Al Harris Jr., a defensive back from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., hopes to follow his father’s footsteps to the NFL. He decided last week that path will take him through South Carolina.
Harris Jr. committed to the Gamecocks on Friday. He also considered Florida State, Wisconsin, Arkansas and N.C. State. He’s the son of former NFL standout cornerback Al Harris, now an assistant with the Kansas City Chiefs.
“I really like the scheme they run, it fits my abilities,” Harris Jr. said in explaining his decision to commit to USC. “I like the overall feel of the school. And I’ll have the chance to play early and make an impact.”
Harris is a corner and considers himself to be a strong pass defender.
“I’ll be able to play a lot of man-to-man and play a lot of press coverage,” he said. “That’s mainly what I do. That’s the main technique I use.”
It doesn’t hurt to learn his craft from a former NFL star.
“I work with him more than any other person, he taught me everything I know,” Harris Jr. said.
He’s the Gamecocks’ 10th commitment for the 2014 class and the third for the secondary.
In other recruiting news:
Wide receiver Terry Googer of Atlanta made an unofficial visit to USC on Friday, the latest in a series of visits with the Gamecocks over the past year. “It was a good visit,” Googer said. “It was cool and laid back. I liked it.” USC, Miami, North Carolina, Vanderbilt and Ole Miss are the other schools Googer has been considering. He now plans to announce a decision Aug. 12 with a ceremony at his school.
Another USC target at receiver, Braxton Berrios of Raleigh, was at USC on Friday and Saturday. He met with Steve Spurrier and Steve Spurrier Jr. on Saturday before leaving. Berrios attended the USC spring game and also took in some games last season. He’s been focused on USC, Clemson, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Wide receiver Blake Bone of Woodruff has a top four of USC, Louisville, Kentucky and Mississippi, and the Gamecocks are slightly ahead of the pack. Bone said he also likes Louisville and the Cardinals are right behind USC. He visited USC and Kentucky this summer, and he’s not sure if he’ll make USC’s camp later this month.
USC started recruiting DE Taylor Stallworth (6-3, 280) of Mobile, Ala., in February and was his first major offer. And right now the Gamecocks are the leaders for his services. “I’m highly interested in them,” Stallworth said. “It’s a great place that fits me, and I’m thinking about going there. They are number one on my list. ” Stallworth will attend USC’s camp July 27. He went to Alabama over the weekend and will go to Mississippi State on Friday and Auburn on Sunday. Stallworth has Auburn second on his list. The Tigers have not offered, but he is expecting one from them.
Clemson has a commitment from OL Justin Falcinelli of Middletown, Md., and his teammate DE Rick Leonard may not be far behind in pledging to the Tigers, according to his coach. Leonard camped at Clemson in June and the Tigers became the team to beat after that. “Clemson has been, and still is, a major leader on his list,” coach Kevin Lynott said. Leonard visited Florida State over the weekend, and his coach said Tennessee has been making a strong push trying to get him to visit as well.
For most of the summer, RB Derrell Scott of Havelock, N.C., has had USC, Ohio State and Florida State as his top three. But his coach said last week N.C. State has become a major player for Scott. “They’ve done a great job recruiting him, and he’s always liked them,” Jim Bob Bryant said. Scott will visit N.C. State in the next couple of weeks, according to Bryant. He went to Ohio State for a camp and also visited Florida State this summer. His coach does not expect him to be able to make USC’s camp this month.
OL Donnell Stanley of Latta was planning to be at Alabama on Monday for a half-day camp and to go from Tuscaloosa to Mississippi for a visit. From Oxford, he and Latta assistant coach Chris German will drive to LSU for a visit. Stanley has a top six of USC, Clemson, North Carolina, Alabama, Ohio State and LSU, and after these visits he plans to cut his list to four. Right now, Stanley plans to wait until the Under Armour Game to announce.
RB Caleb Kinlaw of Goose Creek has a current top three of Tennessee, North Carolina and Arizona, in that order. Georgia Tech is fourth on his list after a visit there earlier this summer. Kinlaw visited Tennessee and UNC in the spring. New UT coach Butch Jones moved quickly on Kinlaw when he took the job, and that has paid off. “Out of all those teams that have offered, they were the first one to get an offer to me,” Kinlaw said. “I like coach Jones and the way they do things, and I like their offense. I like that they are an up and coming team.” Kinlaw said he will visit Tennessee and North Carolina again in the next couple of weeks.
DE Michael Preddy of Porter-Gaud made an unofficial visit to Georgia Tech on Friday and later committed to the Yellow Jackets. Preddy also had offers from Wake Forest, Louisville and Charlotte. Last season, he had 94 tackles and 16 sacks.
USC commitment WR Shaq Davidson of Gaffney and Stratford QB Jacob Park, a Georgia commitment, last week accepted invitations to play in the US Army All-American Game in San Antonio on Jan. 4. Davidson will attend USC’s camp later this month. Park was the fifth-ranked quarterback in the Elite 11 competition earlier this month. Last season, he passed for 2,700 yards and 25 touchdowns.
Class of 2015 RB Trayvon Thomas of Darlington will attend a camp at USC later this month. Thomas attended a camp at N.C. State earlier this summer and wants to attend a camp at Georgia next summer.
Rising junior QB Will Brunson of Carolina Forest is hearing from USC, Clemson, Charleston Southern, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, East Carolina and Louisville. Brunson attended a three-day camp at Louisville. Brunson grew up a Clemson fan but is unsure of the Tigers’ interest level. He is also interested in the Gamecocks. As a sophomore, he threw for 2,300 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Class of 2015 DE Michael Barnett of Woodland has offers from Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Virginia Tech and N.C. State, with interest from USC and Auburn. He has visited each of the schools that have offered and recently attended a camp at Clemson. “I like it a lot up there,” said Barnett. “I like the way it’s set up. It’s very much a college town with the scenery and all. Their coaches are great and treated me like family.” He does not have any favorites.
Class of 2015 WR Deondre Daniels of Goose Creek played defensive back as a sophomore but will make the move to the offense this season. Daniels runs track and is getting a lot of interest from several schools, including USC, and would like to play football as well. The schools showing interest in track and field are USC, Alabama, Minnesota, Princeton and Virginia Tech. Daniels camped at USC earlier this summer. He competes in the 200m and 400m events. As for football, his father says Daniels is very specific in his interests. “He just told me he wants to go to an SEC school,” he said. “He talks a lot about LSU. That’s the school he grew up liking.”
USC has offered 2015 prospect DE Christian Bell of Hoover, Ala. He also has offers from Mississippi State, Southern Miss and Akron. He had over 30 tackles with five sacks last season.
2015 QB Tyler Queen of Marietta, Ga., who was offered by Clemson this summer, committed to Auburn. He passed for 2,600 yards and 23 touchdowns last season.
RHP Sawyer Bridges of Summerville committed to Clemson for the 2016 class. Bridges was 5-1 with a 1.13 ERA last season as a freshman. He struck out 34 in 31 innings. Bridges also is the quarterback for the Green Wave football team. He’s the first commitment for the Tigers’ 2016 class.
RHP Austin DeCarr (6-3, 215) of Foxboro, Mass., has committed to Clemson for the 2014 class. DeCarr also drew offers from other ACC, Big Ten and Big East schools. DeCarr is the seventh commitment for Clemson’s 2014 class and the first righthander.