Two-sport star Isaiah Ford taking another look at Gamecocks
South Carolina fans thought they might have seen the last of a standout two-sport star the likes of Bruce Ellington. But another one could fall into the Gamecocks' lap.
The mother of former Louisville commitment Isaiah Ford (6-3, 168) of Jacksonville said Sunday afternoon that USC is one of the schools they will now look at, and they will only consider programs that will allow her son to play football and basketball.
"That is not negotiable," Jocelyn Grissett said. "He has to have that outlet to get in the gym and work out. His love is basketball, and he has to be able to have that outlet."
Grissett said one of the assistant coaches at Trinity Christian talked with USC recruiter Steve Spurrier Jr. over the weekend.
"I know South Carolina has hinted they are still interested," she said. "We will talk with them and see what they want to offer. It's closer. He has to be comfortable. He's already had a good relationship (with USC) and we've already been up there."
Ford, a wide receiver, visited USC last June, a month after committing to Louisville. He and his mother met Ellington on that visit.
Ford has taken official visits to Louisville and Virginia Tech. The Hokies and Florida State are two other possibilities along with the Gamecocks. His mother said they will try to schedule official visits to USC and Florida State, but her son plays a lot of his basketball games on Saturday, so they'll have to work around that.
Ford changed his mind about going to Louisville after head football coach Charlie Strong announced he was leaving the school to become head coach at Texas.
In other recruiting news:
At the Shrine Bowl last month, defensive lineman Poona Ford of Hilton Head said USC had re-entered the picture with him, and despite his commitment to Louisville he was giving the Gamecocks renewed consideration.
"I might set up an official visit with USC," Ford said. "It depends on how my official visit with Louisville goes."
Ford said he's continuing to get a strong push from the Gamecocks. "I talk to coach (Everette) Sands pretty much every day," he said. "He's been asking when I'm going to take my visit. I like Louisville, but South Carolina is my hometown team. Everything is based off my visit to Louisville. At the Shrine Bowl, I was chilling with some of the South Carolina commitments (Shaq Davidson, Kevin Crosby Jr.) and we kind of bonded. But as of right now, I'm committed to Louisville."
Ford, who is also looking at Missouri, said he'll announce his decision on Signing Day.
Defensive back DJ Smith of Marietta, Ga., announced Sunday he will make his commitment on Jan. 13. USC, Clemson and Tennessee have been his top three schools. He has not taken any official visits and is scheduled to be at USC on Jan. 17.
Defensive end Darrius Caldwell of Pearl River (Miss.) JC got the word from USC last week, but it wasn't what he was hoping for. Caldwell had hoped his transcripts to this point would be good enough to land an offer from the Gamecocks, but he's going to have to wait a little longer.
"It's all depending on my GPA after the spring," Caldwell said Thursday. "South Carolina is where I want to be, that's where I want to go. If I get the grade, I'll get the offer."
Defensive end Kevin Bronson of Delray Beach, Fla., received an offer in early December from USC and will take an official visit to Columbia on Jan. 17. Not to be outdone, Florida also offered Bronson in early December. He will take his final official visit to Florida on Jan. 31. Rutgers is the only school to receive an official visit from Bronson thus far. He will also visit Virginia Tech later this month.
"I'll know which school is the right one for me when I get on campus and it just feels right," he said. His official visit to USC will be his first trip to Columbia.
Athlete Ra'Shaun Croney of Pahokee, Fla., said he would like to make a commitment to the Gamecocks. Croney is waiting on his test score to see if he has qualified.
"I talked to South Carolina and they're just talking to me about getting my test score up," he said. "I think I did pretty good on this one. I studied every day."
Croney visited USC for their spring game and plans to take an official visit to Columbia later this month, though he has not scheduled the date.
Indiana, Mississippi State and Florida Atlantic are also looking at Croney, but all schools are awaiting the results of his test.
Defensive end Lorenzo Featherston of Greensboro, N.C., announced last week at the Under Armour Game practices that he picked Florida State over Clemson and Florida. Featherston missed much of his senior season with injuries. He was picked for the Shrine Bowl but missed that with an injury.
Linebacker Richard Yeargin III of Hollywood, Fla., took an official visit to Clemson in late November. Notre Dame is the only other official visit Yeargin made and he remains committed to the Irish. "My family is from that area (Clemson) and that is why I go back and visit so often," Yeargin said. "I really like Clemson a lot and remain a supporter of theirs. I am 100 percent committed to Notre Dame but I still like Clemson," he said. "I'll be playing at Notre Dame."