Clemson University

Recruiting: Word is getting around on Shell

THE NATIONWIDE interest in Goose Creek offensive lineman Brandon Shell continues to grow.

"I took calls yesterday from Southern Cal, Michigan and Tennessee," Gators coach Chuck Reedy said last week.

The offer list for Shell also includes USC, Clemson, Florida, Miami, LSU, Alabama, Wisconsin, Kansas, Oregon, N.C. State, North Carolina, Maryland and Kansas State. Shell talked on the phone for a half hour Tuesday with Alabama coach Nick Saban.

"In 20 years of college coaching, I've never had one like him," Reedy said. "He's a No. 1 NFL draft pick. He's very impressive physically, not fat, just big. He has great feet and he's very athletic. He has great hands and he knows how to use his hands. He has become more physical."

Shell bench presses more than 300 pounds. At 6-foot-8, he is also a standout on the basketball team. Shell is the great nephew of NFL Hall of Fame lineman Art Shell.

Reedy says Shell is wide open on his recruiting and will narrow things down during the summer. He went to Clemson last summer for an unofficial visit and later attended a game. He has not been to USC.

He has no junior day visits planned due to basketball. After basketball season, he will arrange some weekend visits.

Wide receiver Nigel King of Raleigh received an offer from USC. King is familiar with South Carolina because he has two grandparents who graduated from USC.

"I have a lot of family down there," he said. "I'm pretty familiar with the state down there."

He has offers from USC, North Carolina, Maryland, Louisville, East Carolina, N.C. State, LSU and Colorado. King was scheduled to be at North Carolina over the weekend for a junior day. He has also visited LSU, Duke, North Carolina, N.C. State, Florida, Tennessee, and East Carolina over the last two years.

Union County defensive end Desmond Floyd holds early offers from Kentucky and Duke, according to his coach, David Lipsey. Clemson, USC and N.C. State also are showing interest.

Kentucky coach Joker Phillips checked on Floyd late last month. Clemson and USC have invited him for a junior day. Floyd has been to Clemson for games but has not yet been to USC.

"He has a long wingspan and comes off the corner well," Lipsey said of Floyd. "He's got to develop, get quicker and stronger."

Floyd also plays basketball, is agile and moves around well. He has good feet and plays some at wide receiver.

Offensive lineman Ryan Norton of Mauldin has offers from Clemson, Georgia Tech and East Carolina. He is also getting interest from USC, Wake Forest, Cincinnati, UCLA, N.C. State and Vanderbilt. Norton is calling Clemson and Georgia Tech his favorites.

"I visited there (Clemson) a few times and like the campus," Norton said. "Georgia Tech is right up there with Clemson. They're probably equal right now. Any school that wants to recruit me, I'm wide open. I grew up a USC fan, but things change."

Norton was scheduled to go to Georgia Tech this past weekend for a junior day, and he will go to one at Clemson this weekend. Norton plays center but has also played tackle.

Marlboro County linebacker Lateek Townsend is not claiming a favorite, but he has got a feeling about the school pushing the hardest for him.

"Clemson talks to me more than any other school," Townsend said. "I'm getting a good chemistry starting with them right now."

Townsend has offers from Clemson, USC, Illinois, N.C. State, Maryland, East Carolina and Texas A&M. Florida also is showing interest. He plans to go to Clemson's junior day this weekend and eventually get to a USC junior day.

Offensive lineman Garrett Clark of Daytona Beach, Fla., is hearing from Clemson, USC, Georgia Tech, Central Florida, Florida State, Rutgers, Purdue, and Georgia. He says UCF and Georgia Tech have given him verbal offers. He recently visited Rutgers for an offensive lineman camp. Clark says Clemson is recruiting him the hardest.

"The West End Zone is really nice," he said. "They probably have the nicest weight room I've seen so far and their coaches are really straight up."

Two of Clark's friends have committed to Clemson: Marlin Lane and Cortez Davis. Clark was scheduled to be at Florida over the weekend for their junior day.

Offensive lineman Justin Floyd of Cartersville, Ga., made an unofficial visit to USC last Wednesday. The Gamecocks are in the evaluation process with Floyd and have not yet offered. Floyd also is drawing interest from Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Central Florida and Vanderbilt. He attended Georgia's recent junior day in addition to an unofficial visit in late December.

