Clemson landed a pair of commitments Friday — one for the Class of 2013 and one for the Class of 2014.
Wide receiver Demarcus Robinson (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) of Fort Valley, Ga., the nephew of former USC and NFL receiver Marcus Robinson picked the Tigers. He was a heavily recruited prospect with offers from USC, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Miami, Auburn and Oregon.
Robinson made his commitment while on campus Friday for a gathering of recruits.
“It just felt like home,” he said. “I love the coaches, I love the family atmosphere and the coaches and the facilities. From the first time I came here for camp, it felt like home.”
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Last season he had 52 catches for 1,024 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Robinson is Clemson’s 13th commitment for the 2013 class, the sixth from Georgia and the seconnd wide receiver.
Also Friday, Hammond tight end Cannon Smith (6-5, 235), the son of former Clemson defensive lineman and current board of trustee member Bill Smith, committed to Clemson.
“It was a great feeling to be a part of the tradition,” Cannon Smith said. “I like the brotherhood feeling the players have towards each other and I wanted to be a part of that. It’s a nice fit for me and I love it.”
Clemson is his first offer. He also has drawn interest from USC, North Carolina, Georgia, Towson and Appalachian State but he says he won’t consider anyone else.
Last season, Smith had 20 catches for 394 yards and four touchdowns.
Smith is Clemson’s fifth commitment for the 2014 class.
State players on watch lists
The Walter Camp Football Foundation has announced the names of 50 “players to watch” for its 2012 Player of the Year award, the nation’s fourth-oldest individual college football accolade.
South Carolina’s Gamecocks were represented by two players, junior running back Marcus Lattimore and sophomore defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Also named to the list were Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd and Tigers receiver Sammy Watkins. In addition, Clemson’s Dalton Freeman, a Pelion native, was named to the Lombardi Award list. Boyd also is on the Manning Quarterback Award list.
Bulldogs picked second in MEAC
South Carolina State was picked to finish second in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference behind defending champion Norfolk State.
The Bulldogs, who had been given the first-place nod each of the past four seasons, received four first-place votes and 432 points, while the Spartans earned 11 first-place votes and 454 points in the poll of MEAC head coaches and sports information directors.
Norfolk State and S.C. State were followed in the poll by Bethune-Cookman, which received three first-place votes and 417 points. Next came Florida A&M with two first-place votes and 354 points, and Hampton, one first-place vote and 268 points, rounding out the top five.
Five S.C. State players, including one named at two positions, were voted to the preseason All-MEAC team; however, no Bulldogs made the first team.
Bulldog offensive linemen Tristan Bellamy and Sam Hammond were named second-team All-MEAC, as were defensive lineman Leon Smith, linebacker Joe Thomas and defensive back Darius Drummond. Drummond also was chosen as a return specialist.
UNC vacates Hicks’ records
North Carolina is vacating former receiver Hakeem Nicks’ statistics from 2008 because he was ineligible that season.
Team spokesman Kevin Best said Nicks’ records and stats from that year will remain in the media guide but be noted with an asterisk.
Best did not give a reason why, though privacy laws prevent the school from discussing in detail any player’s involvement in the NCAA’s review of academic misconduct in the football program.
Nicks, now with the New York Giants, set school records with 2,840 career yards receiving, 21 career touchdown receptions and 1,222 yards receiving in 2008.
Former Penn State assistant dies
Former Penn State assistant coach Joe Sarra died on Thursday. He was 75.
Sarra coached the linebackers and the defensive interior line across a Nittany Lions career that spanned 21 seasons. In 2000, he was promoted to assistant to the head coach for special projects, a position he held through 2004, when he retired.