Gamecocks lose linebacker Matt Rolin to Gators
The Florida Gators apparently have snagged one of the South Carolina Gamecocks’ top recruits for the 2013 class.
Linebacker Matt Rolin of Ashburn, Va., announced via Twitter on Sunday afternoon a change in his pledge from the Gamecocks to the Gators.
“I have officially committed to THE University of #Florida,” Rolin tweeted. “I will be wearing #9 as I continue to chase my dreams at #Florida #GatorNation. Going back on my word is something I never imagined myself doing and it hurts me to do it. But in end I have do what’s best for me.”
Rolin committed to USC last May and appeared to be very solid, based on his comments and his family ties to the school. Both of his parents went to USC and his grandfather played football for the Gamecocks. He even had his recent knee surgery done by USC team doctor Jeff Guy. But he made a recent official visit to Florida and after that trip began seriously reconsidering his commitment.
In other recruiting news:
Longtime Florida State commitment DB Adrian Baker of Hollywood, Fla., made an official visit to Clemson over the weekend. He remains undecided despite the pledge to FSU and will visit Oklahoma this weekend. “They’re telling me that I could come in and make an immediate impact on defense,” Baker said of Clemson. Baker began to waver on his commitment to the Seminoles after the departure of then-defensive coordinator Mark Stoops to Kentucky. He is scheduled to visit FSU on Jan. 11. He plans to wait until National Signing Day before revealing a decision.
Summerville junior DB Darrin Smalls was offered last week by USC, making the Gamecocks the first to offer. Smalls intercepted six passes as a sophomore and five this season. He also returned two punts for touchdowns and one kickoff for a touchdown.
WR Ja’Quay Williams of Fork Union Prep, Va., a former Auburn commitment, committed to Texas A&M last week over USC, Georgia and Florida.
OL Tyrone Crowder of Hamlet, N.C., has named Clemson and Georgia as his final two, and he will take official visits to both schools. His Clemson visit is scheduled for Jan. 11, while his Georgia visit has not been scheduled. Crowder’s most recent visit was to Clemson for the USC game. His decision could come before National Signing Day. He says the Tigers and Bulldogs are even with him.
DL Keith Bryant of Miami will take an official visit to USC on Jan. 18. He has the Gamecocks third behind Miami and Florida State. USC recruiters visited Bryant earlier this month. Bryant was a long-time commitment to Miami but recently decommitted from the Hurricanes. “I’m really trusting my mom right now, and I want her to see all of the schools and tell me what she thinks,” he said. Bryant heads to Oklahoma for an official visit this weekend, and he might take one to Florida State. He has no timetable for a decision.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney visited last week with DE Ebenezer Ogundego of Brooklyn for about two hours. “It was pretty good,” Ogundego said. “I like Coach Swinney a lot. He talked about what relates to me. We talked about me playing the Jack position. That appeals to me.” Ogundego played mostly defensive end in high school but can also stand up and play outside linebacker. Florida coach Will Muschamp will visit him this week. He made an official visit to Syracuse over the weekend. He plans to announce Dec. 21 if he can. If he hasn’t reached a decision by then, he’ll announce at the Under Armour game.
ATH Mykal Moody of Conway received a visit from East Carolina last week and he plans to visit them in January. It will be his second trip to the Greenville, N.C., campus after his unofficial visit there last month. Moody is focusing on ECU and Miami.
DL Jamar Winston of Dutch Fork received a visit from Charlotte last week and confirmed his commitment to the 49ers. Winston had begun to hear from Clemson, USC and Missouri as the season progressed and is even considering a trip to Missouri. Winston is not ruling out the possibility of visiting other schools.
Gaffney defensive end Jaylen Miller has heard recently from North Carolina, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Marshall and Duke. He will take official visits to Wake Forest on Jan. 19 and Maryland the weekend after that. He is looking at Georgia Tech, Duke, North Carolina and Marshall for his remaining visits. He finished the season with 61 tackles, 27 sacks and 11 tackles for loss.
Myrtle Beach DB Chocolate Wilson suffered a knee injury on the first day of practice last summer and only played in the last two games of the season. He really didn’t have to show recruiters much this season after a strong junior year in which he had 6 interceptions returning 4 for touchdowns. His problem now is a couple of the schools that have offered fired their staffs, so he’s waiting to hear from the new coaches at N.C. State and Purdue. “He’s trying to figure everything out,” said Myrtle Beach coach Mickey Wilson. Missouri and Ole Miss also have offered Wilson. Marshall is scheduled to visit him this week.
