USC REELED IN a commitment for the 2010 class Sunday from punter Patrick Fish of Shelby, N.C. Fish pledged at the conclusion of his official visit.
"I'm definitely happy about it," Fish said. "It's the highest level of college football, the biggest stadiums, the best teams. I went to their camp and did pretty good but I didn't expect an offer this quick."
Fish is the son of former Gardner-Webb coach Woody Fish. The Gamecocks plan to redshirt Fish then plug him in as Spencer Lanning's replacement in 2011. He is the 18th commitment for the 2010 class.
USC also had an official visit from defensive end Darious Cummings (6-3, 256) of Titusville, Fla. Cummings is a Florida State commitment. He will make official visits to Florida and Florida State before finalizing is plans.
Offensive lineman Eric Mack of Calhoun County returned from official visit to Auburn talking about dropping his commitment to USC. But after talking with Gamecock offensive line coach Eric Wolford, Mack says nothing has changed.
"We talked, and I feel better," Mack said. Mack attended USC's game Saturday night along with teammates Javonte Brown, Clyde Johnson and Shamir Jeffery.
Another Florida State commitment shopping around is defensive end Tavaris Barnes (6-5, 250) of Jacksonville, Fla. He has been committed since June but says the pledge is not firm. He will take official visits to Clemson, USC, North Carolina and Georgia Tech along with FSU. Barnes says he talks weekly with Clemson recruiter Jeff Scott.
Florida State lost a commitment from offensive lineman Ed Christian of Valdosta, Ga., after he made an unofficial visit to Auburn. He is now open with Auburn, Clemson and USC on his list. He has set an official visit with Auburn.
Defensive lineman Ego Ferguson Jr. of Hargrave Prep, Va., cut four more teams from his list, leaving him with 10 - USC, North Carolina, Miami, Florida State, Notre Dame, Maryland, UCLA, LSU, Oklahoma and Cal. He will take official visits in November to Oklahoma, Notre Dame and LSU. He has visited USC four times, according to his father. Gamecock recruiter Jay Graham talks twice a week to Ego Ferguson Sr. Ferguson takes the SAT on Oct. 10 and will cut his list to five shortly after that.
Defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd of Philadelphia has taken official visits to Florida and Southern Cal, and has trips later this month with Penn State and USC. He is scheduled for North Carolina in early November, but Ohio State and Michigan have been pushing for that visit. His coach said last week USC remains a strong player based on Floyd's two visits.
USC recruiter G.A. Mangus is scheduled to scout Floyd's game Friday. Floyd will announce his decision in January.
USC will get an official visit from Miami commitment linebacker Tyrone Cornelius of Stone Mountain, Ga. He plans to visit Tennessee and possibly Michigan and Miami.
"It's still a pretty strong commitment," Cornelius said. "I haven't changed my mind."
He planned to be at Miami's game Saturday. USC recruiter Lorenzo Ward was scheduled to scout Cornelius and teammate defensive lineman Michael Thornton on Friday.
Tight end Ethan Farmer of Tabor City, N.C., has Clemson and North Carolina deadlocked atop of his list.
"North Carolina is really recruiting me hard," Farmer said.
Farmer plans to set official visits with Clemson, North Carolina and Penn State. Farmer also plays defensive end.
Defensive end Kareem Martin of Roanoke Rapids, N.C., has taken an official visit to Georgia Tech and will visit Clemson officially for the Wake Forest game. He is also set to visit Duke on Oct. 23 and will set dates with Virginia Tech and North Carolina. There is no leader for Martin.
Linebacker Caleb Crane of Centre, Ala., plans an unofficial visit to Clemson for the Wake game. Crane has not been offered by the Tigers. He also likes Alabama and plans to be in Tuscaloosa for the USC game later this month.
Clemson defensive line coach Dan Brooks scouted defensive lineman Darius Kilgo of Charlotte to evaluate him for an offer. Kilgo plans to make an unofficial visit to Clemson for the Wake Forest game. He favors the Tigers and has said he would commit if offered. He is talking to Auburn and Maryland.
Irmo running back Mustafa Green attended the Ole Miss-USC game and the Pitt-N.C. State game. He has not narrowed his list and has not decided on official visits. He said his primary schools of interest are Rutgers, Alabama and Florida.
Defensive back Victory Hampton of Darlington has a high interest in Tennessee, according to his coach. Tennessee has stayed on Hampton through his travails, which include a transfer from Independence High in Charlotte, ineligibility for the first part of the season, and a de-commitment from Florida. Hampton did take in the USC-Ole Miss game. He has offers from USC, Tennessee, North Carolina, Clemson, N.C. State and Georgia.
The coach of defensive end Brandon Smith (6-3, 240) of Columbus, Ga., says he has written offers from USC, Tennessee, Auburn, Florida, Louisville and Southern Miss. Smith was scheduled to attend the Auburn at Tennessee game Saturday.
Defensive lineman Jeffery Whitaker of Warner Robins, Ga., is taking another look at USC after talking with recruiter Eric Wolford. He is also looking at Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and Cal. Cal is the only official visit he is certain of.
USC continues to consider linebacker Antoine Pozniak of East Syracuse, N.Y., for an offer and is waiting on his SAT and academic report later this month.
Michigan State and Coastal Carolina have been in touch with Lake City athlete Sheldon Robinson. He has been hearing some from Clemson and he attended the TCU game.
Basketball. Brandon Mobley of Savannah says USC remains in touch. He plans to set official visits with the Gamecocks, Indiana and Cincinnati. He made an unofficial visit to USC in December for the Clemson game.