Phil Kornblut

Top targets: Who's still on the board

Tanner McEvoy
Tanner McEvoy

With the Dixon brothers in the fold, GoGamecocks takes a look at the top targets remaining on South Carolina's recruiting board.


-- Tanner McEvoy (6-6 , 205), Bergen Catholic, Oradell, N.J.

USC received an official visit in December. He will visit North Carolina on the 14th, and Rutgers the following week. He is no longer considering Michigan. North Carolina, Miami and USC are all making visits to McEvoy this week.

The Gamecocks remain strong for his services. He says it is unlikely we will commit until he completes his visits. McEvoy has not named a favorite.

-- Jacoby Brissett (6-5, 235), Dwyer, Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Also looking at North Carolina, Notre Dame, LSU, Florida State and South Florida. FSU expected to be strongest competition for the Gamecocks.

Brissett also is a basketball prospect and USC has offered in that sport as well. Brissett is the higher-rated player, but USC likely has a better chance to land McEvoy.

Tight ends

-- Jerell Adams (6-5, 220), Scott's Branch, Summerton, SC

Adams caught three touchdown passes in December's Shrine Bowl. He is scheduled to visit Arkansas, Clemson and USC in January. USC is believed to be his leader, but his coach says Adams is not indicating a favorite.

When asked which position would best utilize his talents, Adams believes he’s just as good at tight end as defensive end. Most schools that are recruiting him like his combination of size and athleticism and plan to figure out how he fits best once he steps on campus.

-- Rory Anderson (6-5, 205), McCeachern, Powder Springs, GA

Anderson and teammate Marcquis Roberts (DB) are believed to be on the verge of making their commitments to USC. Anderson has said he's not planning to make any more visits. Other schools on his list are (or were) Virginia, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, West Virginia and South Florida.

With Drew Owens of Charlotte already committed and both Adams and Anderson leaning toward USC, it's possible the Gamecocks will end up with three tight ends in this class.

Offensive lineman

-- Josue Matias (6-5, 300), Union City, Union City, NJ

Matias was favoring USC, Rutgers and Florida but now has added Miami to the list. He was scheduled to visit USC on Jan. 14 but is going to Miami instead. He has visited Florida, North Carolina and Wisconsin. He is unsure if he will take a fifth visit, but if he does, it will be between Miami and Rutgers.

He does not have a time frame for his decision and does not have a favorite.

Defensive backs

-- Marcquis Roberts (6-1, 205), McCearchern, Powder Springs, GA

USC is the clear leader over South Florida, West Virginia and Wisconsin. As noted above, he and teammate Rory Anderson (TE) are believed to be on the verge of making their commitments to the Gamecocks.

-- Sheldon Royster (5-11, 190), St. Peters Prep, Jersey City, NJ

A source close to Royster said he was thinking about not taking his scheduled official visits in January to Michigan and North Carolina. That would leave him with a decision between USC and Rutgers, two schools he has visited. Royster has received an in-home visit from Steve Spurrier.

He could announce his commitment as soon as this week.

Defensive ends

-- Jadeveon Clowney (6-6, 240). South Pointe, Rock Hill, SC

The nation's top prospect, Clowney is believed to have USC among his favorites, with the Gamecocks and Alabama at the top. He is no longer considering Clemson or Ohio State. New Florida coach Will Muschamp is trying to make the Gators a factor with Clowney. It may be too little, too late for Muschamp and the Gators.

Clowney is playing Wednesday night in the Under Armour All-American Game, and he and his mother will go to New York after that for an ESPN photo shoot. He will visit Alabama on Jan. 14 and might visit Florida State on Jan. 21. He's undecided about the visit on Jan. 28 and is considering LSU and Auburn, but Florida could jump into the mix.

He visited USC in November. He is expected to announce on Signing Day, but there's a chance the decision could come later.

-- Roderick Byers (6-4, 262), Northwestern, Rock Hill, SC

He has a top two of USC and Georgia Tech. Byers will visit USC on Jan. 14, has visited Georgia Tech and is looking at Clemson and Oregon for possible visits. Spurrier has visited him.

Byers says he may not wait until he has finished his visits to commit. He says he is not favoring one particular school. No time frame for a commitment is set.

Defensive linemen

-- Phillip Dukes (6-3, 285), Manning, Manning, SC

USC, Clemson and Alabama are considered definite official visits. Miami, UNC and Georgia are possible official visits. He will visit the Gamecocks on Jan. 21, and USC is believed to be his favorite.

The 6-foot-3, 285-pounder is planning to wait until National Signing Day to make his choice.

-- Leon Mackey (6-6, 270), Hinds JC, Raymond, MS

A former USC signee, the Gamecocks would like to have him back. He is meeting with coaches from his final three schools this week at his home in Delaware before returning to school.

Friday, USC recruiter Lorenzo Ward will have his meeting with Mackey, who is down to the Gamecocks, Tennessee and Mississippi State. He has visited USC and Tennessee and will visit Mississippi State on Jan. 14. He'll make his decision shortly after that final visit.

-- Kevin McReynolds (6-3, 300), Washington, DC

McReynolds has scratched a scheduled official visit to Arkansas on Jan. 21. He is firm with his other two visits: Oregon on Jan. 14 and USC on the 28th.

He has visited UCLA and Syracuse and is not claiming a favorite.


-- Dexter Staley (6-2, 220), Williston-Elko, Williston, SC

Staley played mostly offense for Williston-Elko, but he projects as an outside linebacker in college.

He may not qualify academically and lists USC, Florida and East Carolina as his leaders. The Gamecocks are believed to be his favorite, and he and his coach are hopeful he'll make the grades to qualify.

-- Cedric Cooper (6-2, 204), Iber, Lithonia, GA

Cooper has set an official visit to USC for Jan. 21. He's also considered Clemson, Ole Miss and Arkansas.

Cooper has remain opened without a favorite during the recruiting season.