South Carolina secured a commitment last week from one of the top defensive players in the country, while Clemson is trying to hold on to a commitment from the top player in the country.
Defensive lineman Kelsey Griffin of Hoschton, Ga., committed to the Gamecocks, becoming their 21st commitment for the 2013 class. Griffin last month announced a commitment to Georgia but the Bulldogs did not take the pledge, reportedly because they did not feel he was a fit for their 3-4 defense. The Gamecocks see him as a perfect fit in their 4-3 alignment.
Defensive end Robert Nkemdiche of Grayson, Ga., considered the top recruit in the 2013 class, said he is still committed to Clemson. But there are growing concerns around Clemson that Nkemdiche could be looking elsewhere.
“My recruitment is crazy still, and Ole Miss is making a push for me,” Nkemdiche told ESPN’s Kipp Adams last week. “It does not matter to my dad, but my mom wants me to go to Ole Miss and we are still talking about it, so we have not come to an agreement on it yet. It is tugging my heart in two different directions.”
Nkemdiche’s brother plays at Ole Miss and has been pushing him to play in Oxford. Nkemdiche has made several unofficial visits to Ole Miss this season. He said he will go to Georgia unofficially when Ole Miss plays there, and he plans to set an official visit with LSU.
In other recruiting news:
Clemson appears to have made up more ground with Tramel Terry of Goose Creek from his recent official visit. “He said it went very well and he had a great time,” Goose Creek coach Chuck Reedy said. “He enjoyed it. I think he has a good relationship with Tony Elliott and they’ve done a good job recruiting him.” Clemson also recently offered one of Terry’s junior teammates Kalan Ritchie. Terry will take his official visit to Georgia after the season.
Georgia commitment DB Nick Glass of Atlanta is far from shutting down his recruiting. He said Friday he will take a visit to Ohio State in November for the Michigan game. He also has Clemson, Alabama and Southern Cal still on his list. Glass was strong on Clemson even when he committed to Georgia in April.
Clemson commitment DE Elijah Daniel of Avon, Ind., said last week he’s still solid with Clemson. Daniel has taken an official visit to Marshall and an unofficial visit to Purdue. He plans to visit Clemson after his season and is not sure if he’ll take any other official visits. Daniel said Ole Miss, Florida, Arizona State, Miami, Marshall and Mississippi State continue to recruit him.
DL Keith Bryant of Delray Beach, Fla., was at USC for the Georgia game. Bryant has been committed to Miami but is now giving USC serious consideration.
OL Na’Ty Rodgers of Pomfret, Md., made another unofficial visit to USC for the Georgia game and still has the Gamecocks out front. Rodgers plans to take his remaining four official visits with one of those to USC. His first official visit was to Oklahoma and he has not scheduled any other trips. The Gamecocks lead over Oklahoma and Maryland.
USC is making a pitch for DL Marquel Combs of Pierce JC, Calif., a native of Memphis who did not sign with a major college out of high school. He will have three years to play two after he graduates from the JC in December. Combs has taken official visits to Kansas and Ole Miss and is undecided about his other visits which he will take after his season.
LB Brandon Golson of Georgia Military JC has committed to Arizona. Golson is a product of Calhoun County who signed with USC out of high school but did not qualify. He was also committed to the Gamecocks until backing off that earlier in the season.
WR Ky Priester of Snellville, Ga., who was being recruited by USC, committed to N.C. State.
WR Demarre Kitt of Tyrone, Ga., announced a decommitment from Georgia last week. He had been committed to Georgia since April. He now has Clemson, Georgia and Southern Cal as his top three.
LB Shaun Hamilton of Montgomery, Ala., is one of the top junior prospects in his state. He has been to Alabama and Auburn for games this season and will visit Clemson this Saturday. Clemson and Auburn are the top two for Hamilton with no leader.
OL Donnell Stanley of Latta made his second trip this season to USC for the Georgia game. He plans to go to Clemson, N.C. State and Alabama. Though he does not have any favorites, Stanley has strong interest in the Gamecocks and Tigers.
OL Taylor Hearn of Williston-Elko has USC and Clemson as his top two schools. Clemson has offered, with interest coming from USC, LSU, N.C. State, North Carolina and Mississippi State among others. Hearn has been to two games in Columbia and one in Clemson.
LB Christian Miller of Spring Valley returned to USC for the Georgia game. He wants to get to Florida State for a game and he’s going back to Clemson for another game. Miller has offers from USC and Clemson among others.
RB Derrell Scott of Havelock, NC has USC as his leader with Florida State and Ohio State rounding out his top three in no order. Scott took in his second USC home game when Georgia was in Columbia. Scott said he could go to FSU or Ohio State for a visit but remains unsure.
OL Jake Whitley of North Augusta is hearing from Clemson, Mississippi State, NC State, Michigan, LSU, Alabama, Florida State, Auburn, Missouri, Notre Dame and Auburn. He was at Michigan Saturday and also has visited Clemson twice. He also has been to an NC State game and is considering trips to LSU and Notre Dame.
Twin DBs Lawrence and Lance Austin of Barnesville, GA were on hand for USC’s win over Georgia. Both have offers from USC along with Marshall and South Alabama. They are not necessarily a package deal, but they want to, and plan to, go to the same school. The Austins also have visited Georgia and Georgia Tech and are going back to Georgia.
WR Jaylan Barbour of Monroe, NC took in the USC-Georgia game. Barbour has offers from USC, North Carolina, Duke, East Carolina, NC State and Appalachian State. He has also been to a game at North Carolina. He lists USC as his leader followed by UNC and Duke.
TE Zach Riggs of J.L. Mann recently visited Appalachian State and is very interested in the Mountaineers. Elon is also showing interest and he plans to visit Richmond next month. Riggs said the possibility of a grey shirt offer from Clemson remains. He does not have a favorite.
6-4 shooting guard Justin McKie of Irmo, the son of USC’s all-time leading scorer BJ McKie, announced a commitment to the Gamecocks last week. “Coach Martin said he was really happy,” McKie said. “He said it was good for the program. He wants me to keep working and things will take care of itself.” McKie also considered Murray State and Wichita State and had several other offers, but when the chance came to play for the hometown SEC program, he couldn’t let that pass. “It’s a great moment for me and my family,” he said. “Playing basketball at a high level has always been one of my dreams.” McKie is USC’s third commitment for the 2013 class and will be joining a very young team when he arrives on campus. “I think I’ll be able to fit in with the team and the style of play,” he said. “I’ll bring my heart and my hard working mentality.”