Defensive back Zeph Grimes of Bamberg-Ehrhardt received an offer from Illinois, according to his coach Butch Crosby. Grimes also holds an offer from Michigan State. He was scheduled to visit Georgia Tech over the weekend. He is also hearing from USC and Clemson, and both plan to evaluate him this spring. Colorado, N.C. State and Virginia Tech are also showing interest. Grimes can play safety or outside linebacker.

Running back Savon Huggins of Jersey City, N.J., has several offers, including Clemson and USC. Some other offers are North Carolina, Miami, Rutgers, Northwestern, Alabama, Florida, Pitt, West Virginia, Virginia, Cal, Stanford, Duke, Connecticut and Boston College. He is also hearing from Notre Dame, Penn State, and Central Florida, and is expecting offers from each. His sole junior day visit has been to Rutgers, and he has taken unofficial visits to Wake Forest, Miami, and Penn State. Huggins plans to take more unofficials to USC, Clemson, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, South Florida, Duke, and Cal.

Quarterback Jeff Driskel of Oviedo, Fla., has an offer from Clemson, and USC plans to evaluate him. USC has not offered a quarterback in the 2011 class. Driskel said he also has offers from LSU, Auburn, Florida, Virginia Tech, Purdue, Miami, Arizona State and Florida International. He went to junior day at Auburn, and he was to be at Florida over the weekend. Driskel talked with Clemson recruiter Chris Rumph last week. He camped at Clemson last summer and wants to get back there this summer.

"I liked it a lot there," he said. "I want to play in a league where you win and get in a BCS bowl," Driskel said. "And I want to be in a program that can develop me into a potential NFL player, and where they embrace me as a person and a player, not just as a player."

Driskel will be a mid-year enrollee. Driskel said scouts like his size and the fact he can make throws on the run and in the pocket.

Wide receiver Hakeem Flowers of Wade Hampton is holding 34 written offers, but USC and Clemson are not among them. Flowers has offers from Miami, LSU, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Auburn, Florida State, Maryland, North Carolina, Duke, N.C. State, Texas Tech, Cincinnati, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech, Oregon, Oregon State, Colorado, Vanderbilt and others. Georgia and Texas have also expressed interest.

USC and Clemson want to evaluate him further, according to Generals coach Kent Haltiwanger. "He's really looking out of state," the coach said.

Flowers does plan to attend USC's junior day on Feb. 20, but he is going primarily to accompany his teammate, sophomore running back Blake Hayes, whom USC is very interested in. Flowers will visit Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State, Texas Tech and schools out west this summer.

Flowers has "blazing speed." according to his coach. and can run 100 meters in 10.4 seconds.

"He's tall enough and big enough to go get the ball," Haltiwanger said. "He has great hands, big hands."

Flowers sustained a separated shoulder in the second game of last season. He continued to play but was not as effective.

Quarterback Sam Spence of Charlotte is hearing from most ACC and SEC schools. He likes USC and Clemson.

"I went to a game at Clemson last year and I was surprised," Spence said. "They have a great atmosphere like an SEC school."

He has some connections to USC.

"G.A. Mangus is good friends with my quarterback coach," he said. "And I'm good friends with (USC signee) Dylan Thompson."

Spence plans to go to Virginia for their junior day March 6. He is also looking to at junior days for USC, Clemson and North Carolina. Spence has taken unofficial visits to North Carolina, N.C. State, Duke, and Virginia.

Clemson appears to be close to offering to athlete Brandon Thomas of Calhoun County. He has an offer from Kentucky, and USC is showing interest.

North Carolina has offered Clemson commitment defensive back Brandon Ellerbe.

Central defensive lineman Josh Covington is drawing interest from USC, Cincinnati and N.C. State.

Greer defensive end Mario Sanders committed to Duke, according to Duke was the first major offer for Sanders, who also drew interest from Clemson, North Carolina, Virginia, LSU, Georgia, Georgia Tech and Auburn, among others.

Wofford and Newberry added signees to their 2010 classes. Wofford signed linebacker Travis Thomas from Bowie, Md.,; Newberry signed wide receiver Jacob Brown of Dacula, Ga., and running back Dureal Elmore of Abbeville.