College Sports

Tigers track four prospects down to the wire

THE COACHING TRANSITION from Tommy Bowden to Dabo Swinney stalled Clemson’s recruiting efforts for a few weeks, but the Tigers are getting back to normal and have a shot at four prospects who will make decisions over the next two weeks.

Running back Onterrio McCalebb (5-foot-11, 172 pounds) of Hargrave (Va.) Prep is choosing between Clemson and Auburn. He met Saturday with new Auburn coach Gene Chizik who visited the McCalebb home in Fort Pierce, Fla. McCalebb, who committed to Auburn out of high school, could have a decision this week.

Another Hargrave product, defensive end Leon Mackey (6-6, 280), visited Virginia Tech over the weekend and will choose between Clemson and the Hokies. Mackey committed to Virginia Tech out of high school, but he came out of his visit to Clemson two weeks ago feeling strong about the Tigers.

Wide receiver Bryce McNeal (6-2, 175) of Minneapolis has taken his five visits to Clemson, Minnesota, Oregon, Colorado and Oklahoma and will announce his decision Jan. 3 at the US Army All-American Game. Clemson receivers coach Jeff Scott visited McNeal last week.

Linebacker Jon Bostic (6-2, 225) of Wellington, Fla., is down to Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Miami and LSU and could announce soon. Last week he had in-home visits from Swinney and Florida’s Urban Meyer.

Clemson missed on defensive end Izaan Cross (6-5, 253) of Flowery Branch, Ga., who committed Sunday to Georgia Tech. He had scheduled a visit with Clemson for January.

USC lost a commitment over the weekend when linebacker Brent Singleton (6-1, 204) of Plantation, Fla., switched his pledge to Minnesota.

Defensive back Jonathan Davis (5-9, 205) of Tucker, Ga., publicly confirmed his commitment to USC last week after a few days of denying the pledge.

Clemson is moving on athlete Justin Trapp (6-0, 180) of Fairfield Central, who was impressive last week at the Shrine Bowl. The Tigers like him as a slot receiver, and he will visit Jan. 10. Trapp has offers from Vanderbilt and Coastal Carolina. He will visit Coastal on Jan. 3 and Vanderbilt on Jan. 17.

Clemson commitment and Shrine Bowl running back Rod McDowell (5-10, 175) of Sumter has caught the eye of the Florida coaching staff, according to his coach Paul Sorrells. He said the Gators plan to visit McDowell once the dead period is over. However, McDowell is maintaining a firm commitment to Clemson.

Wide receiver Lamar Scruggs (6-4, 212) of Jacksonville, Fla., has set visits with USC on Jan. 17, Ole Miss on Jan. 24 and South Florida on Jan. 31. He also is looking at Florida and Illinois for visits.

“Word on the street here is that he’s going to South Carolina,” said his coach, Joe Reynolds. “His mother is enamored with Steve Spurrier Jr.”

Shrine Bowl wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey (6-3, 217) of Calhoun County said last week he’s still committed to Southern Cal but is going to look hard at South Carolina. Jeffrey will visit South Carolina on Jan. 17.

“I’m just going to do what’s best for me and look at the situations,” Jeffrey said. “They (USC) are making a real strong effort. They are telling me a lot. They are giving me a lot to think about.”

Offensive lineman JeRquari Schofield (6-6, 296) of South Aiken played on the defensive line in the Shrine Bowl and was very impressive. He has been committed to Tennessee, but Clemson has offered and he will visit there Jan. 10.

“Right now it’s Tennessee and Clemson,” Schofield said. “I’m still committed to Tennessee right now, but I still have my eyes open.”

Shrine Bowl defensive end Sam Montgomery (6-5, 240) of Greenwood has a final list of seven schools he is considering and will visit Michigan, North Carolina, LSU, Tennessee and Oregon. USC and Clemson also are in the picture. Montgomery said LSU is his favorite.

Linebacker Sam Barrington (6-3, 218) of Jacksonville, Fla., has visited South Florida, Purdue and Illinois. He will visit Clemson on Jan. 10 and Florida on Jan. 17. Clemson recruiters Jeff Scott and David Blackwell recently visited Barrington who plans to visit a couple of Clemson practices for the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville. He favors South Florida and Illinois.

USC has talked to kicker Jeremy Shelley (5-10, 165) of Raleigh about walking on. He also is drawing interest from Alabama.

Defensive back Pat Burris Jr. (5-11, 175) of South Pointe has offers from S.C. State, Georgia Southern, Newberry and North Dakota. He will visit North Dakota on Jan. 10.

Myrtle Beach Shrine Bowl wide receiver Jamere Valentine (6-2, 195) will visit Appalachian State Jan. 17. He also has offers from Georgia Southern, Presbyterian and Coastal Carolina.

Shrine Bowl defensive lineman Matthew Johnson (6-2, 270) of Keenan has offers from Presbyterian, Coastal Carolina, North Carolina A&T, Western Carolina, St. Augustine, Army and Navy.

Shrine Bowl kicker Grant Clayton (5-8, 170) of AC Flora is getting strong interest from Colorado, West Virginia and Boston College, according to his former coach Robin Bacon.

Shrine Bowl quarterback Donny McElveen II (6-3, 190) of Summerville has set a visit with Central Florida for Jan. 17. He also has offers from Middle Tennessee State and East Carolina. He favors Central Florida.

Byrnes defensive back Riyahd Richardson (5-9, 170) is considering enrolling at Hargrave Prep in the fall. He will attend a workout there Jan. 24.

Walterboro native and wide receiver Nick Adams of Fort Scott (Kan.) JC committed to UAB.

Marlboro County junior wide receiver Jaquan Brantley (5-9, 165) has been offered by Illinois, according to his coach Dean Boyd.

Beaufort junior linebacker Justin Parker (6-2, 205) has offers from USC and Maryland, according to his coach Mark Clifford. Parker also likes Georgia.

Basketball news. 7-foot center Beas Hamga, who is looking for a new school after getting his release from UNLV, will visit USC on Dec. 30 for the Clemson game. Hamga is a native of Cameroon who was a highly recruited player coming out of high school in Decatur, Ill.

Baseball news. Clemson picked up a commitment from junior right-hander Dale Innes of Enca, N.C., according to the Asheville Citzen-Times.