Recruiting: Interest grows after spring game visits

April 12, 2010 

  • Phil Kornblut

    Recruiting Buzz

    Appears every Monday in your printed paper.

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CLEMSON AND USC put themselves in good positions with some of the dozens of prospects who attended Saturday's spring games.

Tight end Eric Maclain (6-foot-5, 240) of Fayetteville, N.C., was at Clemson and calls the Tigers his leader over Tennessee and Auburn. Maclain is a one-time Tennessee commitment. He has an offer from USC.

Mauldin offensive lineman Ryan Norton (6-4, 275) also attended Clemson's game, and he plans to make his decision after his spring game in May. Clemson remains his favorite ahead of Georgia Tech.

"Both teams were telling me how much they need centers," Norton said last week. "Both of them don't have backups. I'm just more comfortable there (Clemson) right now. It's not a huge lead."

Norton has also been considering USC. He picked up an offer from Maryland last week.

Other top prospects at Clemson included running back Isaiah Crowell of Columbus, Ga., wide receiver Charone Peak of Dorman, wide receiver Tacori Sumler of Miami and defensive lineman Phillip Dukes of Manning.

Sumler (5-8, 165) visited USC last week before going on to Clemson and both schools remain in his top 15. Sumler visited Central Florida and Florida State. His 18 offers include Tennessee, Arkansas, FSU, Auburn, Ole Miss, Nebraska, and Rutgers.

Dukes (6-3, 280) is planning to announce a commitment at the Under Armour Game in January.

USC has been strong with linebacker Edward Muldrow (6-3, 200) of Snellville, Ga., and he left Saturday's game in Columbia with the Gamecocks firmly atop his list ahead of Florida State, Ole Miss, North Carolina and West Virginia.

The Gamecocks hold the lead with defensive back Laquentin Smith (6-1, 210) of Orlando after his visit Saturday. Smith also has offers from Michigan, Colorado State, Illinois and South Florida.

Other prospects who attended USC's game were Blythewood running back Brandon Wilds, offensive lineman Keith Lumpkin of Jersey City, N.J, Union defensive end Desmond Floyd and Northwestern defensive lineman Gerald Dixon Jr. Dixon's brother, defensive end Gerald Dixon of South Pointe, did not make attend.

"I like South Carolina a lot," Floyd said last week. "It's an in-state school, plus the coaches are real nice."

Floyd is an excellent student and said academics will be his priority when picking a school. He also has offers from Duke, Kentucky, Maryland and West Virginia. Floyds plans to visit N.C. State this weekend.

Wilds (6-1, 220) made an unofficial visit to Georgia Tech last weekend and he plans to return there at some point. He said he will visit Wake Forest soon. He has visited North Carolina. Wilds has offers from USC, East Carolina and Maryland.

Clemson missed out on one of its major targets. Defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan of Asheville committed to Florida on Saturday while in Gainesville for the Gators' spring game.

Also taking in Florida's spring game was Marlboro County linebacker Lateek Townsend. Townsend has been favoring the Gators over Clemson and USC.

Goose Creek offensive lineman Brandon Shell (6-8, 295) made an unofficial visit to USC Friday with his father and brother. That was Shell's first visit to USC. He visited Clemson last summer and went to a game at Clemson last season. His other offers include Southern Cal, Cal, Michigan, Tennessee, Miami, Florida, LSU and Alabama.

South Pointe defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (6-6, 240) has offers from nearly every major program in the country. Two of his official visits for this fall will be Alabama and LSU. Clowney went to North Carolina's spring game Saturday. Clowney said he favors USC over Clemson, and he said he may take one of his official visits to USC.

Offensive lineman Mitch Smothers (6-4 290) of Springdale, Ark., says he is seriously interested in USC after being offered last week by Gamecock line coach Shawn Elliott. Smothers has offers from Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Tulsa, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi State and Ole Miss. He has been to Oklahoma State, Kansas, Missouri, Ole Miss, Arkansas and Tulsa for unofficial visits.

USC has been the favorite of defensive end Deon Lee (6-4, 210) of Defuniak Springs, Fla., since he visited USC for a spring practice.

"It's still the same," he said. "They are No. 1."

Lee said he picked up offers from Michigan and South Florida. He has offers from USC, Texas Tech, Louisville, Wisconsin, Florida International, Troy, Western Michigan and Central Florida. He said Louisville is second on his list behind the Gamecocks.

Defensive lineman Bryant Dubose (6-4, 245) of Oakland Park, Fla., has several offers including one from USC and says he would like to visit Columbia. Other offers include Miami, West Virginia, Rutgers, Texas Tech, and Louisville. He is also garnering interest from LSU, Tennessee, LSU, Wisconsin, Connecticut and Cincinnati.

Spartanburg offensive lineman Stephen Grommer (6-4, 292) has been offered by N.C. State, according to his coach, Freddie Brown. The offer is the first for Grommer, who has also been drawing interest from USC, Duke, Vanderbilt, Northwestern and UCLA.

Defensive lineman Terrence Jenerette (6-0, 300) of Carvers Bay is drawing interest from N.C. State, Illinois, Georgia and Georgia Southern. He will camp at N.C. State.

Tight end Kirby Broome of Mauldin has signed with Charleston Southern. His teammate, offensive lineman Zak Theus, signed with Newberry.

Irmo quarterback David Olson has been accepted by Stanford and will enroll there this summer. He will greyshirt this season and go on scholarship in January.

Former Laurens and Union quarterback Bo Whitney (6-4, 230) is heading to Texas Tech in June to play tight end. Whitney attended Hargrave (Va.) Prep last fall and played tight end. He was going to walk on at Clemson until former Hargrave coach Robert Prunty offered him a full scholarship to return and play quarterback. Then Prunty went to Texas Tech, and new Red Raiders coach Tommy Tuberville contacted Whitney about joining his program as a tight end. Whitney said he will pay his own way his first semester with a chance to get a scholarship in January.

"I just can't turn this opportunity down," Whitney said.

Basketball. Carlton Geathers of Carvers Bay committed to South Carolina on Sunday at the conclusion of his official visit, his mother said Sunday afternoon.

"We had a great visit. He really enjoyed it," Mrs. Geathers said.

USC offered Geathers last week after it was announced Dominique Archie would not be given a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA. That gave Darrin Horn another scholarship for this class. Geathers will redshirt this coming season to give himself a year to develop.

"He's a project, but he's going to be good," his coach Jeff Mezzatesta said last week. He is the cousin of former USC football player Clifton Geathers.

Marcus Thornton of Atlanta, who signed with Clemson last November, asked the university for a release from his letter of intent. His family issued a statement announcing the request, saying they want to see who Clemson hires before making a final decision on the Tigers. Thornton was Mr. Basketball in Georgia, averaging 24 points and 12 rebounds per game.

One-time Clemson target Ricardo Ratliffe of Central Florida J.C. committed to Missouri.

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