Gamecocks, Tigers add top receivers to 2014 classes
South Carolina and Clemson added to their already talented 2014 football recruiting classes last week with commitments from the top receivers in South Carolina and Florida, respectively.
Gaffney wide receiver Shaq Davidson had long favored the Gamecocks, and he made his decision official last Tuesday.
“Ever since my tenth grade year when I tore my ACL, I felt like they were the ones there the whole time recruiting me the hardest,” Davidson said. “They were loving and caring and very welcoming. I just felt like that was the place for me to go.”
Clemson also landed a commitment last Tuesday from wide receiver Artavis Scott of Tarpon Springs, Fla. He picked the Tigers over Florida and Central Florida.
Scott attended one of Clemson’s camps last month, and that’s when the Tigers moved to the top of his list.
“I liked them ever since I went there,” Scott said. “I think it was a good spot for me and I think I fit there. It took a little minute for me to decide where I wanted to go, but after I put things together, I just knew where it was.”
Scott is one of the fastest receivers in Florida. Last season, he had 64 catches for 995 yards and 10 touchdowns. He is Clemson’s 13th commitment for the 2014 class and the second wide receiver.
In other recruiting news:
DB Al Harris Jr. of Fort Lauderdale said last week he plans to make his commitment within the next two weeks. USC has been his leader and remains so. “Nothing has changed so far,” said Harris, who talked Tuesday night with Gamecocks recruiter Grady Brown. “We talked about my visits and my training. I really like their school, like what they have to offer football-wise and academically. And I’m real comfortable with the coaches.” Harris said he’d like to take some visits between July 12-24 and is looking at USC, Louisville, Florida State, N.C. State and Arkansas for those stops. He feels like USC is showing the strongest interest in him, and when decision time comes, he’ll sit down with his father and discuss the pros and cons of each school.
DL Kendall Baker of Atlanta committed to Georgia last week. Clemson was also on his short list.
DL Peyton Newell of Hawatha, Kan., released a final four of USC, Nebraska, Kansas and Kansas State. In an interview in June, Newell said he actually had USC and Nebraska as his finalists, with no leader. He visited Nebraska for a camp in June, and he hopes to make a return trip to Columbia in July for the Black Magic Showcase Camp. Newell will announce his decision on Aug. 30.
DL Abu Lamin of Fort Scott JC, Kan., had hoped to visit USC on Friday or Saturday with his mother while he was home in Fayetteville, N.C., but his mother was not able to make the trip. Lamin made an official visit to USC last month and has the Gamecocks as his current favorite. Lamin will be taking other visits. He is looking at an official visit to Georgia on Friday, and he is set to visit Arkansas on July 19. He also plans to visit Tennessee before his season or during his bye week, and Kentucky is trying to get him in for a visit. He has also been to Florida for an official visit. Lamin will be a mid-year transfer.
DL Lamont Gaillard of Fayetteville, N.C., has scheduled a pair of visits for July 20. Kipp Adams of ESPN.com reports Gaillard and his mother will visit Clemson and Georgia on that day. Gaillard has named Georgia as his favorite but has also maintained strong interest in Clemson. He visited Clemson in early March. He has also visited Florida and at one point favored the Gators.
Sophomore DB Evan Cruz (class of 2016) of Melbourne, Fla., spent some time in Columbia on Thursday on his way to the Grand Strand. Cruz did not meet with any staff, but he did check out Williams-Brice Stadium. “South Carolina’s football stadium... Oh my... First SEC stadium and I’m in awe,” Cruz tweeted. Cruz is just appearing on the recruiting scene. He started in the secondary for Viera High School as a freshman and also played backup running back.
DE Keyon Brown of Wachula, Fla., released his top five in order as Georgia, Florida State, Miami, Clemson and Tennessee.
DB Deion Hallmon of Weston, Fla., released his top five list as Florida State, Syracuse, Wisconsin, Rutgers and West Virginia. USC was on his previous short list.
OL Bentley Spain of Charlotte, who at one point appeared to favor USC, plans to make his decision this month. North Carolina and Stanford are now his top two.
USC 2015 commitment DE Arden Key of Atlanta visited USC on Tuesday with his father and told TheBigSpur.com he remains 100 percentcommitted to the Gamecocks. Key and his father spent the day with Gamecocks recruiter Lorenzo Ward. Key visited Auburn last month, and that raised some flags among Gamecocks fans about his thinking.
Stratford’s Jacob Park and Clemson commitment Deshaun Watson of Gainesville, Ga., were chosen as part of the Elite 11 quarterback class for 2013. Park, who is committed to Georgia, was ranked 6th and Watson was ranked 10th in the final rankings released late Wednesday night. Former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer and his staff selected the 11 quarterbacks from a group of 18 that competed. Sean White of Fort Lauderdale, who is uncommitted, was named the Elite 11 MVP. USC, Auburn, Wisconsin and Tennessee are some of the schools in touch with him, and he’s working on setting up visits later this summer.
SS Marcus Mooney of Palm Beach State JC, Fla.,, the brother of former USC shortstop Peter Mooney, has signed with USC for the 2013 class. He also considered N.C. State, Florida State, Miami and Florida Atlantic. He will have three years of eligibility. His team won the Florida JUCO championship this past season and finished second in the Junior College World Series. Last season, Mooney batted .327 with 30 RBIs and 18 stolen bases.
USC also landed a commitment from junior second baseman Everett Eynon of AC Flora. Eynon helped lead the Falcons to the Class AAA state championship last season. He’s the 16th commitment for USC’s 2014 class and the seventh from South Carolina.
OF Danny Blair of Bel Air, Md., also committed to USC last week for the 2015 class after wrapping up a visit to the school. Blair picked the Gamecocks over Florida, Arizona State and LSU. PerfectGame.com ranks the left-handed hitting Blair among the best outfielders in the country in his class. Blair was the MVP of the Good Will Games in Australia last winter. Blair is the Gamecocks’ sixth commitment for the 2015 class and the second for the outfield.
Clemson has a commitment for the 2014 class from OF Drew Wharton of Marietta, Ga. He batted .316 last season with 11 RBIs and 4 stolen bases. He also worked out of the bullpen and recorded 3 saves and a 2.72 ERA. He also had offers from Tulane, Kennesaw State and College of Charleston. He’s Clemson’s sixth commitment for the 2014 class.