Clemson University

Instate recruiting efforts pay off for Horn, USC

USC BASKETBALL COACH Darrin Horn made instate recruiting a priority his first day on the job, and those efforts paid off last week with a commitment from 2010 point guard Eric Smith (6-foot-0, 185 pounds) of Mullins who becomes the first Palmetto State prospect to commit to Horn.

Smith and his father visited USC Thursday, met with Horn and other school officials, and made his commitment just before departing.

“It was just an excellent visit,” Steve Smith, Eric’s father, said. “Eric decided that was the place he wanted to be a part of. They have all the facilities you academically as well as athletically. I think they are going in the right direction with coach Horn and his staff. Coach Horn has been on Eric since the day he first came to visit him, first day on the job actually, and that meant a lot. He kept telling him that you’re the number one prospect in the state in your class, and he said that’s the kind of player he’s going after.”

Last season Smith averaged 18 points and eight assists per game.

Smith wasn’t the only USC target to visit with Horn and his staff last week. Garris Adams (6-5) of Apex, N.C., made an official visit Thursday through Saturday. “It was nice,” Adams said. “I felt like I was one of their top guys.” Adams will visit Miami this weekend and also is looking at Wake Forest and Virginia Tech for possible visits. He’s also talking a lot to Marquette. Last season Adams averaged 18 points and nine rebounds per game.

James Padgett (6-7) of Brooklyn made an unofficial visit to USC over the weekend with his mother and a friend. The USC stop was one of a four campus tour for Padgett who also saw Pittsburgh, Maryland and West Virginia. “All the schools are even and I’m taking the visits to see what separates them,” Padgett said last week. “I’m looking at family atmosphere, that the school is not isolated, and being able to play. Padgett also has offers from Houston, Rutgers and St. Johns. He does not have a favorite.

Shaunesy Smith (6-5) of Macon, Miss., will visit Southern Cal Sept. 13, and he plans to visit Clemson and Baylor later in the month. Mississippi State, which Smith already has visited, also is in the picture.

The USC women have a commitment from Monique Willis (5-9) of Savannah according to the BigSpur.com. Reportedly, the Gamecocks beat out North Carolina, Georgia and Maryland for Willis.

Quinton Thomas (6-6) of Southside committed last week to Wyoming.

Football news. USC remains the leader for linebacker Antwon Higgs (6-2, 240) of Pompano Beach, Fla., and he will set an official visit date with the Gamecocks. He also plans to set an official visit with West Virginia, and he plans to attend the Miami-Florida game this weekend.

The final five with athlete David Sims (6-0, 215) of Calhoun County are USC, Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Tennessee and N.C. State. USC likes Sims as a running back, the position he’d like to play in college. He has not set any official visits but was at USC’s game against N.C. State.

Athlete Marsalis Teague (5-11, 170) of Paris, Tenn., has official visits set with Florida Oct. 11 and Clemson Nov. 29. He’s also looking hard at Miami, Georgia Tech, Michigan, Tennessee and Mississippi for visits, and he’s also looking at North Carolina.

Linebacker Josh Dickerson (6-2, 220) of Georgia Military JC and teammate linebacker Tony Straughter (6-1, 211) have set official visits with USC for Sept. 13. Dickerson also will set visits with Mississippi, Tennessee and East Carolina.

Though he has told Clemson fan Web sites he remains a firm commitment to the Tigers, defensive back Craig Loston (6-3, 210) will consider Oklahoma, LSU and Texas according to his teammate wide receiver Jaz Reynolds, who himself is an Oklahoma commitment.

Wide receiver Jamal Patterson (6-2, 195) of McDonough, Ga., committed last week to Stanford. Clemson and USC were among his offers.

South Pointe athlete Stephon Gilmore has scheduled an official visit with Tennessee for Jan. 20. He also plans to visit USC, Clemson, Florida State and Alabama.

Defensive lineman Derrick Lott (6-5, 275) of Kennesaw, Ga., had planned to attend USC’s game against NC State but couldn’t make it. He will set two of his official visits with USC and Oklahoma State. He also has offers from Louisville, Central Florida, Michigan State and Mississippi. He’s also getting interest from Clemson, Florida State and Florida.

Clemson and USC are showing interest in wide receiver Tehvyn Brantley (5-10, 175) of Charlotte. He has offers from Central Michigan and Buffalo and also is hearing from Wake Forest, Duke, West Virginia, Toledo and Florida. Brantley, who camped at USC this summer, also plays defensive back.

Linebacker Jonathan Davis (5-9, 205) of Tucker, Ga., made an unofficial visit to Alabama-Birmingham over the weekend and plans to be at USC for the Georgia game. Davis said he still likes the Gamecocks but hasn’t heard as much from them of late. He’s also looking at Louisville, Penn State, Florida State, Miami, Central Florida and Appalachian State.

Linebacker Hawatha Bell (6-1, 230) of Matthews, N.C., will set official visits with USC, North Carolina, Illinois and Michigan. He planned to attend North Carolina’s game over the weekend.

Offensive lineman Xavier Nixon (6-7, 265) of Fayetteville, N.C., was scheduled for an official visit to LSU over the weekend. And he is set for an official to Florida this weekend. USC and Clemson are among the other schools he’s considering.

Clemson and USC missed the cut with linebacker Frankie Telfort (6-0, 205) of Miami when he trimmed his list to Southern Cal, Stanford, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Tennessee and Florida.

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