Defensive end Da’Shawn Hand of Woodbridge, Va., rated by some analysts as the No. 1 player in the class of 2014, wrapped up a two-day visit to South Carolina on Sunday and had good things to say about his experience.
“It was a great visit,” Hand said. “(Jadeveon) Clowney is a fun guy, very genuine, very honest. I liked the entire coaching staff. The food was amazing. As far as football- related facilities, every college has them, some are big and some are small, so that doesn’t faze me anymore.”
Hand has also visited Alabama, Michigan and Virginia Tech and will visit Florida at some point. That is by no means a list of finalists, as he will likely visit others. And he’s not ready to start formulating a list of favorites.
Hand was joined on the visit by his head coach, Karibi Dede.
“I thought it was a great visit,” Dede said. “They did a really good job of giving a full picture of the program. He met with a professor about programs he’s interested in and toured the campus. The opportunity to hang out with the players, and with Clowney, I thought that was a unique opportunity for him. He met with coach (Steve) Spurrier. Coach ate lunch with Da’Shawn, and I think it opened his eyes about how great a coach he is.”
In other recruiting news:
RB Dalvin Cook of Miami, who committed to Clemson in June of 2012, flipped to Florida on Saturday night after meeting with Gators coach Will Muschamp following the Florida spring game. Cook said this decision is final and he is ending his recruiting. Cook is the second Clemson commitment to back out of his pledge for 2014. Earlier, DB Dylan Sumner-Gardner decommitted from Clemson in January and committed to Texas A&M in March.
DE Kendal Vickers of Havelock, N.C., remains dead set on playing at USC, and he hopes he can join the 2013 class. With that in mind, he visited USC on Saturday for the scrimmage along with teammate and Gamecocks signee Pharoh Cooper. Vickers has been working to raise his GPA so he would have the chance to qualify for this year’s class. USC told him during the recruiting season they would hold a spot for him in case he qualifies. “They said I need two A’s and two B’s to qualify, and if I do, we will figure it out from there,” Vickers said. Right now, Vickers said, he has those exact grades for this nine week period. He will take the ACT on Saturday. If he does not qualify, he said USC would put him in a prep school.
USC’s 2014 QB target Drew Barker of Hebron, Ky., had planned to visit this weekend for the spring game but will spend the weekend at Kentucky to give himself a complete look at the Wildcats. Barker visited USC for a weekend last month and feels he has a good enough feel for the Gamecocks to make a decision about them.Last weekend Barker was at Tennessee. He is expected to make his decision in May.
DB Dravon Henry of Aliquippa, Pa., picked up an offer from USC last week. He has been to West Virginia and Pittsburgh for spring practices. He plans to take several other visits especially during the football season. Henry said he had a top four of Pitt, Penn State, Ohio State and West Virginia. Henry played safety last season and had six interceptions but said he can also play cornerback.
WR Blake Bone of Woodruff visited USC last Tuesday and learned a lot about the Gamecocks. Bone spent a lot of time with Steve Spurrier Jr. and got a good feel for what it might be like to play for him. “He’s an interactive coach, a players’ coach,” he said. “He knows how to get after it.” And the Gamecocks are getting after Bone with a lot of intensity. “They are looking at me pretty hard,” he said. “It’s a pretty good feeling. Coach Spurrier Jr. and coach Elliott are telling me they’ve got short receivers since Alshon (Jeffery) left and that’s what they are going after me hard. They need another big guy. I like everything about Carolina and I hope everything goes good in the future.” Bone visited Ole Miss and Auburn over the weekend and will try to get to Tennessee and Kentucky as soon as he can. Clemson also has offered but is not in his plans at this point.. He has a top four of USC, Ole Miss, Kentucky and Tennessee. The Vols have not yet offered. Right now Bone plans to wait until National Signing Day to announce but said he could make an announcement at the Semper Fidelis Game in January.
WR Jamil Kamara of Virginia Beach has not narrowed his list but did say, “Clemson would be in my top ten if I had one.” Kamara wants to wait until the semester ends before narrowing his list to five. His most recent visits were to NC State and Old Dominion. Other that Clemson, Kamara would like to see Wisconsin, North Carolina, Virginia and Vanderbilt this spring.
RB Caleb Kinlaw of Goose Creek named Tennessee and North Carolina as his top two and has visited both. Kinlaw also visited USC but is not sure of how his relationship will progress with the Gamecocks. “I’m not sure how things are going (with USC). We’ll have to see how things play out.” Kinlaw has also cooled on Clemson. “The last time I saw them was about a month-and-a-half ago at my school,” he said. “I don’t really talk to them anymore.” His offers are from Clemson, USC, North Carolina and Tennessee. Other schools courting Kinlaw include Arizona, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Georgia, Florida State, Miami, Florida and Ohio State.
