Josh Belk, a 2018 defensive lineman from Lewisville, has worn out the interstates to South Carolina and Clemson this season. He's been to both for game multiple times with USC drawing his presence last weekend. He was at Clemson for the Pitt game and will return to Death Valley this Saturday.
At USC Saturday, Belk said he got the usual treatment, talking with Will Muschamp, Lance Thompson and some of the players, having access to the postgame locker room activities and checking out the facilities.
"The coaches showed love," Belk said. "I talked to coach Thompson and he told me to keep up the good work and coach Muschamp said they are rising up and rebuilding right now. They are a young team and didn't give up, just kept playing."
Belk said he's befriended Gamecock defensive linemen Urich Jones and Dante Sawyer and talked with them as well while on the visit.
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This Saturday, of course, Belk will be a guest of Clemson. But that doesn't mean he'll be pulling for the Tigers over the Gamecocks.
"I hope both of them do good," he said. "I want to see them both do good."
Belk said he won't make his decision until after his official visits next year and he is planning to graduate early. And right now the two locals are making the most noise with him.
"Clemson and USC (are recruiting the hardest)," Belk said. "They are coming at me pretty hard."
Belk said there is no overall favorite and he likes all the schools recruiting him. And he doesn't feel the in-state schools have any advantage over the out-of-state schools.
"That's why I say I want to take my official visits because I can go to Clemson and USC but I really want to take my other official visits and see really what's going on."
Belk estimated he has around 60 tackles, five sacks and five blocked field goals this season. He also plays offensive tackle.
▪ QB Maddox Tavernier, an eighth grader from Indianapolis, already has drawn the attention of Clemson and USC along with several other major programs even though he's only in junior high.
"I train and have the same quarterback coach as Hunter Johnson (Clemson) and plan on attending South Carolina's elite camp in early June,” Tavernier said. “So far most of my interest is from the Big Ten and Ole Miss. Since I'm 2021 I'm just getting started this past year. I've had eight visits this fall...Indiana, Purdue, Michigan, Michigan St, Illinois, Ball State, Louisville and Central Michigan. I'm going to Miami of Ohio this Tuesday and to Ole Miss next weekend. I'm friends with Shea Patterson."
▪ 2019 DB Akele Pauling of Cardinal Newman attended USC's game last Saturday against Western Carolina.
"Carolina was a great visit. The coaches were great, the fans were electric and overall it was just a great visit. I have visited Tennessee, Georgia Tech, The Citadel and SC State. I'm going up to Northwestern this week."
Pauling said he has not yet been offered.
▪ Northwestern RB Jerry Howard switched his commitment Monday from East Carolina to Georgia Tech.
▪ Sharone Wright Jr., a 2018 6-foot-4 guard from West Florence, included Clemson and USC in his final 12. The others are Wake Forest, Georgia, VCU, Georgia Tech, Charlotte, Kansas State, Auburn, Arkansas, Central Florida and Florida State.