It's three days until National Signing Day and we're down to three uncommitted major prospects in South Carolina: defensive lineman Phillip Dukes of Manning, tight end Jerrell Adams of Scotts Branch and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney of South Pointe.
Dukes will announce his decision Tuesday. He made an official visit to North Carolina over the weekend, but his decision is expected to come down to South Carolina and Clemson. Going into the weekend, according to his coach Robbie Briggs, Dukes was favoring USC.
Adams made an unofficial visit to Clemson on Saturday for the basketball game with Florida State. Like his close friend Dukes, Adams' decision is coming down to USC and Clemson.
Adams will announce his decision Wednesday morning.
And then there's Clowney, perhaps the most decorated high school football player ever from South Carolina. Clowney spent the weekend at Clemson on an official visit. He arrived early Saturday morning and attended the basketball game, sitting with Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney behind the Clemson bench. His mother and father joined him on the visit.
Clowney may still take another visit. North Carolina and LSU have been trying to get him scheduled. Tar Heels head coach Butch Davis met with him last week. Clowney has another weekend available to visit because he won't sign until Feb. 14, his birthday. Coaches from USC and Alabama also met with Clowney last week.
"I'll just flat out tell you, I think he's going to the University of South Carolina," said Bobby Carroll, Clowney's coach at South Pointe throughout his career and now the coach at York. "I've thought that since day one. I just believe that's where he's going. When you can get 18,000 fans to chant, 'We want Clowney,' that's pretty impressive. I've got a good feeling that's where Mr. Clowney is going to end up."
In other recruiting news:
Clemson had two other official visitors on campus this weekend along with several juniors who were in for a junior day.
The official visitors were OL Spencer Region (6-6, 300) of Cullman, Ala., and committed OL Isaiah Battle of St. George, Va., who is expected to enroll at a prep school in the fall.
Region is one of the top OL prospects in the country and is an Under Armour All-American. He had committed to Alabama at one point but backed off that and then nearly committed to Auburn. He made an official visit to Louisville two weekends ago. Region was not available for comment following his Clemson visit but prior to the trip his coach was confident he would pick Clemson. "I believe, if everything goes well, he will commit," said Britton. "That's just my opinion. But from everything Spencer has told me, I think that is his plan." Britton cited Region's relationship with Clemson recruiter Charlie Harbison as a major factor in Region's interest in the Tigers. Region plans to announce on signing day at 10:30 a.m. He's narrowed his decision to Clemson and Auburn.
Clemson lost one of its commitments last week when DE Jeoffrey Pagan of Asheville, N.C., de-committed. He's expected to sign with Georgia. And the Tigers missed on DE Ray Drew of Thomasville, Ga., when he committed to Georgia.
Clemson will find out Wednesday if it's going to land highly acclaimed linebackers Tony Steward of St. Augustine and Stephone Anthony of Wadesboro, N.C. Swinney met with both last week.
Steward is choosing between Clemson and Florida State. FSU coach Jimbo Fisher got the last in-person visit with Steward, meeting with him on Friday. Steward plans to announce on ESPNU on Wednesday.
Anthony, who visited North Carolina over the weekend, also is considering Florida and Virginia Tech. All four schools remain in the hunt and it's tight between them, according to his coach.
Anthony's teammate, DB Brandon Ellerbe, also remains a possibility for Clemson, though he's been committed to North Carolina and visited there over the weekend.
USC did not have any official visits over the weekend, but three of the Gamecocks' commitments took visits elsewhere: DE Mason Harris to Miami, DE Lorenzo Mauldin to Troy and LB Cedrick Cooper to Ole Miss.
Harris met last week with Miami head coach Al Golden and USC recruiter G.A. Mangus. Harris is planning to have a decision today.
Mauldin was concerned about qualifying for USC and the depth at defensive end with the Gamecocks. "I'd say it's 70-30 Troy," Mauldin said when asked which way he's leaning right now. He said he'll make a final decision today or Tuesday.
Cooper was actually committed to USC and Arkansas before de-committing from Arkansas last week. His final decision will come down to the Gamecocks and Razorbacks with an announcement Wednesday.
USC lost one of its commitments last week when DB Jared Henry of Jacksonville switched to Central Florida.
USC commitment OL Brandon Shell of Goose Creek did firm up his pledge to the Gamecocks last week after first meeting with Alabama's Nick Saban and then with Steve Spurrier. He will sign Wednesday morning at 8 a.m.
Northwestern DE Roderick Byers (6-4, 265) committed to Oregon last week. He had also considered USC and Clemson though the Tigers did not offer. Byers is the first player ever from South Carolina to commit to Oregon out of high school. Former Chester High running back Maurice Morris played for the Ducks after first attending a junior college.
Williston-Elko LB Dexter Staley will sign Wednesday with Georgia Military JC. The Shrine Bowler hopes to sign with USC after two seasons of JUCO ball but will also consider Georgia at that time.
James Island OL Jairon Harrison (6-3 298) committed to S.C. State. And State gained a commitment from RB Jalen Simmons who de-committed from Duke.
Three players from Clover made commitments: QB Aaron Miller to The Citadel, DL Jerry Sanders to Newberry and OL Griffin Marsh to North Greenville.
LB Marcus Bates of Williston-Elko committed to Newberry and teammate OL Joseph Rhynes committed to North Greenville.
Woodland High School, which has its first D-1 recruit in Clemson-bound ATH Robert Smith, has two other players who will sign Wednesday, the first time the school has had three players to sign on the same day. WR Devine Kelly and OL Ricky Pringle will sign with Newberry.
Junior DL Martin Aiken of Bamberg-Ehrhardt picked up offers from Clemson and East Carolina last week. East Carolina also offered junior DL David DeLeon. Aiken and DeLeon, along with freshman LB/TE Kevin Crosby, visited Georgia Tech over the weekend.
Junior LB T.J. Burrell (6-1, 195) of Goose Creek has offers from USC and Clemson and is hearing from Alabama and Georgia Tech. He compiled 105 tackles, two sacks, and three interceptions in just 10 games last season. He planned to be at Clemson's junior day Saturday. He does not have any favorites.
Junior LB Adam Ah Ching (6-0, 215) of Greer has offers from Oregon, BYU, Utah, and Colorado. He is hearing from Clemson, USC, LSU, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Michigan, and Auburn among other schools. Ah Ching says he is planning to attend junior days at Clemson, LSU and Tennessee. As a junior, Ah Ching totaled 153 tackles, 87 for loss and forced three fumbles with two recoveries. He also had five sacks. Ah Ching does not have a favorite.
Junior LB Daron Blaylock (6-0, 205) of Marietta, Ga., has an offer from Louisville and says Kentucky is close to offering. He also expects an offer from USC in his near future. Blaylock is hearing from Clemson, Georgia Tech, Florida, Auburn and Oregon as well. He planned to attend Georgia Tech's junior day over the weekend and also wants to go to Florida for a junior day. His twin brother Zack, a defensive back, is being courted by the same schools and they want to go to the same school. Blaylock had 73 tackles, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, and an interception in his junior season. He plays safety for his high school but says most schools are looking at him as a linebacker. He does not have any favorites.
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