Phil Kornblut

Xavier Thomas: Clemson coach change will impact recruitment

Xavier Thomas appears to be USC-Clemson battle

Phil Kornblut breaks down the recruitment of nationally elite Class of 2018 defensive end Xavier Thomas of Florence and IMG Academy.
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Phil Kornblut breaks down the recruitment of nationally elite Class of 2018 defensive end Xavier Thomas of Florence and IMG Academy.

Class of 2018 defensive end Xavier Thomas of Florence and IMG Academy reacted on Twitter Wednesday night to the news that Clemson’s defensive ends coach Marion Hobby is leaving for the NFL.

Thomas has narrowed his decision to South Carolina and Clemson. He tweeted that Hobby’s departure will be a factor in his recruitment, though he later deleted that tweet. He said via Twitter he would not be putting out any more recruiting information on social media until he makes his decision.

▪  Defensive end Javon Kinlaw of Goose Creek and Jones County Junior College (Mississippi) tweeted on Wednesday night that he will not do any more interviews on his recruiting until he commits. He’s choosing between USC and Southern Cal. He visited Southern Cal last weekend and will visit USC Jan. 28.

▪  DE Jaylen Twyman of Washington, DC, canceled his visit for this weekend to Missouri. He has taken official visits to USC and Pitt.

▪  Class of 2018 Greer DB Quavian White picked up his first offer Wednesday from Wisconsin. He’s also hearing from USC and he said the Gamecocks are coming to check on him. “Coach T-Rob is a constant and he stays in touch. I like him a lot. I think they like me at corner because I have speed and can keep up with any receiver on the field. And I play bigger than my size.” White said he’s not heard from Clemson.

▪  USC Wednesday offered 2018 DB Trey Dean of Hampton, Ga. “I just thank God and I was excited,” he said of the USC offer. Penn State also offered Wednesday. Dean said he will take a visit to USC in the weeks ahead.

▪  USC has made contact with 2018 DL Raiqwon O’Neal of Conway. “They like my film and want me to come to their junior day, and they are coming to the school.” O’Neal said he heard Wednesday from defensive line coach Lance Thompson.

▪  TE Cameron Butler of Ridge View made an official visit to Colorado State last weekend and remains committed to the Rams. He will take an official visit to Georgia State this weekend. USC also has also shown some interest this month.

▪  Class of 2018 DB Israel Mukuamu, former of Berkeley but now living in Bossier City, La., is going to Oklahoma State and Texas-San Antonio for junior days. He has had previous contact from Clemson and USC.

▪  Class of 2018 QB Brayden Hawkins of Dillon said he was contacted recently by USC’s quarterback coach Kurt Roper and is expecting him to visit. Hawkins said he plans to attend junior days at USC, NC State, Boston College, Michigan State, Nebraska and Virginia Tech.

▪  Class of 2018 DB Justin Reese of South Pointe is planning to go to junior days at USC, NC State and possibly Clemson. He said in-state USC is showing a little stronger interest than Clemson at this point.

▪  Class of 2018 TE Zach Sheffer of Ponte Vedra, FL said he’s in regular contact with USC recruiter Pat Washington. He recently picked up an offer from Ohio State. He has not yet set up any junior day visits.

▪  Class of 2018 kicker BT Potter of South Pointe still hears a lot from USC, and he said he’s hearing more from Clemson of late. He will make an unofficial visit to USC this Saturday. He’s also hearing from FIU, Georgia State, Coastal and Stanford.

▪  Class of 2018 WR Dan Land II of Albany, Ga., said USC recruiter Mike Peterson keeps in contact with him and he’s also getting communication from Clemson. He’s going to visit Georgia Tech, Georgia, Notre Dame and Alabama. He has an offer from Central Michigan.