Defensive back Damon Arnette of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., appeared on the brink of a decision when he visited South Carolina for three days with his parents 10 days ago.
That was his second visit in a week to USC, and it led to high speculation that he was on the verge of joining the Gamecocks.
But Arnette held off, and apparently the reason was he wants more time. Arnette said he will make two more visits before making a decision. And the Gamecocks are still in the running.
"Yes, they are still in it," Arnette said. "I will visit Kentucky and Ohio State and then make a decision."
Arnette did not give a date for his visit to Kentucky, where he's already visited once, but it will be in July. He is scheduled to visit Ohio State on July 26, and the Buckeyes stepped up with an offer to him last week.
In other recruiting news:
Florida offered WR Tavin Richardson of Byrnes this spring and is now in his top eight along with Kentucky, Louisville, Wake Forest, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Nebraska and Central Florida. His first visit to Florida is scheduled for July 25, and he will also try to visit Central Florida. Neither USC nor Clemson has contacted Richardson recently.
DE Rasool Clemons of South Aiken is focused on Clemson, LSU, Tennessee, Florida State, Virginia and Kentucky and will narrow his list even more in the next couple of weeks, according to his coach Jeremy West, who is expecting Clemons to make a decision in early August.
Georgia is the next destination for DE Albert Huggins of Orangeburg-Wilkinson. He'll visit Athens on July 19. Huggins does not have any favorites and said it is too early for that. "I can't really say because I haven't taken enough trips," he said. He also plans to visit Florida. As for USC, he does not have any plans to visit again at this time. Huggins said he will likely take all five official visits.
LB Amonte Caban of Smiths Station, Ala., is planning a decision by the end of summer or early in the season, and without offers from Alabama and Auburn right now, he's looking for the best out- of-state fit, and that may well be USC for him. "I'm going to South Carolina July 26 for a visit. I like South Carolina a lot, really." Caban also has an offer from Clemson, and he talked with recruiter Brent Venables a couple of weeks ago. But Caban said right now he likes USC more than Clemson. Some of his other offers include Mississippi State, Kentucky, Cincinnati, Tennessee and Louisville. And he thinks Auburn and Alabama eventually will offer. He does not have an outright favorite right now.
USC added three commitments to its class last Monday in TE Connor Redmond (6-4, 230) of Decatur, Ga. DB Octavis Johnson (6-0, 183) and of Homerville, Ga., and DB Jaire Alexander (5-11, 170) of Charlotte.
Redmond visited USC in April, and the Gamecocks moved to the top of his list after that. Redmond caught 37 passes for 400 yards and six touchdowns last season. Some of Redmond's other offers included Boston College, Virginia, Kansas State, Louisville, Memphis and Purdue.
Johnson can play several positions from receiver to linebacker, but it's the cornerback position he's penciled in for at USC. Johnson picked the Gamecocks over Tennessee and Kentucky.
Alexander had been committed to Charlotte before attending USC's camp earlier this month. Gamecocks secondary coach Grady Brown, who had checked on Alexander in the spring, liked what he saw in person and made the offer. Alexander came back with his parents for a visit, and that was enough to convince him to accept the offer. He also considered Connecticut, Louisville and Kansas State. Alexander played cornerback last season. He had 48 tackles, 7 interceptions and 13 pass deflections.
DB Jalen Thompson of Mobile, Ala., last week announced a commitment to South Alabama where he also plans to play baseball. He chose the Jaguars over USC. USC's recent run on cornerbacks played a role in his decision, he said.
OL Venzell Boulware (6-4, 270) of Fairburn, Ga., last week announced his top five as Clemson, Southern Cal, Alabama, Ohio State and Tennessee, in no particular order. Boulware said his earlier visit to Clemson was eye-opening and led to him including the Tigers on his short list.
Speedy WR Nyheim Hines of Garner, N.C., is sitting on 23 offers this summer and will cut down his list in late July. USC and Clemson are among those offers and remain in touch. Hines said he will visit both in the next six weeks. He has been to Ohio State and West Virginia. Right now he feels the strongest interest is coming from Clemson, USC, Ohio State, NC State, Duke, North Carolina and Vanderbilt. He has no favorites. Clemson and USC are recruiting Hines as a receiver.
USC target OL Mirko Jurkovic of Florida was offered by Ohio State last week.
DE Darian Roseboro of Lincolnton, NC made an unofficial visit to USC last week. He has the Gamecocks and Clemson among his final 11 schools. He will announce his college choice within the first three weeks of the school year.
