There's a lot of South Carolina vs. N.C. State activity this recruiting season.
On Sunday, Fort Dorchester quarterback Dakereon Joyner announced he had picked the Gamecocks over the Wolfpack. This week, maybe Tuesday or Wednesday, defensive end Dantrell Barkley of Kannapolis, N.C. and Independence Community College in Kansas plans to make his commitment announcement. He visited USC earlier this month and is scheduled to visit N.C. State this Saturday.
Defensive end Jabari Ellis, a Lake Marion product, also visited USC earlier this month, and he was at N.C. State on Saturday. He said his decision is down to those two and he will announce on July 4 in Orangeburg. He's had the Gamecocks as his favorite but after his visit to State, Ellis now has the Gamecocks and Wolfpack in a dead heat.
"Overall, it was a great visit," Ellis said of his time in Raleigh. "The thing that really stood out the most I'd say is as soon as I got on campus they took me straight to the academic center. That was pretty neat. The second thing was probably the strength coach. He really stood out to me."
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State's defensive line depth chart for 2018 also stood out to Ellis. He sees plenty of opportunities for early playing time.
"They've got four guys for sure that's not going to be there when I graduate. That's big," he said. "They're known. Their defensive line is getting looks across the country. That's big."
Ellis said he's in the process of evaluating both schools at this point and he has been in touch with USC. Will Muschamp, he said, sends him a text every day and he's talked with defensive line coach Lance Thompson. Ellis said he's visited USC three times since being offered in February and doesn't feel the need for another visit before making his decision.
▪ Jacksonville quarterback Carter Bradley is gaining more interest from South Carolina. Quarterbacks coach Kurt Roper scouted him during spring practice and the Gamecocks have invited him for their social gathering July 21. He plans to attend. Bradley recently visited Florida and Georgia and he will be going to Ole Miss and LSU as well as USC. Ed Orgeron at LSU is showing a lot of interest. Purdue and West Virginia offered last week and he also has offers from Pitt, Wisconsin, Rutgers, South Florida, Cincinnati, Marshall and FAU.
▪ USC offered 2019 defensive lineman Jaylen Nichols (6-foot-5, 300 pounds) of Charlotte.
▪ Florida State offered defensive back Israel Mukuamu, formerly of Berkeley, now in Louisiana.
▪ Tight end Tommy Tremble of Johns Creek, Ga., is a top tight end target for USC and several others and Friday he was back for a visit with the Gamecocks during a Will Muschamp camp session. He's had a Gamecock offer since the spring.
"I really loved the campus and the coaching staff,” Tremble said. “They said that I would be a dynamic player on the line and when spread out as well."
Tremble said he has USC "very high" on his list with Georgia, Tennessee, Notre Dame and UCLA. He visited Tennessee Saturday and will visit Notre Dame next week. He doesn't plan to make a decision until after his official visits in the fall.
▪ Florence and College of the Canyons defensive end Dorian Gerald took visits to USC and Tennessee earlier this month while home for a brief break from school. He said he's not planning any more visits until his officials in the fall. Gerald said the contact from USC remains regular.
"I'm still hearing from them everyday. Coach Muschamp is my guy," Gerald said.
He plans to take his official visits and has set one with Louisville for September 16.
▪ Stockbridge, Ga., offensive lineman Austin Donaldson attended a USC camp last week. He was working for an offer from the Gamecocks. That didn't come but he's still hopeful of one from the Gamecocks down the road.
"I had a great time,” Donaldson said. “Learned a lot of skills and techniques from Coach Wolford. He said I need to be a little more explosive but I'm on there board for future recruiting and offers. They will re-evaluate my film this upcoming season."
Donaldson has offers from The Citadel, Georgia Southern, Kennesaw State, Jacksonville State, West Georgia, Buffalo, Georgia State, Samford and Eastern Kentucky.
▪ Gamecocks offensive line target Jerome Carvin of Cordova, Tenn., is visiting Tennessee this weekend.
▪ Defensive back Isheem Young of Philadelphia has Clemson in his final six for a July 18 commitment. His other schools are Penn State, Alabama, Maryland, Ohio State and West Virginia.
▪ USC offered 2019 defensive back Wesley Walker of Nashville.
▪ 2021 Blythewood quarterback Chase Martin was at USC's QB camp. He's been working with Perry Orth and Stephen Garcia.
▪ Savannah 2019 QB Eric Phoenix was at USC's quarterback camp Thursday and Friday.
▪ USC defensive line target Rick Sandidge of Concord, N.C., visited Ohio State Friday. He was at Michigan Thursday.
▪ Luke Doty, a 2020 quarterback from Myrtle Beach, was offered by North Carolina.