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Top Florida prospect eyes USC

One of Florida’s top prospects plans to announce his college choice this week, and it might be USC.

Wide receiver Nu’Keese Richardson (6-foot-10, 170 pounds) of Pahokee will reveal his choice Friday. He has a final five of South Carolina, Florida, Michigan, Southern Cal and Georgia, and he says all are even.

USC recruiters Robert Gillespie and Steve Spurrier Jr. watched Richardson practice last Monday. Even after making his commitment, Richardson won’t shut down his recruiting, as he’ll take all five of his visits in the fall.

“Once I commit, I want to make sure that’s the right school,” Richardson said.

A Palmetto State prospect is headed to the state of Florida. defensive back Justin Bright (6-2, 185) of Byrnes committed last week to Florida State. Bright also had an offer from Texas A&M.

Last Tuesday it appeared Dorman offensive lineman Brandon Thomas (6-4, 280) would commit to Clemson during a phone conversation with coach Tommy Bowden, but Thomas did not make the pledge.

“He asked if Clemson was still on top of my list, and I said yes,” Thomas said. “He asked when I wanted to commit, and I said the end of the summer or early in the season.”

Thomas said he also is considering USC and North Carolina.

Offensive lineman Xavier Nixon (6-7, 270) of Fayetteville, N.C., plans to trim his list of over 40 offers to five or 10 by the end of this week. Clemson and USC are among his offers, and he said Clemson is in better shape with him. Nixon recently visited LSU, Auburn and Florida.

Clemson is a major player with defensive back Dre Kirkpatrick (6-3, 190) of Gadsden, Ala. He has over 40 offers. Some of the others are Alabama, Iowa, Tennessee, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Southern Cal, Texas and LSU. He plans to visit Clemson this summer.

While in Florida last week, USC’s Gillespie checked on defensive back Jarrett Swaby (6-1, 183) of Belle Glade, Fla. USC has not offered, but Swaby has been invited in for a one-day camp next month for the coaches can take a closer look. Swaby visited USC for the spring game. He has an offer from Hofstra. USC and South Florida are his top two.

The Gamecocks remain in the hunt for linebacker Matt Coffee (5-11, 210) of Fort Walton Beach, Fla. Recruiter Shane Beamer was by the school last week for practice. He also has offers from Mississippi, N.C. State, Maryland, Illinois, Southern Miss, Marshall, Iowa State and Michigan State.

Clemson is showing interest in linebacker Qua Huzzie (5-11, 207) of LaGrange, Ga. Recruiter Chris Rumph was by his school recently and left the impression he liked what he saw. He has offers from USC, Kentucky, Indiana, Memphis, Mississippi, Oklahoma State, Duke, Vanderbilt and Georgia Southern.

Defensive lineman Brandon Moore (6-6, 318) of Montgomery, Ala., has Clemson high up on his list. Tiger recruiter Dabo Swinney was by to watch him on his first day of spring practice. He also has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State, Memphis, Central Florida and Southern Miss.

USC’s Beamer continues to work linebacker Chaun Gresham (6-3, 200) of Winder, Ga., despite his commitment to Georgia Tech in March. And he appears to be making progress. He said he will visit USC this summer.

Beamer also has maintained contact with LSU-bound linebacker Kevin Minter (6-1, 240) of Suwanee, Ga. Minter said he’s still firm with LSU but is willing to talk to other recruiters. He also has offers from N.C. State, Mississippi, Virginia, Purdue, West Virginia, Southern Cal, Nebraska and Kentucky.

Calhoun County athlete David Sims added offers from Florida, Kansas and Kentucky last week. He also has offers from USC, Alabama, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Colorado, N.C. State, Michigan and Oregon. Tech and Kansas have offered as a quarterback, and Sims said he’d prefer to play offense. He plans to visit Florida and Florida State in June. He does not have any favorites.

Calhoun County sophomore offensive lineman Eric Mack (6-5, 290) added an offer from Wake Forest last week to earlier ones from North Carolina, Alabama and Kentucky.

