THE USC FOOTBALL and men’s basketball teams await word this week on major prospects. After delaying his announcement from last week, South Pointe defensive back Stephon Gilmore (6-foot-2, 195 pounds) is scheduled to reveal his choice of either USC or Alabama Tuesday or Wednesday. Gilmore has had his mind made up for over a week, and all indications point toward USC.
“If he goes to South Carolina, he’s going to bring something to that stadium,” Gilmore’s father Steve said Sunday. “If he goes to South Carolina, it’s going to be good for the state. He wants to play in the NFL and he’s got to play for a coach that will get him there. But, Stephon has got to play where he wants to play.”
Gamecock basketball coach Darrin Horn is hopeful of a commitment from Keith Clanton (6-8) of Orlando. Clanton made an official visit to Central Florida over the weekend. He’s also considering South Florida.
One USC football target who got away is defensive end Derrick Lott (6-5, 270) of Kennesaw, Ga. He committed to Georgia last week a few days after getting an offer from the Bulldogs.
Clemson missed on a pair of linebacker hopefuls last week. Conor O’Neill (6-1, 195) of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., picked Wisconsin and Jerod Askew (6-1, 230) of Chesapeake, Va., committed to Tennessee.
Defensive back Josh Hunter (6-1, 172) of Charlotte, who holds an offer from USC and several others, committed last week to North Carolina.
Defensive back Jonathan Scott (6-4, 185) of Daytona Beach, Fla., is scheduled to visit Alabama this coming weekend and is looking at USC, LSU and West Virginia for visits.
The Gamecocks are talking with defensive end Will Hill (6-4, 260) of Williamsburg, Va., about making a visit. Hill said he’s down to USC, Penn State, Maryland, Tennessee, Virginia and Connecticut.
Running back Jarvis Giles (6-0, 180) of Tampa remains a Tennessee commitment, but he’s aware of the rumblings coming out of Knoxville regarding the coaching staff and thus not closing out all the other schools interested in him. Giles said Clemson contacted him a couple of weeks ago. He said Clemson and USC are two he would consider if things change at Tennessee.
Defensive back Justin Green (5-10, 180) of Louisville, who has been committed to Ohio State, is considering taking an official visit to Clemson around Thanksgiving. He talked recently with Clemson recruiter Brad Scott.
Linebacker Lance Ray (6-3, 190) of Havana, Fla., said last week USC recently told him they are full at his position right now but will keep in touch with him. Ray is focusing on Illinois, Florida, Arkansas and LSU. Ray also plays receiver and said he would rekindle his interest in the Gamecocks if they started to recruit him for that position.
Defensive back Brandon Smith (5-11, 165) of Atlanta was scheduled for an official visit to Florida over the weekend. He will visit Tennessee Oct. 25, Auburn Nov. 15 and Clemson Nov. 29. He also will set a date with Georgia.
Wide receiver Jheranie Boyd (6-3, 185) of Gastonia, N.C., was scheduled for an official visit to Florida over the weekend. He previously visited Oklahoma and N.C. State officially and has upcoming visits set with Missouri and Illinois. Clemson and North Carolina also are factors but won’t get official visits because he’s taken multiple unofficial visits to each. He said he will take another unofficial visit to Clemson before making a decision.
Florida commitment offensive lineman Jonathan Harrison (6-4, 285) remains solid with the Gators but said last week he would like to take an official visit to USC.
Wide receiver Justin Brown (6-4, 210) of Wilmington, Del., has not decided on official visits but remains interested in USC which he visited unofficially in the summer. Some of his other offers are Penn State, Pittsburgh, North Carolina, and Virginia Tech, among others.
Linebacker Daniel Mack (6-0, 198) of Miami has taken an official visit to Boston College and will visit Liberty Oct. 25 and Wake Forest Nov. 1. He’s still hearing from Clemson and remains interested in the Tigers.
Linebacker Jonathan Davis (5-9, 205) of Tucker, Ga., wants to take an official visit to USC this weekend, but he said the Gamecocks haven’t been showing as much interest as they once did. He’s getting the strongest push from Georgia Tech, Alabama-Birmingham and Boston College.
Linebacker Antwon Higgs (6-2, 245) of Pompano Beach, Fla., still favors USC though he’s not sure there’s room for him there with the linebackers already committed to the Gamecocks. Higgs said he talked recently with recruiter Robert Gillespie. Higgs has visited Purdue and is scheduled to visit USC Nov. 8. He’s also getting interest from Kansas State, Florida, Louisville, N.C. State and Kentucky.
Another linebacker who still likes USC but might be left out is Robert Nelson (6-0, 205) of Stone Mountain, Ga. He wants to schedule official visits with USC, Auburn, Tennessee and Troy.
Defensive back Frank Crawford (6-1, 170) of Miami has visited Minnesota and wants to set trips with USC, South Florida and Mississippi.
Defensive back Ricardo Dixon (6-0, 175) of Hollywood, Fla., remains committed to South Florida but wants to take official visit to USC, West Virginia, South Florida and either Rutgers or Tennessee.
Defensive end Euclid Cummings (6-3, 235) of Roswell, Ga., is looking at USC, Tennessee and North Carolina for official visits which he will schedule once his SAT score returns. He’s also considering Georgia Tech.
Defensive back Riyahd Richardson (5-9, 165) of Byrnes claims an offer from Texas A&M and is also looking at N.C. State, Syracuse, Notre Dame and Colorado.
Wide receiver Richard Drake (6-2, 182) of Stone Mountain, Ga., is in touch regularly with Clemson recruiter Chris Rumph and is hoping for an offer. He also likes Vanderbilt, Middle Tennessee State, Purdue and Miami of Ohio. His only offer right now is Eastern Michigan.