Defensive stars near commitments

October 27, 2008 

  • Phil Kornblut

    Recruiting Buzz

    Appears every Monday in your printed paper.

    Read Phil Kornblut's USC recruiting reports on GoGamecocks.com

DEFENSIVE END CHRIS Bonds (6-foot-4, 283 pounds) of Richland Northeast and defensive back Devonte Holloman (6-3, 210) of South Pointe are nearing decisions. Each took an official visit to SEC schools this weekend, and each might take one more visit before making a choice.

Bonds visited Tennessee for the Alabama game. Earlier, he made official visits to Alabama and Notre Dame. He is considering making an official visit to Southern Cal. USC remains a contender: He plans another unofficial visit to the school this weekend.

Holloman was at LSU for the Georgia game. He also visited USC and Tennessee and plans to visit North Carolina. Holloman was a Clemson commitment until the coaching change, and he has not closed the door on the Tigers.

“I want to see who they hire or if they stick with coach (Dabo) Swinney,” Holloman said. “I just want to talk to him (Swinney) and see where he plans to take the program.”

Holloman said one thing he liked about USC was its three-safety look on defense, which he believes would give him a chance for early playing time.

USC took advantage of the coaching unrest at Clemson to snare Tiger commitment Ben Axon (6-1, 200) of Bradenton, Fla. The running back committed to Clemson in June, but the coaching change opened the door for USC, which also offered Axon early. Axon believes he will have a chance to contribute early in Columbia.

“Watching them play LSU made me think even harder about being a Gamecock,” Axon said.

Dorman offensive lineman Brandon Thomas (6-4, 285) is maintaining his commitment to Clemson, but he plans to take official visits to USC and North Carolina. Thomas measured his commitment to Clemson at about 80 percent.

USC is trying to arrange a visit with offensive lineman Jeff Vinson (6-8, 324) of Lackawanna JC, Pa.

“They like him,” Vinson’s coach, Mark Duda, said.

Vinson has visited Oklahoma and has an offer from the Sooners according to his coach.

USC also is checking out offensive lineman Devin Bolling (6-5, 270) of Lynchburg, Va. Bolling said he talked with recruiter Ray Rychleski last week.

Bolling said he might take an unofficial visit to USC for this week’s game. He has offers from Connecticut, East Carolina, Ohio, Marshall, Richmond and Boston College.

Defensive lineman Brandon Moore (6-6, 318) of Montgomery, Ala., has kept Clemson on his list, and he talked recently with Swinney.

“He said he’ll know in the next four weeks if he’s going to get the job or not,” Moore said. “I’m still interested in them.”

Moore remains strongly interested in Alabama and Auburn.

Linebacker Jonathan Davis (5-9, 205) of Tucker, Ga., was at the LSU-USC game and remains strongly interested in the Gamecocks.

“I just loved the place,” he said. “It’s a great place for football.”

Davis also is looking at Georgia Tech, Alabama-Birmingham, Central Florida and Boston College.

Greenwood defensive end Sam Montgomery (6-5, 240) made an unofficial visit to USC for the LSU game. While USC remains a strong player for him, Montgomery isn’t sure he’ll take an official visit with the Gamecocks. Montgomery also has Clemson on his list. Montgomery has been looking at Michigan, Southern Cal and LSU, among others.

Montgomery’s teammate, defensive back D.J. Swearinger (6-0, 200), also made an unofficial visit to USC for the LSU game.

“I’m still committed to Tennessee, but I’m still looking at Carolina,” Swearinger said.

He plans to set official visits with USC and Tennessee, and he plans to be in Columbia this Saturday for the Tennessee game.

Defensive end Justin Jones (6-8, 250) of Conyers, Ga., made an unofficial visit to USC for the LSU game. He plans official visits with the Gamecocks, Alabama and possibly Vanderbilt.

Wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey (6-3, 217) of Calhoun County made an unofficial visit to USC for the LSU game and plans to be back for this week’s game. He remains committed to Southern Cal but has not ruled out an official visit with the Gamecocks.

Wide receiver Jamal Patterson (6-3, 202) of McDonough, Ga., a Stanford commitment, made an unofficial visit to Clemson for the Georgia Tech game, and he plans to set an official visit with the Tigers, possibly for the weekend of the USC game.

Former Clemson commitment athlete Larry Raper (5-11, 165) of Shelby, N.C., planned to be at North Carolina on Saturday for the Boston College game. He also is looking at USC and Tennessee and remains interested in Clemson.

Another former Clemson commitment, defensive back Craig Loston (6-2, 193) of Aldine, Texas, committed to LSU.

Sanford, Fla., defensive end Dyron Dye (6-5, 230) made an official visit to LSU over the weekend. He is considering USC, Florida, Miami, UCLA, Southern Cal and Auburn for other visits.

USC remains out front for linebacker Antwon Higgs (6-2, 250) of Pompano Beach, Fla. He has taken an official visit to Purdue and is scheduled to visit USC Nov. 8 and N.C. State Nov. 29..

Keenan defensive lineman Matthew Johnson (6-2, 270) really likes Duke and hopes to visit there. He has offers from Air Force, Navy, Presbyterian, North Carolina A&T and Western Carolina. He’s also hearing from Tennessee.

Basketball news. USC awaits a decision from Keith Clanton (6-8) of Orlando. He is choosing from the Gamecocks, Central Florida and South Florida.

Junior Mike Green of Ridge View has been offered by USC and Auburn according to his coach John Combs.

“They want him,” Combs said of the Gamecocks’ interest. “He’s been around them a lot attending their elite camp and team camp and football games. They’ve been great. They’ve done a great job with him.”

Green also is getting interest from Clemson, Winthrop, Utah State, Virginia Tech, Coastal Carolina and Virginia Commonwealth.

USC is interested in Hassan Whiteside (6-11) who attends the Patterson School in Lenoir, N.C. Whiteside said he has offers from the Gamecocks, N.C. State, Kentucky, Nevada, St. Johns, South Florida, Marshall, Xavier and Charlotte. Whiteside, who will not sign until the spring, plans to visit USC.

Junior Ian Miller (6-2) of Charlotte made an unofficial visit to USC for the LSU football game. He watched basketball practice and met with Horn for about 45 minutes. He also has visited Clemson, Charlotte and Florida State. Miller also is looking at Florida, Kentucky, Auburn, Georgia and Miami, among others.

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