The bizarre recruiting saga of wide receiver Demarcus Robinson of Fort Valley, Ga., came to end Monday when he announced he had chosen Florida over Clemson.
The 6-2, 200-pound Robinson is rated by Rivals.com as the nation’s No. 5 receiver prospect in the 2013 class.
Robinson, who is the nephew of former South Carolina and NFL receiver Marcus Robinson, had gone back and forth for the past few weeks. He first committed to Clemson in July, decommitted Dec. 12 and committed to Florida. But, five days later, Robinson was back in the fold with Clemson. However, upon his arrival at the Army All-Star Game in San Antonio last week, Robinson said he was not committed any longer and would announce his choice during last Saturday’s game.
And during the week, Robinson told the media he was favoring Florida. But he decided on Friday not to make his announcement Saturday. His coach said Saturday that Robinson was favoring Clemson and would make the final call Sunday. But Robinson said after the all-star game that he might not have a decision until Monday, and he included Notre Dame, again, in his final decision. He took an official visit to South Bend, Ind., in early November. Robinson confirmed what his coach said, that Clemson came out of the weekend as his leader.
“Clemson is in the lead right now,” Robinson told Rivals.com. “I’m leaning towards Clemson a little bit right now. They won their (bowl) game and they have the top offense in the nation, so why wouldn’t I want to go there?”
Coaches from Clemson and Florida met with Robinson after Saturday’s game. He will enroll early at Florida.
In other recruiting news:
Another prospect who put off his all-star game announcement was OL Na’Ty Rodgers of Pomfret, Md. He was set to announce for USC or Maryland on Friday at the Under Armour Game in St. Petersburg, Fla. He has not said when he will announce, but he does plan to take his official visit to USC on Jan. 18. He has taken his official visit to Maryland. Rodgers publicly has been favoring USC, but some of his all-star teammates told media last week he was going to sign with Maryland.
USC and Clemson did pick up a commitment each from all-stars who did make their announcements.
The Gamecocks landed RB David Williams of Philadelphia. Williams picked the Gamecocks over Arizona State, which he visited officially in September. He also considered Penn State, Ohio State and Miami.
Williams rushed for over 1,800 yards and 24 TDs this season, and with Marcus Lattimore and Kenny Miles leaving USC, he’ll be looking for an early chance to play.
Williams is the 20th commitment for the Gamecocks 2013 class.
And Clemson gained DE Ebenezer Ogundeko from Brooklyn. He chose the Tigers over Syracuse.
“It’s the coaches, and I just felt comfortable there,” he said. “It’s not far from home. I’m just ready to go there and compete in the ACC.”
He will enroll at Clemson this week and will be able to go through spring practice. Ogundeko also took official visits to Arizona State and Florida. This season, Ogundeko totaled 74 tackles and 17 sacks. He had 12 sacks as a junior. He’s the 16th commitment for Clemson’s 2013 class.
DE Robert Nkemdiche of Grayson, Ga., said last week at the Under Armour Game that Mississippi is now his favorite.
“It would be hard to see myself not going to Ole Miss because it is a family thing,” Nkemdiche said. “My whole family wants me to go there. They are on the rise and doing a lot of good things. Ole Miss is the team to beat, but LSU is still in the mix, too.”
LB Rueben Foster of Auburn, Ala., said last week at the Under Armour Game he will take an official visit to USC this month. Foster, a former commitment to Alabama and Auburn, said he will also visit Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and Washington. He has not set any official dates but said he’s looking at visiting Washington on Friday.
LB Jonathan Walton of Mobile, Ala., met with USC linebackers coach Kirk Botkin on Friday and set his official visit to USC for Jan. 18. Auburn also visited with Walton on Friday. He has been committed to Penn State and, for now, is holding to that.
USC is working its way into a strong position with DL Deadrin Senat of Immokalee, Fla. Senat said he talked to his Gamecocks recruiter GA Mangus recently.
“I really want to go there, but I’ve got to visit there first,” Senat said.
Clemson target DB Adrian Baker talked last week with Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables and new secondary coach Mike Reed. He also talked to Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops. Baker, who decommitted from Florida State a couple of weeks ago, has Clemson and Oklahoma as his current top two.
Nebraska offered Gaffney DE Jaylen Miller last week. Some of his other offers are Tennessee, Florida, LSU, Kentucky, Wake Forest, Maryland, Georgia Tech and N.C. State.
USC commitment DB Pharoh Cooper of Havelock, N.C., played free safety in the Offense-Defense Game in Houston last week. Cooper was outstanding in the Shrine Bowl and was North Carolina’s Offensive MVP. He has been committed to USC since May, but North Carolina continues to work him and met with him Friday at his school.
“They are trying to get me to flip,” Cooper said. “I’m just taking it in. I’m solid to the Gamecocks.”
Cooper said the only official visit he plans to make is to USC on Jan. 19. The Gamecocks have Cooper in line for a job in the secondary, but he’s also eying the return game.
ATH Malcolm Means of Lewisville, a Shrine Bowler this year, received a qualifying test score just after Christmas and has seen his recruiting take off, according to his coach, William Mitchell. N.C. State recently stepped up with an offer, as well as Louisiana-Lafayette. S.C. State and Youngstown State also have offered. North Carolina also is showing strong interest. This season, Means rushed for 1,043 yards and 10 touchdowns and had 28 catches for 580 yards and 7 touchdowns. On defense, Means had 28 tackles, five tackles for loss, four sacks and four interceptions, returning two for touchdowns.
ATH Mykal Moody of Conway received renewed interest from Clemson and USC after his Shrine bowl performance. Neither has offered Moody, but both reached out to him after the game. Another school that renewed its interest in Moody was Marshall. Moody is also hearing from Miami and Texas A&M. Two schools he plans to visit are Marshall and East Carolina, and he is still considering visits to USC and Clemson.
DB Ryan Carter of Loganville, Ga., is waiting to hear from Clemson as he begins to plan his visits. Mississippi, East Carolina and Maryland could be destinations for those trips.
Northwestern junior QB Mason Rudolph has been offered by LSU and Virginia Tech thus far and is looking for more. USC is among the other schools showing some interest. Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina and Notre Dame also are showing interest. Rudolph will go to some junior days this spring at the schools which have offered him. He does not have a favorite. This season, Rudolph passed for nearly 4,000 yards and 41 touchdowns, and he rushed for nearly 500 yards and 10 scores.
Clemson is one of 27 offers for DB Tony Brown of Beaumont, Texas. Brown plays corner and safety and can also play receiver. Some of his other offers are Alabama, Texas, LSU, Texas A&M and Florida. He was going to visit Clemson last summer but didn’t make it, and he might visit this summer. Brown said he will not make an early decision and will go through the entire recruiting process. He does not have a favorite.
DL Zeek Rodney of South Pointe has not been offered yet but feels USC or North Carolina will be the first. He’s hearing from those two along with Clemson and LSU. He went to games this season at USC, Clemson and North Carolina. Rodney said he will visit LSU for a junior day Feb. 9. He does not have a favorite. This season Rodney had 133 tackles with 27 sacks and 26 tackles for loss.
LHP Josh Reagan (6-1, 160) of Lexington committed to USC last week for the 2013 class, according to DiamondProspects.com. He had been committed to College of Charleston but backed off after the Cougars announced they were leaving the Southern Conference for the Colonial. Last season, Reagan was 7-0 with a 1.02 ERA. He allowed nine earned runs in 62 innings.