DL Poona Ford (6-1 280) of Hilton Head is one of the most heavily offered prospects in the state. His offers include USC, Illinois, Missouri, Georgia Tech, Arizona, Tennessee, Purdue, Kansas State, Utah State, Marshall and Florida Atlantic. His coach, BJ Payne, said Thursday Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are close to making offers, and Ford is hearing from Michigan and Oregon. Clemson has shown interest but has not offered. Ford attended USC’s junior day earlier this month and has been favoring the Gamecocks. “They’ve done a great job recruiting him,” Payne said. “He talked to coach Sands today (Thursday) during lunch. They seem him as being similar to Melvin Ingram.” While USC is a definite favorite, Ford is not close on a commitment according to his coach. ‘He’s not going to rush things,” Payne said. “He hasn’t seen a lot of places. He’s going to take some visits.” This weekend Payne and Ford will visit Tennessee, and they might stop by USC on the way back Saturday. They had planned to go to North Carolina Sunday but Ford’s brother is going to be home this weekend and he wants to visit with him. Last season Ford totaled 154 tackles, a figure his coach said led the country among interior defensive lineman. He also had 44 tackles for loss and 10 sacks. “He’s one of the most dominating defensive linemen in the country,” Payne said. “And he’s a great character kid.” Ford was a linebacker for most of his career before moving to the defensive line last season.
DB Qua Searcy of Griffin, GA has offers from USC, Georgia Tech, South Alabama, Louisville and Marshall among others with interest from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Missouri and UCLA. Searcy says he has some interest in USC but has not had too much communication with the coaches. “We aren’t really talking too much but they are sending me letters showing me pictures of the campus and talking about the school,” he said. “I would like to visit.” Thus far, his only junior day visit was to Georgia Tech. “It went pretty good,” said Searcy. “I think it would be a great atmosphere to play in and it’s a great school.” His next junior day visit will either be Alabama or Mississippi State. Searcy does not have any favorites or a time frame for a decision. He totaled 78 tackles, four interceptions and three forced fumbles as a junior. Searcy tacked on three offensive touchdowns.
Already with an offer from Clemson, LB Richard Yeargin III of Hollywood, FL has added USC to that list. “I just got off the phone with coach Grady Brown and the defensive line coach (Deke Adams) and they extended me an offer to play defensive end,” said Yeargin. “I’m really excited about it because that’s my home-state.” Yeargin went on to explain that his father is originally from Greenville. USC is not the only school to offer him recently. “It’s really blown up the last few weeks with all of the new offers and new interest,” he said. “I’m up to 21 (offers).” Those offers include Clemson, USC, Florida, Florida State, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, Boston College, Wisconsin, Wake Forest, UCLA, Georgia Tech and Purdue. Yeargin has not been on any visits and has just one scheduled at this time. “I’m going to South Florida’s spring game and that’s about it,” he said. As for his thoughts on the Gamecocks he said, “It’s an awesome school. They have Jadeveon Clowney and others. It’s a place you can become an impact player at the next level. That’s what I want to be.” He also has Clemson high on his list. “It’s been a battle between Clemson and Florida,” said Yeargin. “We’ve built a very good relationship with (Clemson’s) coaches.” Though he does not have any favorites, Yeargin named Clemson, USC, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Boston College, Georgia Tech and UCLA as schools of strong interest.
RB Jonathan Vickers of Jacksonville, FL already had offers from Clemson, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Alabama and Georgia Tech adding NC State, Louisville, TCU and California to that list. Florida State has been added to his favorites of Clemson and Alabama as Vickers recently visited Tallahassee. “I went to their junior day and got to talk to the coaches about my interest,” he said. “They told me they like the way I look on film.” Vickers added that he is confident that an offer from the Seminoles is in his future. His other junior day visit was to Alabama. “We toured the campus and talked to the coaches,” said Vickers. “Coach (Nick) Saban talked to us about last season and stuff like that.” Vickers is planning to visit Clemson, USC, Florida and Georgia this spring. “My coaches have been talking to Clemson’s coaches and trying to work out a time to visit,” he said. “I’m going to visit South Carolina this spring and may go to their spring game…or something like that.” Vickers did not name a leader.
6-4 Chad Frazier of Gulf Coast State JC said Wednesday night he is evenly split between USC and Texas A&M and plans to have a decision soon after his official visit to USC. Frazier will visit Texas A&M this weekend, ironically while the Gamecocks are there to play the Aggies. He has not set his USC visit date but said it will come in mid-March. He said he’ll make a decision about a week after the USC visit. “I like coach Martin a lot,” Frazier said. “He said I could play either the point or the two guard and would have a chance to play right away.” Frazier said he also likes the A&M staff and the opportunities there. He’s a native of Charlotte and said the proximity of the schools to his hometown is not a factor. Frazier did not sign out of high school and played two seasons at Gulf Coast. This season he averaged 16 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds per game. Frazier said he will make both of his visits by himself.