DB DJ Smith of Marietta, GA met Monday with USC recruiters Grady Brown, Lorenzo Ward and GA Mangus, and he talked on the phone Monday with Steve Spurrier. Mangus is his primary recruiter and Smith said the two have developed a close relationship. “We talked a good bit,” Smith said. “It felt like family.” USC was the only one of his three finalists to get in to see him this week and he set his official visit with the Gamecocks for January 17th. He also plans to set official visits with Clemson and Tennessee. Smith said he’s no longer considering Georgia. “I don’t like how Mark Richt handles his defensive backs,” he said pointing out the benching of Brendan Langley during the season as an example. Smith said as of now he doesn’t have a favorite and he’ll wait until National Signing Day before revealing his decision.
OL Damian Prince (6-7 310) of Forestville, MD recently cut his list from ten to five and USC was one of the survivors and will get an official visit from him in January though his coach said the date has not been set. Also on the short list are Florida, Florida State, Maryland and Miami. Prince has already taken official visits to Maryland, Florida and Florida State. Coach Keith Goganious said USC recruiter GA Mangus has worked Prince hard and has the Gamecocks high up on his list. “The tradition and coach Spurrier and what he has done to carry on their tradition going forward and playing really good football in the SEC. He wants to play for a competitive team that can speak of national championship competition every year. He’s looking for that opportunity to take advantage of that. They are in the top five of his list and he’s looking forward to going down and learning more about the program and the school and the coaching staff.” Mangus has been by to visit with Prince and remains in touch with him on the phone. “They’ve had some really good conversations and he’s excited about coming down and seeing the campus.” Goganious said Prince is a very athletic lineman and has lost about 30 pounds. “He has a different motor, a different gear,” the coach said. “He’ll get bigger, faster stronger when he gets to college. He has a frame to put on about another 15 pounds of muscle.” Goganious said they are looking at a Signing Day announcement from Prince after discouraging him from waiting until his grandmother’s birthday February 14th to announce.
DL Dexter Wideman of Saluda, a Florida State commitment, was visited by USC recruiter GA Mangus Tuesday night and has set an official visit with the Gamecocks for January 17th. “He said it went real well,” Saluda coach Doug Painter said. “Coach Mangus explained everything he needed to try to do. He was excited about the visit. He didn’t tell me he’s changed his mind or he’s doing something different. He has not said that.” Wideman will also take an official to Florida State but no date has been set. Florida State did not get in to see Wideman this week due their game Saturday with Duke for the ACC championship.
According to the Ohio State recruiting site Bucknuts, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer will make his in home visit with LB Raekwon McMillan of Hinesville, GA December 15th, the day before McMillan is scheduled to make his announcement. Dabo Swinney visited McMillan earlier this week and Nick Saban is due in next week.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban made an in home visit Thursday night with Spring Valley LB Christian Miller. Miller has been committed to Alabama since August and has been holding firm to that pledge. Miller was picked for the Shrine Bowl but will miss the game due to some off-season surgery.
Junior DE Arden Key of Lithonia, GA originally committed to USC over the summer before decommitting in September. Key decided to approach his recruitment very slowly. “I still like South Carolina a lot,” he said. “Their coaches just make you want to go there. That’s why they have so many Georgia players on their team.” Key has not taken any visits since he visited the Gamecocks and does not have any planned. “I’m sure I’ll go to a couple of junior days but I don’t know where yet,” Key said. He enjoys the atmosphere and the fans at USC but does not have any favorites. Some of the schools he mentioned that show him a lot of interest are USC, Southern Cal, Georgia, Oregon and Alabama. He said he will not visit Oregon or Southern Cal until next season. “My west coast trips will probably be officials (visits),” Key said. He continues to communicate with the USC coaching staff but indicated the conversations were generic. “We just talk about stuff,” he said. Key completed the season with over 100 total tackles and eight sacks.
Junior DB Rashard Causey of Fort Lauderdale had planned to be in Columbia for the weekend of the Clemson game but ended up staying home with his family for the holiday. Causey continues to favor USC and Miami at this point. He talked on the phone Tuesday with USC recruiter Grady Brown and will visit USC unofficially the second week in January for a junior day. He also plans to visit Southern Cal and UCLA early next year. Causey also has offers from Florida, Florida State, Arkansas, West Virginia, Tennessee, Notre Dame, NC State, Penn State, Pittsburgh and others. Causey plans to make his decision next summer.
Junior DE Chauncey Rivers of Stone Mountain, GA was in attendance Saturday when USC hosted Clemson. Rivers committed to the Gamecocks over the summer and says his commitment is very strong. It was his second trip to Columbia for a game and the visit solidified his commitment. “I plan on playing at South Carolina,” Rivers said. The scene left a lasting impression on the Georgia product. “I love the coaching,” he said. “It’s a great atmosphere. I love how (USC defensive line coach) Deke Adams gets his players ready for the game. He’s emotional and lets them play.” Adams is not the only coach impressing Rivers. “They have great coaches,” he said. “I love how they treat the players like family and make it fun.” Rivers is getting a strong push from Clemson and plans to visit over the summer. “They really want me to come play for them,” Rivers said. “They told me I could be a big-time player and they could help me get to the NFL.” He will visit Florida and Vanderbilt as well. His offers include USC, Clemson, Florida, Vanderbilt, Missouri, Tennessee and Georgia Tech with interest from Georgia and Alabama. This season he totaled 93 tackles, 29 for loss and 15 sacks.