Clemson and Ohio State will have their battle on the field in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 3. But off the field, the Tigers and Buckeyes had been waging war over highly touted linebacker Raekwon McMillan of Hinesville, Ga.
On Monday, McMillan announced that he chose to play at Ohio State.
Auburn, Georgia and Alabama were the other contenders for McMillan. Urban Meyer of Ohio State and Gus Malzahn of Auburn visited with McMillan on Sunday.
Nick Saban of Alabama was in on Thursday. Clemson's Dabo Swinney and Georgia's Mark Richt were in earlier.
The internet recruiting pundits had been all over the map trying to pinpoint a favorite for McMillan, who had never publicly identified a leader. McMillan visited Clemson three times since his junior year, including his official visit last month.
In other recruiting news:
Clemson picked up a 2015 commitment eight days ago from defensive back Tanner Muse (6-3, 200) of Belmont, N.C. Muse is a safety and had 87 tackles and four interceptions this season. He also returned a pair of punts for touchdowns. Muse visited Clemson three times during the season and had learned enough from those trips to realize that's where he needed to be.
"It's just a great atmosphere," Muse said. "They have great crowds for the big games, and then The Citadel game had a sellout crowd and that just showed me that they have great fan support. I feel like it's just one of the best colleges in the country."
Muse also had offers from North Carolina, N.C. State, Louisville, Mississippi, Duke, Virginia, Vanderbilt, Northwestern and Michigan. He is the fourth commitment for Clemson's 2015 class.
South Carolina is out of contention for offensive lineman Kareem Are of Fort Scott (Kan.) JC. He plans to sign with either Florida State, Mississippi or Penn State.
Running back Derrell Scott of Havelock, N.C., ended his season Saturday with another state championship and then headed to Spartanburg for the Shrine Bowl. Scott has a top three of USC, Tennessee and N.C. State, with Florida State and Auburn also in the picture. He's taken official visits with the Gamecocks, Vols and Wolfpack and is not claiming a favorite at this point. Scott once favored USC, but Tennessee moved up after his official visit there.
USC recruiter Deke Adams and Clemson's Marion Hobby met with defensive end Andrew Williams of McDonough, Ga., last week. He has a top five of USC, Clemson, Auburn, Mississippi and LSU and is trying to decide which ones will get visits. He plans to take only three or four of the allotted five official visits.
USC defensive end commitment Taylor Stallworth of Mobile, Ala., played in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game on Saturday. He said earlier in the week that he will take his official visit to USC on Jan. 17 and will visit Mississippi State the following weekend. USC recruiters Adams and Kirk Botkin were in to see Stallworth earlier this month.
USC is interested for a second time in defensive end Darrius Caldwell (6-5, 250), an Atlanta native attending Pearl River (Miss.) JC. USC offered Caldwell in high school, but he signed with Illinois in 2011 and spent two seasons there.
In 2012 as a redshirt freshman, Caldwell played in 12 games for the Illini and registered 17 tackles and 21/2 sacks. But he was dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules in May and enrolled at Pearl River for this season.
Gamecocks recruiter Adams met with Caldwell last week and the Gamecocks are reviewing his transcript before deciding on an offer. Caldwell has offers from Southern Miss and Louisiana-Lafayette but he told GamecockCentral.com he likely would commit to USC if offered.
Defensive lineman Dexter Wideman of Saluda continues to struggle with his final decision. He remains committed to Florida State but is still considering USC.
"I mean...I'm just going to wait and take my officials (visits) and I'll make my decision after that," Wideman said. "Nobody else is talking to me because they know it's between them two."
Wideman will take his official visit to USC on Jan. 17 and will go to Florida State on Jan 31. USC assistant coach GA Mangus visited with Wideman recently.
"He just told me that I was looking good and to keep doing what I'm doing," Wideman said.
Wideman is at the Shrine Bowl this week.
Shrine Bowl defensive lineman Arthur Williams (6-5, 298) of Fayetteville, N.C., committed to Florida State in late October and remains so, but he plans to take official visits to USC and Miami in January. Recruiters from all three schools have been in to see Williams this month.
Socastee quarterback Hunter Renfrow, a Shrine Bowl selection as an athlete, has an offer to walk on at Clemson as well as full offers from Appalachian State and Wofford. This season, Renfrow rushed for 1,492 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Clemson offered running back Eric Swinney of Tyrone, Ga., on Friday. He's a teammate of Clemson 2014 commitment Demarre Kitt. His other offers include Florida State, Georgia, Auburn, Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Virginia Tech, Kentucky, North Carolina and Minnesota.
Clemson also offered RB Mikell Lands-Davis of Douglasville, Ga. Clemson is his first offer.
Defensive back Desmond Cain of Delray Beach, Fla., picked up an offer from Clemson last week. USC had offered earlier and has been his favorite. He also has offers from Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Tennessee, South Florida and Central Florida.
Defensive back Rashard Causey of Fort Lauderdale picked up an offer from Clemson. USC was one of his earlier offers, and he's had the Gamecocks and Miami at the top of his list. Some of his other offers are UCLA, Florida, West Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Florida State, N.C. State, Penn State and Pittsburgh.