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Recruiting: USC, Clemson gain commitments from TEs

USC AND CLEMSON gained commitments last week from players listed as tight ends, though both could end up at other positions. Justice Cunningham (6-foot-3, 232 pounds) of Central became the Gamecocks’ second verbal making his pledge following Saturday’s spring game. “I feel good about my decision,” he said. USC is Cunningham’s only offer, though he also drew interest from Clemson, N.C. State and Maryland.

Tyler Shatley (6-3, 255) of Icard, N.C., became Clemson’s sixth commitment picking the Tigers over N.C. State. “I felt the most comfortable there,” he said. Shatley also plays fullback and on the defensive line.

Last week the mother of Aldine, Texas defensive back Craig Loston (6-3, 210) said her son would have a decision later in the week between Clemson and LSU. But that decision has not yet been made. Loston visited Clemson for the spring game.

Dorman offensive lineman Brandon Thomas (6-4 280) did not make it to Clemson or USC’s spring games. He hopes to get back to Clemson soon and said the thought of committing to the Tigers has crossed his mind. “I’m thinking about it strongly,” Thomas said last week. He also has offers from USC, North Carolina, Maryland and Vanderbilt.

Wide receiver Nukeese Richardson (5-10, 170) of Pahokee, Fla., attended USC’s spring game Saturday, and he continues to favor the Gamecocks ahead of Southern Cal, Georgia, Tennessee and Florida. He plans to visit Southern Cal, Georgia and Florida after his spring practice.

Another top Gamecock receiver prospect at the spring game was Jamal Patterson (6-3, 200) of McDonough, Ga. Clemson also has offered Patterson, and he talked with Tommy Bowden and some assistants last week. Patterson has 36 offers, and he feels USC and Clemson will be in his final group.

Quarterback Rob Henry (6-2, 198) of Ocala, Fla., also was at the spring game. He has not been offered by the Gamecocks. He has verbal offers from Louisville and Illinois.

Defensive back Branden Smith (5-11, 165) of Atlanta was at Clemson’s spring game where he talked with the coaches and star running back James Davis. He also has offers from Florida, Georgia, Auburn and Alabama.

Byrnes defensive back Justin Bright (6-2, 185) also attended Clemson’s spring game. He does not have an offer from the Tigers and is not sure one will be made because of the numbers at the safety position. Bright has offers from Florida State and Texas A&M. He’s also hearing from USC, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Auburn and Georgia.

A.C. Flora linebacker Brandon Bates (6-3 210) is not well known but Falcons coach Robin Bacon expects his recruiting to pick up after schools see him this spring. He attended a spring practice at USC, and the Gamecocks plan to evaluate him.

USC has given an offer to wide receiver Justin Brown (6-4, 210) of Wilmington, Del. He also has offers from Penn State, Pittsburgh, North Carolina, N.C. State, and Virginia Tech, among others. Brown plans to visit the Carolina schools in the summer.

Linebacker Hawatha Bell (6-1, 230) of Matthews, N.C., is deciding between USC and Virginia Tech and has the Gamecocks on top. He plans to visit Virginia Tech soon. Bell also has offers from Wake Forest, Miami, Illinois, Maryland, Duke, East Carolina and North Carolina.

Defensive end Duane Chisolm (6-4, 245) was at Tennessee Saturday for a track meet and a football visit. This Saturday he’s scheduled to visit Clemson, and he plans to make a trip to USC. His top four are Clemson, USC, Tennessee and Alabama.

Defensive end Sam Montgomery (6-5, 240) led a contingent of prospects from Greenwood attending the USC spring game. He was joined by defensive back D.J. Swearinger (6-1, 205), defensive back Byron Best, defensive back Devin Partlow, offensive lineman James Festa and rising junior defensive lineman Kelcy Quarles. Quarles is the son of former Gamecock offensive lineman Buddy Quarles and has an offer from USC.

Montgomery also attended Clemson’s spring game. He also has offers from Alabama, North Carolina, N.C. State, and Southern Cal, among others. He is working to trim his list to eight and said USC, Clemson, Miami and LSU definitely will be in that group.

Swearinger has offers from Vanderbilt, Illinois, Maryland, Auburn and N.C. State.

Clemson has given a verbal offer to quarterback Ryan Mossakowski (6-4, 203) of Frisco, Texas, and he plans to visit this summer. He has official offers from Auburn, Texas A&M, and Kansas, among others.

Marlboro County wide receiver Kinsman Thomas (6-3, 195) was scheduled to be at USC’s spring game Saturday but did not make it in. He has offers from USC, Clemson, Vanderbilt, Illinois and N.C. State.

Thomas’s rising junior teammate, quarterback Elliott Alford (6-2, 185), planned to be at the game.

Brothers defensive end Tariq Edwards (6-4, 225) and tight end Tyrell Edwards (6-4, 219) of Marlboro County, were scheduled to go to Virginia Tech over the weekend. Tariq has offers from USC, Clemson, Vanderbilt, Maryland and N.C. State. Tyrell has offers from Illinois and Vanderbilt. Duke is close to offering both brothers.

Calhoun County wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey (6-3, 217) added an offer from Florida to his list last week. He also has offers from USC, Alabama, and Kentucky, among others.

Quarterback Will King of Northwestern will join the Furman football program this fall as an invited walk-on.

Offensive lineman Reggie Smith (6-4, 330) of Spring Valley signed last week with Livingstone College in North Carolina.

Basketball News. Clemson signed 6-6 Bryan Narcisse of North Augusta last week. Narcisse signed with Western Kentucky last November but was given his release after coach Darrin Horn left for USC.

USC November signee 6-9 Darius Morrow of Decatur, Ga., was given his release last week by Horn. Morrow now is looking at Ole Miss, Virginia Tech, UAB and Oklahoma.

Coastal Carolina last week signed 6-1 Darius Steger of Guntersville, Ala.

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