Post and Courier
October 1, 2014

Clemson reels in two more top football recruits

Posted: 06/02/2014 09:23 p.m.


Clemson finished the busy recruiting month of May with two more commitments, giving the Tigers 17 for the 2015 class.

The Tigers added another top notch Florida athlete in Deon Cain, a 6-1, 190-pound receiver from Tampa. And they picked up one of the state's top prospects in defensive end LaSamuel Davis (6-4, 216) of Bamberg-Ehrhardt.

Cain narrowed his list to Clemson, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and LSU. Clemson offered Cain last December. He visited earlier this year, and from that point Clemson became a major factor with him.

Cain also plays quarterback and last season passed for nearly 2,000 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Davis is the fifth Red Raider to commit to Clemson since 1992, when Chris Franklin signed with the Tigers. Ricky Sapp, Da'Quan Bowers and Martin Aiken later came down the line. Davis missed much of his sophomore season with a deep thigh bruise.

He bounced back last season with 112 tackles with 38 for loss and seven sacks. That established him as one of the state's top prospects for this season.

"His motor never stops," said Bamberg-Ehrhardt coach Butch Crosby, who saw two other major prospects - AJ Cann and his son Kevin Jr. - sign with USC. "He has long arms and plays with great leverage. His first stop off the ball is explosive. He plays the game real violent."

Florida and Georgia Tech were the first to offer Davis in January. Clemson later followed and Davis visited there in February and March, and the Tigers moved to the front.

USC showed interest in Davis but wanted him to visit this summer before making an offer. Florida did make a strong push and was No. 2 on his list. He also had offers from N.C. State, North Carolina, Oregon, Wake Forest, Kansas State, Georgia Tech, Southern Cal, UCLA, Virginia Tech, East Carolina and Tennessee.

In other recruiting news:

Defensive end Arden Key of Atlanta said last week he has made his decision, and he has notified the school he's chosen. Key said he still plans to reveal his choice on June 10.

Key changed his mind once before last year when he decommitted from USC.  In his most recent top five list, Key listed Oregon, Miami, LSU, Mississippi and USC, in that order.  Some have scoffed at that order insisting USC is indeed his favorite. "They don't know what they are talking about," Key said. "That top five is relevant.  I know where I'm going right now.  I feel good about the choice.  They have a high graduate rate, and mostly I have a good relationship with the coaches and the school itself."

Running back Ty'son Williams of Crestwood has had a top group of USC, Clemson, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Notre Dame, and nothing has changed with that.  Williams does not expect any changes in the future. "I'm just sticking with those five," Williams said. "I want to make a decision before the season." 

Offensive lineman Austin Clark of Lexington, Va., made his final unofficial visit Saturday before making his announcement on June 12. Clark made a second trip to USC, one of his final seven schools, along with Clemson, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Penn State and Ohio State.

Clark made the visit with his father and spent the day with Gamecocks offensive line coach Shawn Elliott. "That was really important to me as far as getting to know him better as a coach," Clark said. "It was definitely a good day.  I got to see a little bit more of Columbia than I did on my last visit. The visit pretty much answered all the questions I had left."

Clark did not meet with Steve Spurrier, who was out of town after attending the SEC meetings in Florida earlier in the week. Clark plans to narrow his list to four next weekend, and the visit to USC appears to have boosted their chances of making the final four.

Offensive lineman Brandon Sandifer of Warner Robins, Ga., also visited USC last week. He has the Gamecocks and Alabama at the top of his list.

Another USC offensive line target, Jalen Merrick of New Smyrna Beach, Fla., was offered last week by Tennessee.

USC remains in the top four for running back Traveon Samuel of Phenix City, Ala. Florida State and California are two others he plans to visit over the summer. His offers include USC, Clemson, Alabama, Auburn, Cal, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Louisville and Duke. He does not have any favorites.

Florida State and Georgia are the latest to offer wide receiver Auden Tate of Tampa. Tate played his freshman year at Dutch Fork before relocating to the Sunshine State. He already has offers from USC and Clemson and is showing interest in both. This summer he will visit the Tigers. As for his new offers, Tate was expecting one and surprised by the other. Tate has no favorites and would like to narrow his list to 10 by early summer and then down to five. He plans to take visits this summer to Clemson, Maryland, Michigan and Georgia.

Quarterback Torrance Gibson of Plantation, Fla., announced his top seven last week. Clemson was on his longer list but didn't make the shorter list. He has Tennessee and Auburn tied at the top, followed by LSU, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Miami and Central Florida.

Defensive end Marqes Ford of Gibsonton, Fla., has a favorites list of Clemson, Tennessee, Rutgers, Duke, Miami, Nebraska, Virginia Tech and Central Florida.

Defensive back Jeremy McDuffie of Snellville, Ga., is a speedster on the football field and the track. As a cornerback last season, McDuffie had 60 tackles and two interceptions. As a running back, he rushed for 600 yards in only three games. And on the track, he's one of the nation's top hurdlers and triple jumpers. McDuffie plans to compete in both sports in college and he has 13 offers with Tennessee leading USC, Duke and Georgia Tech in that order. Some of his other offers are Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Boston College.