USC HOSTED ONE of the top prospects in South Carolina for an official visit this past weekend — South Pointe defensive back Stephon Gilmore (6-foot-2, 195 pounds).
Gilmore spent time with coach Steve Spurrier, defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson and cornerbacks coach Shane Beamer. The message he got from Spurrier: There is a place for him with the Gamecocks.
“He said they have a lot of seniors at cornerback, so there should be a chance for early playing time if I come here,” Gilmore said.
He added the Spurrier talked to him about playing quarterback in certain packages and returning punts and kicks. Gilmore also has visited Tennessee and will visit Alabama this weekend. After that, he plans to make his decision — without taking an official visit to Clemson.
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“I am planning to graduate early, so I need to make my decision to get that in order,” he said. “I liked Clemson at first, but I am just not interested in them right now.”
Linebacker Antwon Higgs (6-2, 245) of Pompano Beach, Fla., was scheduled to visit USC over the weekend but rescheduled the trip until November. He continues to favor the Gamecocks.
Defensive back Justin Green (5-10, 180) of Louisville, Ky., plans three of his visits to Clemson, USC and Illinois. He tentatively penciled in Clemson for Oct. 18. He also is looking at Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and Louisville for visits. Green has been committed to Ohio State.
USC and Georgia Tech are in the visit plans of athlete Dontae Aycock (5-10, 215) of Tampa, Fla. Aycock plays quarterback but is being recruited by USC as a running back. He has visited Georgia Tech twice and likes their option offense. Aycock also has offers from North Carolina, Louisville, South Florida, West Virginia, Duke, Northwestern, Rutgers and Arkansas.
Defensive back Craig Loston (6-3, 210) of Aldine, Texas, continues to put out signals that his commitment to Clemson is fading. He made an unofficial visit to Texas A&M for the Miami game, and he recently told a Web site that his official visits will be LSU, Oregon, Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M.
Clemson-bound defensive back Devonte Holloman (6-3, 210) of South Pointe made an official visit to Tennessee recently to give himself something to compare to Clemson. He is scheduled to visit LSU on Oct. 25 and will also set a visit with Clemson. His remains committed to the Tigers.
Defensive end Chris Crenshaw (6-2, 240) of Louisville, Ga., told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution last week he now plans to stick with his Georgia Tech commitment. Crenshaw made an unofficial visit to USC for the Georgia game and said he favored the Gamecocks after that trip.
Linebacker Conor O’Neill (6-1, 195) of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has visited Clemson and Auburn and will see Wisconsin this weekend. After that visit he plans to make his decision. O’Neill said Clemson offers him the opportunity to play football and baseball, and they have a need at the weakside linebacker position.
Defensive end Duane Chisolm (6-4, 245) of Beaufort has been to Clemson and USC for games and plans to visit with those two and N.C. State. He also likes Alabama, LSU and Georgia.
Clemson and USC are among the 37 offers for linebacker Jelani Jenkins (6-1, 210) of Wheaton Md. Some of his other offers are Southern Cal, Notre Dame, Florida, Miami and LSU, but he says the Tigers and Gamecocks are getting consideration.
Linebacker Frankie Telfort (6-0, 205) of Miami has a top six of Southern Cal, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Florida, Stanford and Ohio State, but he might take an unofficial visit to Clemson this season. He has been to Tennessee and Florida.
Clemson recently offered defensive end Izaan Cross (6-5, 253) of Flowery Branch, Ga., and now is a factor along with USC, Georgia Tech, Arkansas and North Carolina.
Clemson also offered tight end Terrell Mitchell (6-6, 220) of Powder Springs, Ga. Mitchell was scheduled to visit West Virginia over the weekend, but that was postponed. Instead, he went to the Alabama-Georgia game. Mitchell also is considering offers from Kentucky, Michigan, Central Florida, Louisville and Alabama.
Running back Donald Russell (5-10, 206) of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., has offers from USC, Kentucky, Pittsburgh, South Florida, Wisconsin and Southern Miss. He will visit with the Gamecocks. Russell is good friends with USC basketball commitment Ramon Galloway.
USC continues to work athlete Mywan Jackson (6-0, 180) of Seffner, Fla., and he plans to visit the Gamecocks. He has visited North Carolina and also is looking at Michigan, Louisville and Auburn. Jackson plays quarterback, but USC likes him as a receiver. He also can play cornerback.
Wide receiver Lamar Scruggs (6-4, 220) of Jacksonville, Fla., likes USC, South Florida, Illinois and Tennessee, with the Gamecocks and Bulls at the top of his list, according to his coach. Scruggs plans to visit those four and possibly Florida.
Kicker Jeremy Shelley (5-10, 165) of Raleigh is getting interest from USC and likes the Gamecocks. He also is hearing from Clemson, East Carolina and Hawaii. Shelley’s brother is a USC student.
Basketball news. Clemson target Shaunesy Smith of Macon, Miss., committed last week to Mississippi State.
Keith Clanton of Orlando will visit South Florida this weekend, Central Florida next weekend and then make his decision. USC is the other school he is considering.
Furman gained commitments from twins Collin Reddick and Charlie Reddick of Powder Springs, Ga., according to Rivals.com.
Scheduled for official visits with the USC women over the weekend were two of the top four ranked players in the country by ESPN: No. 2 Kelsey Bone of Sugarland, Texas, and No. 4 Markel Walker of Pittsburgh.
Charleston Southern picked up a commitment from Tom Tankelewicz of Apex, N.C.
Baseball news. USC added a commitment for the 2009 class with a pledge from catcher/utility Robert Beary (5-10, 185) of Pensacola (Fla.) JC.
For the 2010 class, the Gamecocks picked up a commitment from left-hander Jimmy Revan (5-10, 155) of Spartanburg Methodist JC. He was the 4A player of the year last season at Boiling Springs.