South Carolina adds defensive backs; Clemson lands another linebacker
Two of the top cornerbacks in the country could be teammates at South Carolina beginning in 2014. The Gamecocks last week landed commitments from Wesley Green of Lithonia, Ga., and Darin Smalls of Summerville.
Green picked the Gamecocks over Clemson, Tennessee, Ole Miss and Georgia. He’s had eight interceptions over the past two seasons and challenges quarterbacks to throw his way.
“I’m confident in my abilities,” Green said. “Whoever comes in front of me I just know they are not going to do anything spectacular on me, and I’m going to make sure that the quarterback fears my side. It’s just going to be lockdown. I just bring a dog-like mentality to whatever field I step on.”
USC was the first school to offer Smalls and was his favorite from that point forward.
“They play five DBs, so my chances of playing would be high,” Smalls said. “Their coverages are similar to what we do so I could fit right in.”
Last season, Smalls had 58 tackles and five interceptions. He also returned two punts and one kickoff for touchdowns. His other offers were from Clemson, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Georgia Tech, West Virginia, Marshall, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Louisville and Oklahoma.
USC now has seven commitments for the 2014 class, including five from South Carolina.
Linebacker Kendall Joseph of Belton-Honea Path committed to Clemson last Monday over Duke and Louisville. Joseph visited Clemson and Duke in the past two weeks before making his decision. Last season Joseph had 129 tackles with 10 quarterback hurries and six tackles for loss.
“He’s ideal in Clemson’s 4-3 scheme as an inside, middle linebacker,” Belton-Honea Path coach Russell Blackston said. “What he does best is stop the run. He does a good job commanding as a field general. You can put all those stars on people all you want but Kendall is a football player.”
Joseph is also a three-time state weightlifting champion. He bench presses 350 pounds and squats 480 pounds. Joseph is the 12th commitment for the Tigers’ 2014 class. He’s the sixth from the state and the third linebacker commitment for the Tigers.
In other recruiting news:
Defensive lineman Abu Lamin of Fort Scott JC in Kansas is now USC’s to lose after hosting him for an official visit over the weekend. Lamin visited Florida the previous weekend and favored the Gators after that trip. But the Gators picked up a couple of defensive line commitments and that, combined with what he experienced in Columbia, has Lamin now singing the praises of the Gamecocks.
“South Carolina is my No. 1 right now,” Lamin said Sunday. “It’s not like I’m scared of competition but that’s not the deal the Florida coaches had with me. I’m not completely worried about all that but Florida is my No. 2. I can come in there and make an immediate impact with some great players.”
Lamin was hosted by DE Chaz Sutton and spent a lot of time with DE Jadeveon Clowney.
Lamin said he will be back home in early July and might try to visit USC again with his mother. Another highlight of the visit for him was a meeting with Steve Spurrier in his office at the stadium.
“He was a funny guy,” Lamin said. “He told me South Carolina wants me, they want to see me play there. I’m from the Carolinas and they think I can make an immediate impact. I loved everything coach Spurrier was telling me.”
Offensive lineman Donnell Stanley of Latta was not among the prospects in attendance this past weekend for USC’s first camp of the summer, but he hopes to attend the Gamecocks’ Showcase Camp in July. Stanley just started with a personal trainer and had a workout scheduled the day of the camp. Latta RB RJ McClam, who has an offer from Charleston Southern and is getting interest from Coastal Carolina and Campbell, did attend the camp. Stanley visited Clemson’s camp earlier this month but did not work out. He will go to a half-day camp at Alabama July 14 and will go from there to Ole Miss. He will then go to LSU July 17. After his visits he will narrow his list to four schools and focus on those four.
DL Poona Ford of Hilton Head made an unofficial visit to USC earlier this month to give his father his first look at the Gamecocks’ program.
DB Chris Lammons of Plantation, Fla., has a top five of USC, Alabama, Florida, Miami and Tennessee. Some of the schools Lammons eliminated from his top 15 are Oregon, Arkansas, West Virginia, Florida State, Tennessee and Wisconsin. Lammons has never visited USC but plans to do so.