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Recruiting: Daytona Beach defender eases off Clemson

ONE OF CLEMSON'S early commitments for the 2011 class backed off that pledge Saturday.

Defensive back Cortez Davis of Daytona Beach, Fla., attended Florida State's junior day and left open as to his recruiting. One Internet report said Davis had committed to the Seminoles but he later denied that. Davis told that Clemson is still his favorite.

Manning defensive lineman Phillip Dukes is a long way from a decision, but at least he knows when he wants to declare.

"I'll make my announcement at the Under Armour game," Dukes said referring to the All American game played in Orlando in early January. Dukes' top four alphabetically are Alabama, Clemson, North Carolina and USC. Dukes said all the schools are recruiting him the same and he is wide open with his decision. He also has offers from N.C. State, Maryland, Florida, Stanford and Duke.

Offensive lineman Justin Floyd of Cartersville, Ga., was at Tennessee on Saturday for junior day. He has also been to junior days at Alabama and Georgia. He made an unofficial visit to USC earlier this month. He also visited the Gamecocks twice last season. Floyd will take an unofficial visit to Clemson this month. Vanderbilt and Duke are also very interested and he will attend a junior day at Vandy. He is also getting interest from Georgia Tech and has visited there several times. Floyd played in the Wing-T last season, and schools want to check his pass-blocking skills this spring before moving forward with an offer.

Athlete Jerrell Adams of Scotts Branch is a two-sport standout drawing recruiting interest in football and basketball. He plays quarterback in the run-oriented offense of coach Leonard Johnson but likely will be a tight end or defensive end in college. Adams attended Clemson's junior day.

Clemson recruiter Chris Rumph has been on him since last spring, according to Johnson. He also went to Clemson for the TCU game. He has not visited USC, but the Gamecocks are very interested. He's also getting interest from Illinois, N.C. State and Nebraska. Clemson is his early favorite.

Tight end Drew Owens of Charlotte was in Columbia last month for USC's junior day and says the visit went very well. Owens' only other junior day was to N.C. State. He has offers from USC, Clemson, N.C. State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Maryland, East Carolina, Vanderbilt, Virginia and Duke.

Wade Hampton wide receiver Hakeem Flowers stopped by Oklahoma on Friday on his way to Austin, Texas, for a junior day with the Longhorns. While in Norman, he was offered by the Sooners. Flowers visited Alabama recently and the Crimson Tide have been making a hard push for Flowers, talking with him several times last week. He will visit Notre Dame this summer and will make a return trip to Texas and will visit Texas Tech. Flowers has more than 30 offers but USC and Clemson are not among them.

The offer list for quarterback Shamier Jeffery of Calhoun County grew by three last week. West Virginia, East Carolina and Nebraska extended offers. Others are from USC, Tennessee, Kentucky, Auburn, Georgia Tech, NC State, Kansas State and Illinois. Jeffery did not visit anywhere over the weekend. He will visit Clemson this weekend.

Marlboro County linebacker Lateek Townsend was offered by Nebraska and Michigan State. Townsend's many offers include Clemson, USC, Illinois, N.C. State, Maryland, East Carolina, Texas A&M, Alabama, Miami, LSU, Wake Forest, Duke, North Carolina and Tennessee. Townsend maintains he has not committed to any school.

Defensive back Ra'Chard Pippens of McDonough, Ga., was at USC's junior day and he was at Georgia for a junior day this past Saturday. This month he will visit Florida State. USC is his only offer. He is drawing interest from Clemson, Georgia, Florida State, Georgia Tech, East Carolina, Alabama and Northwestern. Pippens said he has a top five, in no order, of USC, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Alabama and Florida State.

Blythewood linebacker Corey Miller Jr. is the son of the former USC and NFL standout and is starting to attract attention from major colleges. Interest is coming from USC, Clemson, N.C. State, Georgia, Florida State, Virginia, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Maryland and Florida. Wake Forest and N.C. State have been indicating an offer this spring. Maryland is also showing interest. Miller also plays tight end.

Defensive back Ronald Baines of Voorhees, N.J., was at USC's junior day last month and came away impressed. He has not received any offers, but is hearing from USC, Michigan, Penn State, Kentucky, Temple, Connecticut, Tennessee, Rutgers, Maryland and South Florida. Baines has attended junior days at USC, Michigan, Penn State and Rutgers. He plans to go to Maryland's as well, and he will take unofficial visits to Connecticut and Pitt.

