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April 19, 2010

Recruiting: Guard set to follow Brownell to Tigers

WRIGHT STATE POINT guard Cory Stanton's release from his letter of intent was finalized Friday, and he is expected to sign with Clemson today.

WRIGHT STATE POINT guard Cory Stanton's release from his letter of intent was finalized Friday, and he is expected to sign with Clemson today.

Stanton (5-foot-11) signed with then Wright State coach Brad Brownell in November. But when Brownell was hired earlier this week by Clemson, Stanton decided to follow him.

This situation is not unique for Clemson. Former Tiger star Greg Buckner signed with Providence, but when Rick Barnes left for Clemson, he got his release and signed with the Tigers.

Stanton's signing leaves the Tigers with two spots to fill for the class. Brownell is targeting former Tigers signee Marcus Thornton and will visit with him and his family today in Atlanta.

Thornton is still interested in Clemson, though he has landed several more major offers since getting his Clemson release. Among the new offers are Memphis, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida, Auburn, Alabama, Kentucky, Texas and Michigan.

He averaged 24 points and 14 rebounds per game this season and was named Mr. Basketball in Georgia.

Football. Illinois assistant coach Ron West recruited South Carolina with success when he was an assistant at Clemson. He's doing the same for the Illini, snagging a commitment last week from Bamberg-Ehrhardt defensive back Zeph Grimes (5-11, 202 pounds). Grimes recently visited Illinois with teammate Demetrius Williams.

Williams also is interested in Illinois but has not committed. Williams will have to play a year of prep school in 2011 before he can move on to a major college. He will go to either Fork Union or Hagrave Military, both in Virginia, according to his coach, Butch Crosby.

Quarterback Kiehl Frazier (6-3, 210) of Springdale, Ark., has 26 offers, the most recent coming from Clemson late last week. The Tigers join Colorado, UCLA, LSU, Arkansas, Georgia, Auburn, TCU, Nebraska and several others. He does not have a favorite.

Offensive lineman Alan Posey (6-7, 310) of Athens, Ga., is moving quickly towards a decision. Right now he is planning to make a commitment May 4, with Clemson and Tennessee the leaders for his pledge ahead of Maryland, Cincinnati and Georgia Tech. Posey has been to Clemson three times since the Tigers began to recruit him in February. He was at Tennessee on Saturday, and he has been to Maryland.

Defensive end Desmond Floyd (6-5, 230) of Union County made an unofficial visit to N.C. State on Saturday and was offered by the Wolfpack. Floyd also has offers from USC, Maryland, Duke, Kentucky and West Virginia. Right now he has USC, Duke, Kentucky and N.C. State even atop his list.

Fairfield Central linebacker Ralph Cooper (6-1, 222) visited Illinois earlier this month, and he is favoring the Illini. But he's not ready to commit, because he wants to see what other offers come in. He also has an offer from Georgia Tech. He attended Clemson's spring game and the Tigers plan to check him this spring.

Northwestern defensive lineman Roderick Byers (6-4, 250) added Clemson to his offer list last week. The Tigers join USC, Wake Forest, Maryland and Texas Tech. He is favoring USC ahead of Clemson, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.

Mauldin offensive lineman Ryan Norton (6-4, 282) was contacted last week by Clemson's Dabo Swinney and Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson. Clemson remains his leader, with USC and Georgia Tech tied for second. He recently picked up an offer from N.C. State. He also has offers from East Carolina, Illinois, Vanderbilt and Maryland. He did not visit anywhere over the weekend, but he plans to make another visit to USC in the coming weeks. He was at Clemson for the spring game. Norton begins his spring practice on May 10, and he plans to make a decision shortly after spring practice.

Wide receiver Hakeem Flowers (6-3, 189) of Wade Hampton has 41 offers, but USC and Clemson are not among them. He says both schools interest him, and he would like them to become more involved. He does not have any favorites nor has he narrowed his list. His offers include Oklahoma, LSU, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Florida State, Auburn, Oregon, Georgia Tech, Texas Tech, Maryland, Duke, Colorado, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss and N.C. State.

