USC coach Steve Spurrier made it clear to QB Drew Barker of Hebron, KY during his unofficial visit over the weekend that he is the quarterback he wants for the 2014 class. Barker says Spurrier went beyond his normal recruiting efforts in dealing with him Friday during practice. “Coach Spurrier called me over during practice and I was in there with him when he was calling plays, standing with him on the field when they were doing seven on seven and scrimmaging,” Barker said. “I was just walking around and talking ball with him and he was explaining the plays. Coach Mangus told me after practice I was the first quarterback he’s ever done that with. Usually you are supposed to stand over on the sidelines. I thought that was pretty cool. I definitely could tell coach Spurrier really wanted me on this trip. He spent a lot of time with me and definitely wanted me to know that I was wanted there.” Barker, who is the only quarterback USC has offered in the 2014 class, also got some other questions answered over the weekend. “One of the things I wanted to see was a practice and how the players interacted, to see if like people say they’ve got a family environment,” he said. “I got to hang out with the players and they were all telling me the coaches are real. They all told me the coaches were great and definitely real.” Barker will return to USC for the spring game April 13th. He is going to Tennessee the first weekend in April and will go to Kentucky for some practices April 8-10. He’s also looking at a visit to Ole Miss. Barker said there is no leader and he has USC, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ole Miss and Louisville as a top group right now though he’s still talking to other schools who will come in to see him throw during spring practice. “I’m hoping these visits will clear things up,” he said. Barker is planning a decision for late April or early May.
RB Stanley Williams of Monroe, GA has remained in contact with USC and Clemson. Though he remains committed to Georgia, Williams said, “I’m still shopping around. I’m still letting schools know I’m interested.” Among the schools he plans to visit are the Tigers and Gamecocks. “I still talk to coach (Tony) Elliott (of Clemson) and coach (Everett) Sands (of USC),” he said. “Coach Sands is telling me that I still have an offer and what I can help them with. He’s been telling me what I need to do to get ready for the next level. Coach Elliott is pretty much telling me the same thing and trying me to come down for a visit.” Williams continues to hear from Georgia Tech, Auburn, Kentucky and Arizona among others. He plans to take several visits but has not finalized any trips. “I’m not sure of the dates but South Carolina and Clemson are on the calendar,” he said.
USC and Tennessee have separated from the field in the competition for DL Poona Ford of Hilton Head. “His top two are USC and Tennessee and who’s got the lead right there, flip a coin,” said his coach BJ Payne. “He likes both staffs and the facilities. He talks about Arkansas and Ole Miss as well, so there’s some interest there.” Payne said Clemson is not a factor with Ford by their choosing. “Tony Elliott said Clemson is taking no more than one inside guy and right now they are looking for someone taller.” Ford attended the combines in Orlando and Charlotte the last two weekends and did well at both according to Payne. Ford will attend USC’s spring game April 13th and Tennessee’s the following weekend. He’ll also visit Louisville and possibly Ohio State this summer. Northern Illinois and Ole Miss are the latest offers giving Ford 20. His coach would like a decision before the season but right now he’s not expecting that to happen. The coach said he and Ford were going to hit up Auburn, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Oklahoma State and Missouri over spring break but Ford decided he wanted to stay home and visit with his younger brother.
6-8 Darryl Reynolds of Worcester Prep in Massachusetts made an official visit to USC over the past couple of days. He arrived Sunday morning and left today. Reynolds has offers from the Gamecocks, Charlotte, Seton Hall and St. Bonaventure. Reynolds is a native of Pennsylvania who attended Lower Merion High School, Kobe Bryant’s alma mater.