Clemson’s Swinney scouted wide receiver Kendall Kelly (6-3, 215) of Gadsden, Ala., this month, and Kelly likes Swinney and the Tigers. He plans to camp at Clemson this summer. Kelly also is looking at Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Southern Cal, Oregon, Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida, Florida State among others. He does not have favorites and won’t narrow his list until the season.

Clemson-bound linebacker Eric Fields (6-3, 215) of Warner Robins, Ga., continues to hear from others. Auburn contacted him last week. Clemson recruiter Billy Napier made his second appearance of the spring at the school last week. Coaches from Arkansas, Florida, Florida State and Georgia also have been in. Fields said his Clemson commitment remains solid.

One USC target, running back Rodney Scott (5-9, 190) of Cross City, Fla., committed last week to Auburn. A second, wide receiver James Green (6-4, 200) of Tallahassee, Fla., also committed to Auburn but quickly withdrew the pledge and remains available. He also has offers from Central Florida, Minnesota, Syracuse, Iowa State and Mississippi.

Wide receiver Jheranie Boyd (6-3, 185) of Gastonia, N.C., was going to visit USC over the weekend but instead went to Myrtle Beach. He now plans to visit this weekend. Boyd has been sitting on a list of nine favorites, which includes USC and Clemson. He said might reveal the rest at the end of this week.

North Augusta linebacker Brett Johnson (6-2, 206) has offers from Air Force and Newberry. Coaches from Purdue, North Carolina, Furman, Duke and Vanderbilt were at his practices last week.

Defensive back Frank Crawford (6-1, 170) of Miami plans to visit USC this summer and is in touch with Gillespie. He also has offers from Mississippi, Alabama, South Florida, Minnesota, Michigan State, Iowa State, Syracuse and Duke. He does not have any favorites.

Linebacker Hawatha Bell (6-1, 230) of Matthews, N.C., now has offers from USC, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Miami, Illinois, Maryland, Duke, East Carolina, North Carolina and N.C. State. USC recruiter Ray Rychleski made a recent visit to his school. Bell plans to visit USC, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, N.C. State, Illinois and Notre Dame this summer. He does not have a favorite.

The Air Force Academy has made offers to running back Bucky Kennedy (5-10, 176) and defensive back Steffon Batts (5-11, 170) of Ridge View, and defensive lineman Matthew Johnson (6-2, 280) and athlete Arthur Goforth (5-8, 170) of Keenan.

Defensive back Leander Jones Jr. (5-11, 150) of South Aiken signed last week with Furman, and his teammate, offensive lineman Taylor Glass (5-10, 250), signed with Newberry, according to the Aiken Standard. And defensive back Drew Nethery of Northwestern signed last week with Charleston Southern, according to the Rock Hill Herald.

Basketball news. Khris Middleton of Porter-Gaud visited USC last week and was offered by coach Darrin Horn. He also has offers from St. Joseph’s, Charlotte, College of Charleston, Nebraska, Fordham, James Madison and SMU.

Matt Wilson of Raleigh was offered by former USC coach Dave Odom, but he has not heard much from the new staff. But the Gamecocks have contacted his AAU coach and would like to have Wilson visit this summer. Wilson has offers from Davidson, UNC Wilmington and Richmond.

Clemson is the favorite of Shaunesy Smith of Macon, Miss. Mississippi State and Kentucky round out his top three. Smith plans to visit Clemson in late June.

Brendon Knox of Spartanburg Methodist JC visited Auburn last week. He also is getting interest from Nebraska.

South Carolina State coach Tim Carter announced the signing of seven players for the 2008 class: Jimmy Williams Jr. of Dublin, Ga.; Kiara Douglas of Darlington; Arsenio Williams of Fort Scott (Kan.) JC; Brandon Smalls of Harcus (Pa.) JC and North Charleston; Charles Belton of Coastal Georgia JC; Kensha Johnson of Coastal Georgia JC; and Jamaal Day of Irwinton, Ga.