Defensive back Neville Hewitt (6-2, 180) of Conyers, Ga., was recently offered by USC and now has the Gamecocks atop his list. Hewitt visited the USC spring game.

Athlete Robert Smith (6-0, 185) of Woodland committed to Clemson in January and says that commitment is strong, though he has been hearing from Georgia Tech and Kansas State.

"Clemson was with me from the beginning and offered me even after I hurt my knee," he said. "That shows me a lot about them." His commitment is solid. "It would take a school to make an offer I could not refuse for me to change," Smith said. "I don't see that happening."

Quarterback Martay Maddox (6-1, 185) of Athens was in Columbia for the USC spring game and liked what he saw in the offense.

"They run the same offense my team does," said Maddox. "I'm pretty open right now but South Carolina is way up there."

Maddox had offers from USC and South Florida and recently added one from Maryland.

Linebacker Montese Overton (6-3, 212) of Greenville, N.C., has offers from USC, North Carolina, Alabama, Notre Dame, East Carolina, and Texas Tech. He is also hearing from Clemson and Arkansas. He has no leader, but his top four is USC, North Carolina, East Carolina and Notre Dame.

Offensive lineman Keith Lumpkin (6-9, 280) of Jersey City, N.J., made an unofficial visit to USC with his parents for the spring game. Lumpkin is one of the most heavily recruited linemen in the country and wanted to take a closer look at the Gamecocks. Lumpkin also has visited Rutgers and Pitt, and he plans to visit Florida and Georgia. He has no favorites list and will put together a top five at the start of this season. Among his other offers are West Virginia, Virginia, East Carolina, Syracuse, Louisville, Kansas and South Florida.

Running back Brandon Wilds (6-1, 220) of Blythewood attended USC's spring game. He also recently visited Georgia Tech, and he is planning to visit Wake Forest. He has offers from USC, East Carolina and Maryland and has not announced a favorite.

Defensive back Laquentin Smith (6-1, 208) of Orlando, Fla., attended USC's spring game and was impressed enough to call the Gamecocks his favorite after the visit. He was scheduled to be at South Florida over the weekend for the Bulls' spring game. Smith has offers from USC, Illinois, Central Florida, Colorado State, Michigan and West Virginia. He is being recruited as a safety. Smith said he could have a decision by the end of spring, or he might wait until the season.

Linebacker Edward Muldrow (6-4, 196) of Snellville, Ga., has an offer from USC and is favoring the Gamecocks. Muldrow has visited USC three times and says there is a good chance he could commit soon. His offers include North Carolina, Florida State, Illinois, West Virginia, Mississippi State and Ole Miss. Clemson has shown interest and could offer this spring. His top three are USC, North Carolina and Florida State with USC the leader. He also has been to Florida State and planned to be at Mississippi State over the weekend for the spring game.

Quarterback Jeff Driskel (6-3, 225) of Oviedo, Fla., is tied up with baseball and has not been able to visit any schools for football. He did get to Auburn and Florida earlier in the spring for junior days. Clemson offered Driskel earlier in the year and remains in hot pursuit.

Driskel said he probably would be a high pick in the 2011 baseball draft if he were not graduating early and enrolling in college in January. Driskel said his top five right now, in no order, are Auburn, Tennessee, LSU, Alabama and Florida. As for Clemson, Driskel said the Tigers "are still right up there. It (the top five) could change." Driskel has offers from those six schools along with Virginia Tech, Purdue, Miami, Arizona State, Illinois, Central Florida, South Florida, Florida International and Ole Miss.

Defensive back Jeremy White (5-10, 170) of Blythewood committed to S.C. State recently. White also had an offer from Edward Waters, and he drew interest from Gardner Webb, Grambling, North Carolina A&T and N.C. Central.

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