekend.
DL Montravius Adams of Vienna, GA will not return home from his official visit to Alabama until Monday since he didn’t arrive until Saturday afternoon. He has also taken official visits to Clemson and Florida and is scheduled to visit Georgia next weekend. He’s considering Auburn or Southern Cal for a visit the final weekend. Adams is planning to wait until Signing Day to announce possibly on ESPNU.
LB Jonathan Walton of Mobile, AL made his official visit to USC over the weekend and found everything to his liking. “I enjoyed it,” Walton said. “It was a new experience. I liked very bit of it. The fans got to me real well. I had people knowing who I was just walking around.” Walton spent a lot of time talking with defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward and linebackers coach Kirk Botkin. “They’re going to be put me at outside linebacker,” he said. Walton has not made a final decision, however. “I’m still thinking things over,” he said. “I’m going to Auburn next week and will announce a few days after that visit.” Tennessee is the only other school he’s still considering. “I’m going to stay in the SEC,” he said.” Tennessee will visit Walton Monday and Ward and Botkin will be in on Wednesday. Steve Spurrier plans to visit him after he returns from Auburn. Walton said there is no leader.
ATH Mykal Moody of Conway has narrowed his list to East Carolina and Marshall. These are the only two schools he plans to visit. “The Marshall coach is supposed to come by my school this week to set up the visit so I could be going there next weekend,” said Moody. “I’m going to East Carolina on February 1st.” Moody feels these two programs are the best fit for him. “I still hear from USC, Clemson, Miami and NC State some,” he said. “I just felt like Marshall and East Carolina are two places I can go in and help out early. Both schools are up-and-coming so I just think these schools are the best choices for me.” Moody plans to announce on National Signing Day and does not have a leader. “They’re both pretty even,” said Moody.
Former Clemson commitment DE Elijah Daniel of Avon, IN committed to Ole Miss.
DL Keith Bryant of Delray Beach, FL visited Miami over the weekend and did not commit. He said he will visit USC this coming weekend. He’s also visited Purdue and Florida State and is looking at Tennessee and LSU for the final visit.