USC missed Friday afternoon on its top quarterback target for the 2014 class when Drew Barker of Hebron, KY. Barker picked Kentucky over the Gamecocks and Tennessee. He made his announcement at his school in front of a few hundred friends, family and media. Barker sat on a stage with his parents and ooach behind a table with baseball caps representing his three finalists. As he announced for the Wildcats, he reached under the table and put on a cap with the large letters C-A-T-S emblazoned across the front. “I feel the university I’m choosing is the best overall fit for me academically, athletically and socially,” Barker said. Barker is the only quarterback USC quarterbacks coach GA Mangus has offered for the 2014 class. “That was definitely one of the most difficult conversations I’ve had in my life,” Barker said of his phone call to Mangus. “I was that close to going to South Carolina. It was really tough because we have a great friendship. It was just really, really tough to do.” Mangus visited Barker on Thursday. Barker said he knew on Wednesday he was going to Kentucky and it was a very close call between the two schools. But he feels the new UK staff is turning things around and he didn’t want to miss out on that. “Six months ago I definitely didn’t think I would be putting on a UK hat here.” Barker said. “At the end of the day I sat down and thought what would it be like if I went to South Carolina and I looked over to UK and they are doing great thinks and I can think oh man, I really missed out on that. The vibe is just completely different. They’ve upped everything and went to new paths people didn’t think Kentucky football can go to. ” Last season Barker passed for 2072 yards and 22 touchdowns while rushing for 1455 yards and 18 touchdowns. As a sophomore he passed for 1473 yards and 7 touchdowns and rushed for 1570 yards and 22 touchdowns.
LB Korie Rogers of Buford, GA has cut his list to Clemson, Georgia and Tennessee with no leader. He plans to make a decision in July.
DL Andrew Brown of Chesapeake, VA received a visit from USC assistant Deke Adams Wednesday. The Gamecocks did not make Brown’s top ten list back in February but could be creeping in. “They weren’t really showing me any interest back then,” said Brown. “Since coach Adams has gotten there, they’ve been talking to me. He wants me to call him tonight.” Brown could visit USC in the future. Clemson did make his top ten list after Brown visited the school. “Man, it was amazing,” he said. “I loved the campus and the dorm rooms. It was cool.” Though they have not visited him yet this spring, Brown is expecting the Tigers to drop by his school. His top ten is Clemson, Ohio State, Michigan, Virginia Tech, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Florida State, Alabama and Georgia Tech in no order. He does not have a favorite.
USC has been the clear leader for RB Derrell Scott of Havelock, NC going back a couple of years, but that lead has pretty much evaporated. “He really likes Florida State,” said Scott’s coach Jim Bob Bryant. “Coach Graham came in last week and they’ve gotten to be really close. Florida State made a really big push by him coming on campus. It’s 1A and 1B between South Carolina and Florida State. Clemson is now in the mix, too. They are like a number two.” Bryant added that Ohio State has been to the school and is coming back next week. And Oregon offered Scott Thursday and is also in the mix. The Ducks’ running backs coach made the offer in person Thursday. Scott has made multiple visits to USC and will visit Clemson, Florida State and Florida this summer. He also plans to visit North Carolina, West Virginia and Ohio State his coach said. Bryant said Scott won’t rush a decision. “There will not be a commitment this spring,” he said. “He will weigh all of his options and take some official visits as well.”
DE Andrew Williams of McDonough, GA received a visit from USC this week. USC assistant Deke Adams was by to see him and later that day they spoke. “We really didn’t have time to talk too much but we talked later that night,” said Williams. “He just told me how much they need me and how they want to reload.” Clemson assistant Marion Hobby was by last week to speak with Williams. “It’s always good to see him,” he said. “He’s been recruiting me since 9th grade so it’s like a reunion. He just wanted to see when my parents and I were going to visit.” Williams says that visit may come later in the summer or during the football season. “I’ve already been there so many times,” said Williams as to why he is not rushing to visit again. He plans to take six -to-seven visits this summer and s sure of two of them. “I know I’m going to South Carolina and LSU,” said Williams. His top ten list is close to complete but Williams has not revealed it to date. He plans to do so in the upcoming weeks. Williams did acknowledge that the Tigers and Gamecocks are on the list. He did not name a leader.
QB Mason Rudolph of Northwestern added another offer to his list Thursday from Virginia. The Cavaliers are the sixth major program to offer Rudolph. The others are LSU, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss and Louisville. Rudolph plans to narrow his list to two this summer and then make his decision.
The drawn out recruiting saga of 6-10 Sidy Mohamed Djitte of Senegal could come to an end this weekend, at least his coach at Northwood Academy in Fayetteville, NC hopes it does. Djitte has narrowed his decision to Clemson and Cincinnati. “They are both recruiting him hard right now,” Djitte’s coach Chris Lattimer said. “Both staffs have been in contact. I’m hoping for a decision over the weekend. There’s a lot of things he likes about both schools. Cincinnati has a great engineering program and they’ve had some recent success. And Clemson, he thinks a lot of the coaching staff and they have a lot of good young talent, and he can be part of the nucleus.” Wednesday is the final day of the spring signing period.
Furman signed 6-2 William Gates Jr. of Schertz, TX. He averaged 24 points and 6 rebounds per game last season. His father was one of two Chicago area basketball stars featured in the 1994 documentary “Hoop Dreams.”