Clemson and USC have some catching up to do when it comes to junior DE Michael Barnett (6-4 248) of Woodland. Right now he favors Virginia Tech, Florida and Florida State in that order. “I really like their coaching staff,” Barnett said of the Hokies. “It’s like a family environment. Everything is like right there. It feels like home to me.” Clemson has offered Barnett but USC has not at this point. He also has offers from Tennessee and NC State along with his three favorites. Barnett camped at Clemson this summer and remains in touch with recruiters Tony Elliott and Marion Hobby. He’s also hearing from USC. He also camped at Auburn and is getting interest from the Tigers. Barnett plans to attend games at several schools this fall. He won’t make a decision until next year prior to his season or after his senior season. As a sophomore he had 63 tackles with 17 for loss and 12 sacks.
Class of 2015 OL Steven Gonzalez (6-5 310) of Union City, NJ named USC and Rutgers as his early leaders. “I don’t have any favorites right now but I would say that of the schools that have offered me, I like South Carolina and Rutgers,” he said. The offensive lineman said there are several factors that led to USC being one of his top schools but is most impressed by one specific thing. “They were one of the first schools to offer me,” said Gonzalez. “I didn’t really know they were that interested in me until they offered. It’s a great school and they win a lot of games.” Gonzalez has yet to visit the Gamecocks but plans to do so in the near future. “They invited me down for a camp a couple of weeks ago but it was a little too late for me to make plans,” he said. “I would love to go down there for a game or at least an unofficial visit very soon.” USC, Rutgers, Louisville, Boston College, Virginia, UMass and Syracuse have offered with interest coming from Miami, Florida State, Alabama, Penn State, Ohio State and Notre Dame among others. He did camp at Rutgers and Miami this summer and took a visit to Penn State. “(USC) is a prestigious program and they have a great coach in Steve Spurrier,” added Gonzalez. “I hear the campus is beautiful and they play in the SEC.” He has plans to attend games at Rutgers and Penn State this season.
RB Elijah Hood of Charlotte, who committed to Notre Dame in April, announced a decommitment today on Twitter. Clemson and USC were among his offers at the time of his commitment. It remains to be seen if he will have any interest in them moving forward. He actually had North Carolina second on his list behind Notre Dame at the time of his commitment.