Goose Creek junior RB Caleb Kinlaw has, at different times, favored USC and Tennessee. Now, after the firing of Derek Dooley by the Vols, his mind is clear and he has no favorite. USC recruiter Steve Spurrier Jr. and Clemson recruiter Tony Elliott and Georgia coach Mark Richt have been by the school. Kinlaw’s only gameday visits this season were to North Carolina and Tennessee and he said those two have been recruiting him the hardest of late. He’s not sure about future visits or junior days. Kinlaw has offers from USC, Clemson, North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia Tech. He’s also hearing from Georgia, LSU, Alabama, Ohio State and Notre Dame. Kinlaw said he plans to make his decision by the beginning of next season but added that could change. And he’s also planning to graduate early. This season Kinlaw rushed for 1000 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Junior RB Derrell Scott of Havelock, N.C., continues to have USC among his favorites. Ohio State and Florida State are the two other schools he mentioned. Ohio State, North Carolina and N.C. State have all visited Scott at his school. He says he will visit the three schools this offseason. Scott is planning to visit USC as well. The Gamecocks have remained in contact with Scott who has offers from USC, Ohio State, Florida State, Tennessee, North Carolina, N.C. State, Duke, East Carolina and Virginia Tech. Alabama, Notre Dame, Florida, Texas and Texas A&M are some of the other schools showing interest. He did not name a leader.
Northwestern junior QB Mason Rudolph was offered by Virginia Tech last week according to his coach Kyle Richardson. Rudolph also has an offer from LSU. Richardson said Georgia is also showing strong interest at this point, and he’s also getting attention from Tennessee and Alabama. USC and North Carolina also have shown interest.
Junior OL Mason Cole of Tarpon Springs, FL has 17 offers now including USC and Clemson. He hears regularly from recruiters Shawn Elliott and Tony Elliott. The Gamecocks and Tigers have not yet been by his school though he expects to see the Gamecocks when they get to Tampa for the Outback Bowl. Schools that have been thru his school include Alabama, Michigan, Cincinnati, Louisville, West Virginia and Notre Dame. Cole visited Notre Dame, Michigan and Southern Cal during the season. He has not made a decision on junior day or spring visits but he would like to get to Georgia and Alabama. His offers include USC, Clemson, Michigan, Notre Dame, Southern Cal, West Virginia, Florida State, Florida, South Florida and Central Florida.
USC recruiter Lorenzo Ward scouted DBs Lawrence and Lance Austin of Barnsville, Ga., in a recent playoff game. The brothers have offers from USC, South Alabama and Marshall at this point. “I feel like they are pretty serious,” Lawrence said of the Gamecocks. Louisiana Tech and Michigan State have been by the school and Clemson is also showing interest. The brothers attended the NC State at Clemson game. They also were at the Georgia at USC game. They do not have a favorite and want to attend the same school.
Junior OL Taylor Hearn of Williston-Elko received visits recently from USC and Clemson. Dabo Swinney and Marion Hobby of Clemson and Everett Sands of USC stopped by the school to see Hearn. His offers are from Clemson and North Carolina. “I like Clemson,” said Hearn. “I like the coaches and it’s a family up there. I like the campus too.” He voiced interest in USC as well. “I would like to get an offer from them,” said Hearn. “It’s close to home and I like the school. It’s a nice campus and all.” Hearn plans to take in several junior days but has not scheduled any as of yet. He does not have a favorite.
Dillon junior LB Joe Blue has offers from USC, Florida, LSU, Southern Cal, Tennessee, N.C. State, Virginia Tech, Maryland and Alabama. Clemson also is showing interest and Tiger recruiter Robbie Caldwell was by the school recently. East Carolina also has been by and USC scouted him in the state championship game. Blue has named USC and Florida as his favorites right now.
Dillon junior DL Jaylen Washington is drawing interest from USC, Clemson, N.C. State, Virginia Tech and East Carolina. He has not been offered.
Junior DB Chris Murphy of Marietta, Ga., has offers from North Carolina, Vanderbilt and Purdue and is getting interest from Clemson, USC, Florida, Oklahoma, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Michigan, Michigan State and Iowa among others. Clemson was by his school recently but USC has shown a little more interest. He has visited the Gamecocks twice. He has visited Columbia twice. His other visits include UNC, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Auburn, Vanderbilt and Duke. Murphy does not have a favorite.
Junior ATH Charles Nelson of Daytona Beach has offers from Duke, Cincinnati, North Carolina, Temple, Georgia Tech, Memphis and Michigan with interest from Clemson, USC, Florida, Florida State, Miami, South Florida, Oregon and Southern Cal among others. Nelson suffered a torn ACL midway thru the season and has had surgery.
Dillon freshman quarterback Avery McCall last week picked up his second offer from USC. He was offered earlier by East Carolina. “He’s only 14 years old. He doesn’t really know what’s going on,” said Dillon coach Jackie Hayes. McCall was the junior varsity quarterback and didn’t make his first varsity start until the 10th game of the season. He finished the varsity season with 1,100 passing yards and 13 touchdowns and completed 71 percent of his attempts.