TAKE ANOTHER OF the state’s top football prospects off the board. Athlete David Sims (6-foot-0, 215 pounds) of Calhoun County gave a commitment to Kentucky last week choosing the Wildcats over offers from USC, Tennessee, Georgia Tech and N.C. State. “I like the program a lot and I think it’s headed in a great direction with coach (Joker) Phillips and the coaching staff,” Sims told the website KentuckyInk.com. “I went there last year for a visit and took in the Louisville game and I got a chance to see how dedicated the fans were to the program. Coach Phillips is gonna be the next head coach and I’m confident that the program is gonna stay good for a lot of years. I like the offense that they run and I think they are gonna take care of me.” Sims will start out as a running back with the Wildcats.
Calhoun County receiver Alshon Jeffrey (6-3, 217), who said recently his commitment to Southern Cal was 50-50, is a little more solid after getting some attention from the Trojans last week. Should Jeffrey decide to back off that commitment at some point, USC likely would be his choice.
The Gamecocks remain the leader for Calhoun County junior offensive lineman Eric Mack (6-4, 323) who is now receiving his official offers. USC, Alabama, North Carolina, Kentucky and Wake Forest are some of the schools sending in offers.
Clemson linebacker commitment Eric Fields (6-3, 215) said last week Georgia has made a serious run at him and he’s giving the Bulldogs consideration, though he still favors the Tigers. “I watched their (Alabama) game and I think I can make a big impact on their team,” Fields said of the Tigers. “Georgia, they are highly ranked and I can with a national championship there.” Fields plans to get to games at both schools this season.
The loss to Alabama lessened, to some degree, the Clemson commitment of defensive back Devonte Holloman (6-3, 210) of South Pointe. “I am still committed to Clemson, but I want to take a couple of visits to make sure,” Holloman told CUTigers.com. Holloman plans to attend Clemson’s game this week against N.C. State.
Holloman and his teammate, athlete Stephon Gilmore (6-2, 195) were scouted Friday night by their Tennessee recruiter. Gilmore set official visits to Tennessee for Sept. 20, USC for the 27th and Alabama Oct. 4. He’ll also set dates with Clemson and Florida State.
Clemson offensive lineman commitment Brandon Thomas (6-4, 285) said last week his commitment is holding at about 80 percent, but USC and Tennessee remain in touch and he plans to take official visits with them as well as Clemson.
Defensive lineman Brandon Moore (6-6, 320) of Montgomery, Ala., says Clemson will be one of his official visits when he sets them up. He’s also looking hard at Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Miami and Southern Miss.
Clemson and USC are in the official visit plans of athlete Victor Marc (6-0, 215) of Hollywood, Fla., who has been committed to South Florida but is still looking at other options. He also is looking at Alabama and Kansas State for trips.
USC is one of the offers for defensive end Will Hill (6-4, 260) of Williamsburg, Va. Other offers are Virginia, Maryland, Michigan, Penn State, North Carolina, Tennessee and Connecticut.
New offers arrived last week Byrnes junior running back Marcus Lattimore (5-11, 210). He told the Spartanburg Herald-Journal that Duke, Nebraska and Tennessee offered joining USC, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Kansas, North Carolina and Virginia. USC remains his favorite.
Linebacker Conor O’Neill (6-1, 195) of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is scheduled for an official visit to Clemson this weekend. He will visit Auburn on the 20th and Wisconsin Oct. 4. Those are his top three and he does not have a favorite. “The deciding factor will be my official visit,” O’Neill said.
Three prospects are scheduled for official visits to USC this weekend: Georgia Military JC linebackers Tony Straughter (6-1, 211) and Josh Dickerson (6-2, 220), and defensive back Kayvon Webster (5-11, 180) of Miami. Webster is scheduled to visit LSU Oct. 25.
Among the prospects in the crowd for Clemson’s game Saturday with The Citadel was junior quarterback Dylan Thompson (6-3, 200) of Boiling Springs. He’s also getting early interest from USC, Kentucky, Duke and Auburn. His teammate, offensive lineman Logan Stewart, also was at the game.
Wide receiver Willie Haulstead (6-3, 200) of Titusville, Fla., committed to Florida State in May but is interested in taking other visits. He said last week one of those visits will be USC. He also has offers from Central Florida, South Florida, Auburn and Boston College, and he also likes LSU, Miami and Florida.
Linebacker Robert Nelson (6-0, 205) of Stone Mountain, Ga., will set official visits with USC, Tennessee and Auburn, and with two others to be determined. He also is looking at an unofficial visit to USC for the Alabama-Birmingham game.
Wide receiver Jheranie Boyd (6-3, 185) of Gastonia, N.C., told ESPN’s J.C. Shurburtt last week Clemson and Florida are his clear favorites ahead of North Carolina, N.C. State and Auburn. “They have the edge,” Boyd said. “Everybody else is just even, but every school still has a chance.”
USC remains on the short list of schools with athlete Eric Gordon (5-9, 184) of Nashville. He also likes Tennessee, Alabama, Miami, Oklahoma and Texas Tech. He plans to visit Alabama and Florida unofficially in the coming weeks.
Orangeburg-Wilkinson offensive lineman Thomas Hart (6-4, 290) likes USC, N.C. State and Tennessee the most but has not been offered.
Running back Jaamal Berry (5-11, 185) of Miami, who counted USC and Clemson among his offers, committed last week to Ohio State.
Defensive back Jonathan Scott (6-4, 185) of Daytona Beach, Fla., plans to take official visits to USC, Florida State, Michigan and LSU according to The Sporting News Today.
Auburn committed running back Rodney Scott (5-10, 195) of Cross City, Fla., is looking around, and USC is one of the three schools he’s considering. He also likes Mississippi and South Florida. He plans to set up official visits with his four favorites.
USC made a verbal offer in the spring to athlete Antone Exum (6-1, 205) of Glen Allen, Va., and he remains interested in the Gamecocks. Exum, who plays quarterback and defensive back, wants to play quarterback in college, and said USC told him he would get that chance. He also has offers from Virginia Tech, Virginia, West Virginia, Penn State, Maryland, Tennessee, Purdue, Louisville, Colorado and Wake Forest.
Defensive end William Hunt (6-4, 226) of Southside has offers from Presbyterian, Newberry and Winston-Salem State.
Presbyterian picked up commitments from linebacker Daniel Cleveland (6-0, 206) of Byrnes and kicker Patrick Morgano of Wade Hampton.
Basketball News. Keith Clanton (6-8) of Orlando is scheduled for his official visit to USC this weekend. His mother, brother and an assistant coach will join him. Clanton also plans to set visits with Central Florida, South Florida and SMU, but he said there’s a chance he could end things while in Columbia and commit to the Gamecocks.