USC ADDED TO its linebacker corps for next season with a commitment Sunday from Tony Straughter (6-foot-1, 211 pounds) of Georgia Military JC. Straughter committed at the conclusion of his official visit. “I felt really at home,” Straughter said. “I decided to go ahead and join. Coach (Ellis) Johnson and coach (Steve) Spurrier said I have a chance to come in and play right away.” Straughter is a native of Madison, Fla., and said he is on track to graduate in December. He will have three years to play two.
Straughter’s teammate and fellow linebacker Josh Dickerson (6-2, 220) did not commit at the end of his visit, but the Gamecocks are in strong shape. “I would say they are at the top of my list right now,” Dickerson said. He plans to visit Tennessee and West Virginia next month before making a decision.
USC commitments defensive back Damario Jeffery (6-3, 213) of Columbia and linebacker Matt Coffee (5-11, 210) of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., both suffered season ending knee injuries in recent games. Both tore the ACL in their left knee and will have surgery. USC has told both players their offer remains good and both remain committed to the Gamecocks.
Another USC commitment, linebacker Brent Singleton (6-1, 204) of Plantation, Fla., made an official visit to Syracuse earlier this month but said he remains a firm commitment to the Gamecocks.
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Beaufort defensive end Duane Chisolm (6-4, 245) was among the prospects at Clemson Saturday. Chisolm also has been considering USC, Tennessee and Alabama.
Calhoun County wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey (6-3, 217) planned to be at the Clemson game Saturday. He attended USC’s game with Georgia. He is committed to Southern Cal but has not closed the door on local schools.
Calhoun County junior offensive lineman Eric Mack (6-4, 323) plans to attend Clemson’s game with Maryland this weekend and North Carolina’s game with Notre Dame Oct. 11.
Kentucky commitment defensive end Justin Jones (6-8 250) of Conyers, Ga., is now giving USC strong consideration after making an unofficial visit for the Georgia game. “I’m going to keep my options open,” Jones said.
USC is now the favorite of defensive end Chris Crenshaw (6-4, 240) of Louisville, Ga., though the Gamecocks have not yet offered. Crenshaw has been committed to Georgia Tech since the summer but attended the Georgia game in Columbia, and now wants to be a Gamecock if given the opportunity.
Clemson remains in the front four with athlete Marsalis Teague (5-11, 170) of Paris, Tenn. He also likes Florida, Miami and Tennessee. He plans to visit Clemson for the USC game but is not sure if that will be official or unofficial.
Wide receiver Jheranie Boyd (6-3, 185) of Gastonia, N.C., continues to favor Clemson and Florida ahead of Illinois, Missouri, Oregon and Auburn. He’s been to Clemson several times, including the N.C. State game, and said he doesn’t feel the need for an official visit there. Boyd has not been giving USC strong consideration, but he said he plans to come to Columbia when the Gamecocks play LSU.
Linebacker Antwon Higgs (6-2, 245) of Pompano Beach, Fla., continues to favor USC and is scheduled for his official visit this weekend. “I like their defense,” Higgs said noting how the Gamecocks like to use larger linebackers.
Defensive back Jonathan Scott (6-4, 185) of Daytona Beach, Fla., has set an official visit to Alabama for Oct. 4, and he might visit Michigan the following weekend. He’s also looking at USC, LSU and Florida State for visits. Scott said USC, Alabama and LSU are his current top three.
Wide receiver Eric Williams (5-11, 185) of Bradenton, Fla., plans to take official visits to USC, Mississippi and Purdue.
Offensive lineman Jamar Bass (6-4, 285) of Hutchinson JC, Kan., claims a USC offer and talked last week with line coach John Hunt. He also cites offers from Troy, Middle Tennessee, South Florida and Alabama-Birmingham.
Offensive lineman Ian Anderson (6-7, 305) of Hilton Head Prep is drawing interest from USC, Vanderbilt, Boston College, Kentucky and Michigan State. He has not been offered.
Basketball News. The USC women have a commitment from Ieasia Walker (5-8) of Copiague, NY. She’s rated No. 70 in the country by ESPN.
According to ESPN, the Lady Gamecocks are recruiting two of the country’s top five prospects. 5th rated Cokie Reed (6-4) of Waco, Texas, made an official visit for the weekend of the Georgia football game. And No. 2 Kelsey Bone (6-5) of Sugarland, Texas was scheduled to visit the same weekend but Hurricane Ike forced her to postpone the trip.
The USC men have offered junior Jaleel Roberts (6-10) of Evans, Ga., according to GamecockAnthem.com. Roberts made an unofficial visit for the weekend of the Georgia football game. The USC offer is his first.
Shaunesy Smith (6-5) of Macon, Miss., plans to visit Clemson this weekend. He has been to Southern Cal and is scheduled for visits to Baylor and Mississippi State in October.