DL Kendall Baker of Atlanta has offers from Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Washington, Duke, West Virginia, Auburn and Wisconsin among others. He named his top five as Georgia, Auburn, Florida State, Clemson and Alabama in that order. Baker has taken visits to FSU, Georgia, Alabama and Auburn. He was going to visit Clemson this Saturday but will be taking the ACT instead.
DE Kentavius Street of Greenville, NC named Georgia, Florida State and Tennessee as his top three. Street will visit Virginia Tech, Florida State and Georgia in May. His offers include Clemson, Georgia, FSU, Tennessee, North Carolina, East Carolina, NC State, Virginia Tech, Louisville, Ohio State and Maryland. He said he’s not hearing much from Clemson at this point.
USC remains one of the favorites of highly regarded DB Marlon Humphrey of Hoover, AL. The son of former Alabama star Bobby Humphrey told 247Sports he has a top group of USC, Alabama, Mississippi State and Florida State. He visited Alabama last week and that likely will be his only unofficial visit of the spring due to track.
DB Arrion Springs of San Antonio was offered last week by Clemson. The Tigers join Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Vanderbilt, Missouri, Baylor and Kansas and some of the offers for Springs. Last season he had 63 tackles with 4 interceptions.
USC OL target Bentley Spain of Charlotte made an unofficial visit to North Carolina last week. He’s made several unofficial visits to Chapel Hill as well as USC. He’s also considering LSU, Michigan, Stanford and Virginia.
DE Andrew Williams of McDonough, GA visited Georgia last week. He also has offers from Clemson and USC.
DL Anthony Moten of Fort Lauderdale committed to Florida last week. He had USC and Clemson in his final 10
6-1 Jaylen Shaw of Hartsville became USC’s second spring commitment last weekend. Shaw won two state championships during his career with the Red Foxes. He also earned MVP honors in a pair of all-star games last month. His coach said it’s that kind of winning approach Shaw will bring to the Gamecock program. “He’s been fortunate to be a winner on every level he’s played on,” coach Aric Samuel said. “He wanted to go to a school that wants to win. He’s focused on winning, he’s focused on the details and what the coach is trying to teach. Basically they are getting a winner.” Shaw also had offers from Clemson, Tulane, Evansville, Coastal Carolina and High Point. “Clemson came on maybe too late,” the coach said. “We went to camp at USC, he won two state championships down in Columbia, his parents are really close, it just all made since for him.” Shaw averaged 24 points and 8 assists per game as a senior.
A pair of Gray Military Prep school stars have made commitments according to coach Dion Bethea. 6-1 Edward Stephens is headed to SC State and 6-5 Travis Hammonds picked Long Beach State.
6-8 Darryl Reynolds of Philadelphia made an unofficial visit to Rhode Island last week but said his decision remains between USC, Villanova and Seton Hall with his announcement to be made at his high school April 24th. He has visited USC and will visit Villanova and Seton Hall later this month. Reynolds talked with Gamecock coach Frank Martin last week. “They are still my number one but I’ve got to weigh my options. I have to look at the other schools. I like South Carolina but I don’t want to say too much.” Asked if it will be hard for one of the other schools to overtake USC, Reynolds responded, “yes.”
6-9 Demetrius Henry of Bradenton, FL will be taking visits to South Florida and Miami within the next two weeks. He has visited USC and will announce his decision April 24.
Believe Prep of Rock Hill teammates 6-3 Shadell Millinghaus and 6-6 Leroy Fludd spent last Tuesday afternoon getting an inside look at USC basketball under Frank Martin. The two along with their coach Tyson Waterman met with members of the Gamecock staff and got a tour of the campus and basketball facilities. Millinghaus plans to have a decision by April 25th or 27th and between now and then is looking to take official visits to USC, Oregon, Marquette, Tennessee and Tennessee Tech. Fludd also plans to visit Utah and Colorado State. Millinghaus said there’s no clear cut leader for him but he has a top three of USC, Oregon and Marquette.
6-7 Donte Grantham of Martinsburg, WV is getting interest from Clemson. He picked up an offer from West Virginia last week. Some of his other offers include VMI, Northern Kentucky, James Madison and Marshall. He said he’s also getting prep school offers. Grantham said he’s not sure about upcoming visits but does want to see Clemson. Right now he’s busy with AAU basketball. Grantham was named the West Virginia player of the year after averaging 18 points and 9 rebounds per game.
Other commitments…PG Deonte Houston of Olney JC, IL and combo guard Joshua Cameron of Connors State JC, OK to Coastal Carolina; PG Johnathan Burroughs-Cook of Memphis to The College of Charleston.