Phil Kornblut

Saban visits Dukes, on his way to see Clowney

Alabama head coach Nick Saban is in South Carolina Wednesday to make in home visits with DL Phillip Dukes of Manning and DE Jadaveon Clowney (6-6 240) of South Pointe. Saban met with Dukes first before heading up to Rock Hill. Saban is the first head coach to visit both of these players during the current contact period. USC coach Steve Spurrier evaluated both in early September and still has his in home visit to make.

"He ran down all the things Alabama has to offer," Manning coach Robbie Briggs said. "He bounced a lot of positives John (Fulton) has experienced. He sold their program and discussed their support systems. He discussed how he would fit in with their needs. He met his mom for the first time. Phil told hiim he appreciated him being there and was impressed that he was the first head coach to come see him."

USC recruiter Brad Lawing met with Dukes Sunday at Briggs's home. "USC is clearly the favorite," the coach said. "Proximity is the biggest thing. They want to make other visits just to make sure each school has a chance to put its best foot forward with his mother there."

North Carolina recruiter Sam Pittman also visited on Sunday and Clemson's Chris Rumph was in earlier in the week. Dukes will take his official visit to North Carolina this weekend. He will go to Alabama January 7th if there's no bowl conflict. His Clemson visit will be January 14th and he will visit USC January 21st. USC leads with Clemson second followed by Alabama and North Carolina.