USC WILL HAVE some of its top prospects on campus later this week, and two of them, athlete Kinsman Thomas (6-foot-3, 195 pounds) of Marlboro County and wide receiver DeAngelo Smith (6-0, 180) of Kingsland, Ga., said last week they plan to commit.
“I’ve been looking at their graduation rates for the athletes and the school and atmosphere,” Thomas said. “I’ve told them I plan to commit.”
Thomas can play receiver, free safety or outside linebacker. Thomas also has offers from Vanderbilt, Illinois, N.C. State and Buffalo
“My mind is made up, and I feel good,” said Smith, who visited a USC camp last month. He also has offers from Indiana, East Carolina and Western Carolina.
USC also could get a commitment soon from wide receiver Charles Holmes (6-3, 197) of South Pointe. He plans to be at this week’s camp.
“I want to go to South Carolina,” Holmes said last week. “I think I can fit in their system.”
Holmes also has offers from Akron and Buffalo.
USC has taken the lead for linebacker Damario Jeffery (6-3, 213) of Columbia. The Gamecocks, Auburn and Alabama are his top three, and he also is giving Virginia Tech some thought. He visited Blacksburg on Friday and met with coach Frank Beamer, defensive coordinator Bud Foster and defensive backs coach Torian Gray. This week Jeffrey said he might attend the camp at USC or make a visit to Alabama.
USC and Florida are the final two with defensive back Cory Addison (6-1, 190) of Jacksonville, Fla., who does not yet have an offer from the Gators. Addison might attend USC’s camp this week, or he might go to Florida’s Friday Night Lights camp.
Running back Lonnie Pryor (6-1, 195) of Okeechobee, Fla., visited Clemson last week as part of a trip to several schools with five of his teammates. Pryor also visited Georgia and Auburn and has trips coming up to Florida State and LSU. His favorites list, in order, is Florida State, LSU, Clemson and Georgia.
Running back Orwin Smith (6-0, 200) of Phenix City, Ala., has trimmed his list to Clemson, Auburn and Vanderbilt, and he plans to make a decision soon. He has visited Auburn and will visit Clemson and Vanderbilt this week. He is favoring Auburn.
Wide receiver Kendall Kelly (6-3, 215) of Gadsden, Ala., visited Clemson earlier in the summer and will soon take a trip through Florida State, Alabama and LSU. Kelly said Clemson will be one of his five visits in the fall. He has 35 offers but no favorite.
USC is showing strong interest in defensive back Austin Williams (5-11, 175) of Jacksonville, and he has the Gamecocks in his top three along with Auburn and Florida International. He will attend USC’s camp this week, and he hopes to land an offer. He has offers from Florida International, Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan and Temple. Williams’ win brother, wide receiver Adrian (6-0, 180), also is drawing interest from USC and will be at this week’s camp.
Defensive back Mywan Jackson (6-0, 180) of Seffner, Fla., will visit North Carolina, Illinois and Michigan this month, and he might stop by USC. Jackson also has offers from Louisville, Rutgers, Auburn and West Virginia. Louisville has been recruiting him the hardest. Jackson plays quarterback but is being recruited for cornerback.
Linebacker Jalston Fowler (6-0, 240) of Mobile, Ala., was offered by USC in the spring, and he is favoring the Gamecocks over Mississippi. He also has offers from South Alabama, Marshall and Arkansas State. He will visit Alabama on July 20 and Mississippi six days later. Fowler also plays defensive end and running back.
Clemson and USC are among the 35 offers for quarterback Eugene Smith (6-4, 190) of Miramar, Fla. Some of the other offers are South Florida, Central Florida, Boston College, LSU, Michigan, Auburn, Louisville, Florida State and Florida.
Linebacker Josh Dickerson (6-2, 220) of Georgia Military JC plans to be at USC this week, but he won’t work out. He has offers from the Gamecocks, Tennessee, Mississippi, Marshall, East Carolina, Western Carolina and Minnesota. He recently visited Tennessee but also is strong on USC.
“I don’t have a favorite but I’m focused on South Carolina, Mississippi and Tennessee,” he said. “I want to play in the SEC.”
Georgetown tight end Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (6-6, 240) will attend a camp at Georgia later this week and would likely commit if offered. He has an offer from S.C. State for football and basketball.
Offensive lineman Drew Herring (6-4, 315) of Carolina Forest camped at USC and Clemson in June. He also is drawing interest from Coastal Carolina, Newberry, Presbyterian and The Citadel.
Basketball news. Mbai Goto Olivier, a Chad native who played last season at Bethel High in Hampton, Va., committed to Clemson for the 2009 class, according to his coach Craig Brehon. Olivier made a tentative commitment last November after making an unofficial visit to Clemson, and both sides had to wait for some academic issues to be settled before the commitment became official. Olivier will attend a prep school in Virginia or Connecticut this fall.
USC has an offer out to Sherrod Wright of Mount Vernon, N.Y. He also has offers from Xavier, Virginia, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, Oklahoma State and Massachusetts.
The Gamecocks are interested in Tevin Baskin of Stamford, Conn., and scouted him over the weekend at the Peach Jam in North Augusta. Baskin has offers from Rutgers, Xavier, Auburn, Virginia Tech, Seton Hall, St. Johns, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Fairfield and Oklahoma State.
Kammeon Holsey of Sparta, Ga., committed Sunday to Georgia Tech over Clemson and Florida State.
2008 prospect Dago Pena of Punta Gorda, Fla., visited USC recently, but he committed to Marshall late last week and will begin summer school classes there this week.