Clemson's victory over Maryland capped a football weekend that was highlighted by landing a commitment from a four-star North Carolina defensive lineman.
Carlos Watkins, who is 6-4 and 290 pounds, picked the Tigers over Florida, deciding after several visits to Clemson that proximity to his home in Forest City, N.C., was a key factor.
"It all boiled down to distance," said his coach, Daniel Bailey. "He didn't want to go far from home. He also took a liking to (Clemson DL coach) coach (Dan) Brooks. He had a great deal to do with him committing."
Watkins, a North Carolina Shrine Bowl pick, has the tools to be a standout collegian. "He's 290 pounds but he's like a 165-pound kid," Bailey said. "He has great footwork and agility." Clemson's 19th commitment for the 2012 class, he's the third for the interior defensive line.
In other recruiting news:
Clemson has had a strong in-state recruiting presence for the 2012 class and that was proven with the Shrine Bowl selections. Of the 44 Sandlapper players chosen, eight are Clemson commitments: LB TJ Burrell, OL Patrick DeStefano, DB Ronald Geohaghan, OL Oliver Jones, OL Javarius Leamon, WR Jay Jay McCullough, ATH Cordrea Tankersley and DB Marty Williams.
Three USC commitments made the team: WR Shaq Roland, RB Virgil Smalls and WR Kwinton Smith.
On the N.C. team, USC has two commitments in OL Brock Stadnick and WR Jody Fuller, and Clemson has two in WR Germone Hopper and Watkins.
DB Elijah Shumate of Ramsey, N.J., will take his official visit to USC on Nov. 12 for the game with Florida. It is the only official visit he has scheduled. He named USC, Rutgers, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame and Oklahoma as his top six, in no order.
DE Kenderius Whitehead of Atlanta plans to visit Clemson unofficially Saturday for the North Carolina game. He has taken an official visit to UNC, and he's been to Georgia for a game. He's also looking at Tennessee. Whitehead has said Georgia is his leader.
DB Jordan Diggs of Cape Coral, Fla., has taken official visits to Nebraska and Vanderbilt. He was at Vandy over the weekend. USC will also receive an official visit from Diggs, scheduled in for the Florida game.
OL Michael Flint of Oxford, Ala., made an unofficial visit to Clemson for the Boston College game. Flint, a one-time Auburn commitment, visited Clemson over the summer. He has Clemson and Georgia Tech as his top two. He said Georgia Tech has one scholarship at his position left and he will set an official visit with Tech. He hopes he can also set one with Clemson, which has five offensive linemen committed for 2012 and may not have room for another.
WR Spearman Robinson of Greenwood visited Clemson for the Boston College game. He has not received an offer but is garnering a lot of attention. Among schools interested are USC, N.C. State, UNC, Vandy and Maryland.
Junior PK Matt McManis of Greenwood visited USC for the Kentucky game. He has not received an offer but is hearing from several schools, including Clemson.
Junior LB Justin Bridges-Thompson of Spartanburg has offers from Wake Forest and Pittsburgh and is hearing from USC, Clemson, Georgia, Alabama, Miami, Oregon and UNC. He has attended two games at Clemson (Wofford, Florida State) and two games at USC (Auburn, Kentucky) and likes both. He plans to attend games at Wake Forest, Pitt and Miami and named the Deacons and Panthers his top two schools.
Clemson was the first to offer junior WR Ryan Jenkins of Alpharetta, Ga., following camp last summer. His brother is Tigers sophomore CB Martin Jenkins. He also attended camps at USC, Georgia Tech and Auburn. He is garnering interest from Florida State, Georgia and Florida, among others. His leader is Clemson and he identified Oklahoma State, FSU and Georgia as schools of strong interest.
Junior DB Desmond Lawrence of Charlotte received an offer after a one-day camp at USC over the summer and was offered last week by N.C. State. He was at the USC-Auburn game and likes the Gamecocks. Schools showing interest include Clemson, Alabama, Tennessee, UNC, Duke, Florida, Georgia Tech, Oregon, Vandy and Virginia. He does not have a favorite.
6-9 Brice Johnson of Edisto reset his Clemson official visit for Oct. 28. He has taken official visits to UNC, N.C. State and Florida. He plans to make his decision soon after his Clemson visit and he will sign in November. He announced last week he's no longer considering USC.
6-3 Adonis Filer of Fitchburg, Mass., made an official visit to Tennessee this month. That was his second official visit, following an earlier one to Utah. He is still on with his official visit to Clemson this weekend. He will make the choice either on Nov. 24 or Dec. 3, when is back home in Chicago.
USC has a commitment for the 2012 class from first baseman Zack Smith of USC Sumter. The 6-foot Smith is the 14th commitment for the class. He played high school baseball at White Knoll and spent a season at Erskine before transferring to USC Sumter. He is regarded as an excellent hitter.
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