Defensive back Ronnie Harris of Atlanta has three offers, with his first being from USC. Harris was at USC for their junior day and says it went "great." Harris also has offers from Ole Miss and Harvard and is garnering attention from Alabama, Oregon, Central Florida, Duke, Vanderbilt, and Kentucky. He plans to attend Oregon and UCF's junior days as well.

South Pointe defensive end Jadeveon Clowney attended USC's junior day and that will be his last football recruiting related visit for some time.

Downey said he has not picked up any new offers to add to the 25 he is sitting on. He said USC and Clemson are on his list. Outside of the state, he said he likes Alabama, LSU and UCLA. As for visiting Clemson, Clowney said that probably wouldn't happen until his senior season. He plans to make all five of his official visits before deciding.

USC became the first offer for defensive back Rodney O'Neal of Dublin, Ga., and that move has the Gamecocks out front for the strong safety. O'Neal said he is not close to making a decision and wants to see what other offers come in. He went to Georgia this past weekend for a junior day. Georgia Tech is showing interest.

Running back Brandon Wilds of Blythewood attended USC's junior day and went home with an offer.

"South Carolina is my first offer, so I respect them a lot for that," Wilds said. "I've been to a lot of USC games and I like the atmosphere."

Wilds said he has been talking with Gamecock running backs coach Jay Graham. He is also getting interest from Clemson, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Florida, Nebraska and Alabama. But North Carolina is the school he really likes and he will go there for a junior day March 27. He is not going there on an invitation, but he is hoping the Tar Heel coaches notice him.

Defensive back Zeph Grimes of Bamberg-Ehrhardt went to Tennessee for a junior day. He will visit Illinois on April 2 for a junior day and a spring practice. Grimes now has offers from Ole Miss, Arkansas, Michigan State, Illinois, Colorado and Tulsa. He is also getting interest from USC, Clemson, Virginia Tech and N.C. State.

Defensive end/linebacker Ryan Shazier of Plantation, Fla., has nine offers, including one from USC. Others are from Florida, FSU, Tennessee, Wisconsin, South Florida, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and Oklahoma. He is also hearing from Clemson, Georgia, LSU, UCLA and Miami.

USC offered defensive back Avery Walls of McDonough, Ga. Walls is a heavily recruited prospect. He holds offers from LSU, Maryland, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Stanford, Virginia, East Carolina, Mississippi, Mississippi State and others. Texas also has been showing interest.

USC made an offer to one of Georgia's top offensive line prospects in Quincy McKinney of Columbus. McKinney also has offers from Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, North Carolina and Southern Miss. He has been to Georgia Tech, Auburn and Georgia and plans to visit USC and Clemson.

Running back Shon Carson of Lake City went to Clemson's recent junior day. Carson plans to make a stop at USC for a spring practice. Carson has offers from USC, Clemson, North Carolina, East Carolina, Florida State, Tennessee, Alabama and Southern Cal. Carson is not indicating a favorite.

Offensive lineman Ryan Norton of Mauldin was at Clemson for the Tigers' junior day. He was offered by Illinois and has offers from Georgia Tech and East Carolina. Norton also has been in touch with USC line coach Shawn Elliott and could receive an offer from the Gamecocks. Norton said Clemson, Georgia Tech and Illinois are his top three in no particular order.

Defensive back Kadetrix Marcus of Powder Springs, Ga., was at USC junior day and says he was given a verbal offer. It is Marcus's first offer.

"Since I got the offer, they're probably my favorite right now," he said. He is also hearing from schools such as Arkansas, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Grambling, Michigan, Michigan State, Syracuse, Connecticut, and Central Florida.

Defensive back Pat Martin of J.L. Mann has offers from Duke, Maryland, Minnesota, Arkansas and UCLA. He is hearing from Clemson, USC, Alabama, Florida, FSU, Oregon, Georgia and Georgia Tech. Martin did not make either Clemson or USC's junior days but likes both schools. Martin has visited Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, and Duke.

Quarterback Sam Spence of Charlotte was in for USC's junior day and came away impressed. Spence was at Southern Miss on Sunday and he plans to visit Virginia on March 6.

Basketball. USC is recruiting Jesse Perry of Logan (Ill.) JC, according to his coach, Mark Imhoff. Perry is a native of St. Louis who is averaging more than 17 points and 10 rebounds per game this season. He has not taken any official visits and will take them after his season.