Offensive lineman Na’Ty Rodgers of Pomfret, Md., had made multiple unofficial visits to South Carolina, accompanied by others, but he took his official visit this past weekend solo, and with a purpose.
Rodgers wanted to see what it was like by himself at USC and if it was the right fit. Apparently it was, and he tweeted out his commitment Monday afternoon.
“I really liked what I saw there by myself so I decided to pull the trigger,” Rodgers said.
“It’s just a great place to be. The honesty of the coaching staff, the game day atmosphere, it’s a place where you look forward to going and playing.
Before making his announcement, Rodgers had to meet Monday morning with Maryland recruiters and give them the news. “Of course, they are not going to like it, but that’s recruiting,” said Rodgers, who also canceled a planned visit to Florida State for this weekend.
Rodgers can play anywhere on the line but is more of a guard or tackle and will be open to whatever line coach Shawn Elliott has in store for him.
“I’ll fit in wherever they want me to fit in. I want to get down there and compete.”
Rodgers is the fifth offensive lineman to commit for the Gamecocks’ 2013 class and the 20th commitment overall.
In other recruiting news:
USC’s biggest recruiting weekend of the month produced a commitment, but it was for the 2014 class.
Dillon LB Joe Blue (5-11, 230) made his pledge during an unofficial visit, according to his coach, Jackie Hayes.
“I think (Blue) is an inside linebacker, but he’s a tailback, too,” said Hayes.
Blue also has offers from Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Florida, Auburn, Southern Cal, N.C. State, Maryland, Alabama, Tennessee, LSU and Georgia.
Blue is USC’s first commitment for the 2014 class.
Clemson picked up commitment No. 16 for the 2013 class on Sunday in WR Ky Priester (6-2, 185) of Snellville, Ga.
Last season, Priester had 56 catches for 1,000 yards and 13 touchdowns. As a junior playing in Florida, he had 31 catches for 565 yards and five touchdowns. Priester helps offset two receiver defections for the Tigers earlier this month in Demarcus Robinson (Florida) and Ryan Jenkins (Tennessee).
USC had five uncommitted senior prospects on campus over the weekend for official visits. None committed, but the Gamecocks kept themselves in good position with each.
Three of the visitors were linebackers: Jonathan Walton, Skai Moore and Yannick Ngakoue.
Tennessee is the only other school Walton is still considering. USC coach Steve Spurrier plans to visit him after he returns from a trip to Auburn. Walton said right now USC has the edge on the field.
Moore has also visited Vanderbilt and Wisconsin and is considering Arkansas and Tennessee for visits.
The Gamecocks prefer Walton and Moore among the three for linebacker, but they also like Ngakoue as an Eric Norwood type of player. Right now he has USC, Maryland and Florida State as his top three with no favorite.
Besides Priester, Clemson had three other 2013 targets in for official visits: OL Tyrone Crowder of Hamlet, N.C., QB Asaintii Woulard of Winter Park, Fla., and WR James Clark of New Smyrna Beach, Fla.
Clemson has been Crowder’s favorite over Georgia but he plans to wait until Signing Day before making an announcement
Woulard is a former South Florida commitment who backed out of that after coach Skip Holtz was fired. He has also visited Kentucky and is scheduled to visit UCLA this weekend. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney will make his in-home visit Thursday.