USC’S SHOWCASE CAMP Friday proved beneficial as the Gamecocks pulled in three more commitments pushing their total for the 2009 class to ten. And all three are receivers.
DeAngelo Smith (6-foot-2, 185 pounds) of Kingsland, Ga., had been favoring the Gamecocks for weeks and waiting until the camp to make his pledge to the Gamecocks over Georgia, Vanderbilt and East Carolina. Smith said working with receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr. was refreshing. “I think he’s a good coach,” Smith said. “He’s a big reason I committed.”
DeMario Bennett (6-3, 185) of Douglas, Ga., said Clemson and Florida were his other favorites though neither had offered. Bennett was attracted to USC by the offensive game plan. “I know they are going to throw the ball,” he said.
And Charles Holmes (6-3, 197) of South Pointe also likes how he might fit in with the Gamecock offense. “They give their wide receivers a chance after the catch and let them do a lot of things by themselves,” said Holmes. Holmes does have some academic work to achieve, so he may first have to attend a prep school or junior college.
Holmes’s friend and teammate, athlete Stephon Gilmore (6-2, 195), also attended the camp, and “He told me South Carolina and Alabama are his top two,” Holmes said.
Marlboro County wide receiver Kinsman Thomas (6-3, 195) hoped to commit at USC’s camp but the Gamecocks want to see a little better speed from him before taking a commitment. “They said they wanted me to wait (to commit) until my forty time came down,” Thomas said. Thomas said USC remains his favorite.
Wide receiver Dominique Ellis (5-10, 168) of Homerville, Ga., had planned to come in for USC’s camp but didn’t make it. He’s now looking to visit Aug. 1. He’s favoring the Gamecocks and likely would commit if given an official offer.
Junior offensive lineman Eric Mack (6-4, 323) of Calhoun County is a strong lean to USC and could be an early commitment. Mack wants to stay close to his St. Matthews home.
Mack’s teammate, athlete Davis Sims (6-0, 215), plans three of his official visits for Michigan, Oregon and N.C. State. USC and Tennessee also are factors.
Sims, Mack and teammate wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey (6-3, 217) attended USC’s camp Friday. Jeffrey has been committed to Southern Cal and remains so, though he’s expected to attend several USC games this season.
Several Greenwood High prospects visited USC Friday including defensive back D.J. Swearinger (6-0, 200). He has been favoring Tennessee and North Carolina and has narrowed his list to the Vols, Tar Heels and Gamecocks.
Other Eagles at USC Friday were defensive end Sam Montgomery (6-5, 240), defensive back Byron Best (5-9 180) and junior offensive lineman Kelcy Quarles. Montgomery remains open on his decision and has not cut his list. Best is waiting on an USC offer. And Quarles, the son of former Gamecock offensive lineman Buddy Quarles, is a strong lean to the Gamecocks and is expected to commit before his senior season.
Columbia defenisve back Damario Jeffery (6-3, 213) participated at USC’s camp and feels he showed the Gamecock coaches he can be a safety for them. He favors USC over Alabama and Auburn.
Beaufort defensive back Jimmy LeGree (6-0, 170) did not make it to USC’s camp but remains a strong lean to the Gamecocks. He also has offers from Vanderbilt, Presbyterian and Buffalo.
Byrnes wide receiver Rico Sanders (5-10, 185) has a top four of USC, Auburn, Florida and Florida State. Sanders said Clemson, a one time favorite, no longer is a major factor.
Defensive lineman Josh Elizondo (6-2, 270) of Naples, Fla., says he’ll set up official visits with USC, N.C. State, Pittsburgh, Florida State and Duke for the fall.
Greer tight end Desmond Parks (6-6 215) continues to favor Florida by a small margin over Clemson, and Georgia is now showing interest.
USC commitment linebacker Brent Singleton (6-1, 204) of Plantation, Fla., led a group of five Florida prospects on who visited USC and Clemson Friday as part of a trip to several Southern schools. Singleton remains firm with the Gamecocks.
Also in the group were linebacker Frankie Telfort (6-0, 205) of Miami, defensive back Rishard Anderson (6-0, 180) of Plantation, wide receiver Sterling Griffin of Opa Locka and defensive back Darryl Williams of Miami. Telfort has over 30 offers, and he feels Clemson will be one of his top five. Anderson and Griffin are getting more interest from USC. Anderson has offers from Wake Forest and Rutgers, among others. Griffin has offers from Syracuse, Virginia, Purdue and Iowa State, among others.
Newberry wide receiver J.J. Suber (6-4, 210) counts North Carolina, Presbyterian and Jackson State has his current offers. Suber also has talked to Clemson recruiter Andre Powell who plans to scout him this season.
Defensive back Terry Shankle (6-0, 170) of Norwood, N.C., has cut his list to Clemson, North Carolina, N.C. State, Florida and Alabama with no favorite. He feels the Tar Heels and Alabama are making the strongest push.
Offensive lineman Xavier Nixon (6-7, 274) of Fayetteville, N.C., is looking at Notre Dame, Miami, Florida State and LSU for four of his official visits. He also has Clemson and USC, on his favorites list.
Myrtle Beach wide receiver Jamere Valentine (6-2, 195) has offers from Presbyterian, Coastal Carolina, Furman, The Citadel, Charleston Southern and Wofford. He’s also drawn interest from USC, Clemson, Vanderbilt and Tennessee.
Running back Travis Small (5-10, 183) of Cheraw, who was USC’s camp Friday, has offers from Duke and S.C. State.
Wide receiver Eric Williams (5-11, 185) of Bradenton, Fla., did not make it to USC Friday but continues to favor the Gamecocks over Marshall and Mississippi, among others.
Athlete Prince Kent (6-3, 195) of Norcross, Ga., is scheduled to announce his college choice Monday morning at 11:30. He’s down to Clemson, Alabama and Miami.
West Florence offensive lineman John Coleman (6-4, 275) has offers from Duke, Buffalo, Newberry, Wofford, Presbyterian and Coastal Carolina. Coleman, whose father played at USC, was scheduled to attend the Gamecocks’ camp Friday.
USC is one of the favorites with defensive end Euclid Cummings (6-2, 235) of Roswell, Ga. He plans to take one of his official visits in the fall to USC.
Palmetto, Fla., defensive end Kedric Johnson (6-4, 215) has no favorites, but five schools which have moved away from the pack are Clemson, USC, Auburn, South Florida and Nebraska.
Basketball News: The Gaston Gazette reporter last week that Cherryville, N.C. native Justin Johnson (6-7), who will attend Chipola JC, Fla., in the fall, has committed to Clemson for the 2010 class contingent on completing his academic work.