Another USC defensive end target, Marquavius Lewis of Hutchinson JC, KS made an official visit to Miami last week. He also has taken an official visit to Arizona State.
DL Shy Tuttle of Lexington, NC and the nephew of former Clemson star Perry Tuttle, has a top five of Clemson, Tennessee, NC State, North Carolina and Miami.
LB Jahvoni Simmons of Virginia Beach, VA lists his top ten as Clemson, Alabama, Georgia Tech, Miami, NC State, Ohio State, Oregon, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin in no order.
WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside of Dorman now has 18 offers and will narrow his list to five in July. He has visited Maryland, Georgia Tech and Virginia and has been to camps at Duke, Auburn and Georgia. His next trip will be to Stanford for a camp. His offers include Virginia, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, North Carolina, Stanford, Furman, Pitt, Navy, Miami-Ohio, Central Florida and Appalachian State among others.
Dillon WR Er'ieon Hayes has offers from East Carolina, Coastal Carolina and Georgia Southern.
Boiling Spring QB Daniel Thompson last week committed to Elon. He's the brother of USC QB Dylan Thompson.
One time Clemson target WR Juval Mollette of Randleman, NC recently committed to North Carolina.
RB Mikell Lands-Davis of Douglasville, GA, who at one time favored Clemson, committed last week to Georgia Tech.
Dillon junior QB Avery McCall (6-2 195) will be one of the hot signal-callers in the state the next two seasons. He's coming off an injury plagued sophomore season in which he led the Wildcats to the 2A state championship. McCall already has several offers but is not rushing the process. "Right now he's just concentrating on us, trying to get better," Dillon coach Jackie Hayes said. McCall has offers from USC, Clemson, Tennessee, East Carolina, North Carolina, LSU, Ohio State and NC State. Florida State has shown strong interest this summer and wants him to come down for a camp but McCall has not expressed strong enough interest to warrant a trip Hayes said. USC has been reported as a favorite but Hayes said he can't confirm that. "He hasn't said that to me. I do know he likes them a lot but he's not gone in there and said that's where I'm going to school yet."
Junior OL Malcolm Garrett (6-3 278) of Cross is another 2016 prospect to watch according to his coach Shawn Wright. He attended USC's junior day in March. "USC loved his film," Wright said. "I really like his work ethic and his drive for improvement. His desire is to be better and do more than he has before. When he came to Cross he was 330 pounds. He put the work in and now he is at 278! He is learning to play with his hips and when he masters that he could be one of the best in the country!" Garrett also plays on the defensive line.
USC last week offered junior ATH Kyle Davis of Decatur, GA.
Per Paul Strelow of TigerIllustrated, Clemson 2014 signee RB Jae'lon Oglesby likely is headed to Fork Union Prep, VA this fall. Also, fellow 2014 signees Jalen Williams, CJ Fuller, JD Davis and Judah Davis will grayshirt and be part of the 2015 class.
6-6 Tevin Mack of Dreher has had a quality spring and summer with strong showings in AAU competition and camps. Most recently he competed in the NBA Top 100 camp in Charlottesville, VA. This past weekend he was at a team camp at USC. The Gamecocks have not yet offered but they are showing Mack plenty of attention. Mack has been to USC unofficially several times and is keeping the Gamecocks under consideration despite not yet having an offer. He does have an offer from Clemson and he's in regular touch with the Tigers as well. Mack has also been in touch with Georgia, VCU, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Auburn, Mississippi State, Southern Cal, Kansas, Georgetown, Tennessee, Cincinnati and East Carolina. He has also visited Clemson, VCU and Georgia. He has no other visits planned. Mack has offers from Clemson, East Carolina, Auburn, Mississippi State, Wake Forest, VCU, Virginia Tech, Georgia and some mid-major programs. He plans to cut his list down by August and will take all five of his official visits.
USC has offered 6-8 Jarred Reuter of Brewster Academy in MA.
6-5 Rayjon Tucker of Charlotte was offered by Clemson last week while on an unofficial visit. He also visited North Carolina last week.
Clemson is in solid shape with 6-0 PG Jawun Evans, the Greenville native who now resides in Dallas. Evans is down to a final eight of Clemson, Illinois, Southern Cal, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma State and Cincinnati. July, of course, is a major recruiting month for basketball and Evans AAU coach and mentor Lamont Simmons said the plan is to reevaluate the final eight after the month is over. "He'll probably take a couple off from there and set up some official visits and probably get it down to about four or five schools and really dig deep into then," Simmons said. And it looks good at this point for Clemson to make the final four or five. The Tigers jumped on Evans early in the recruiting process and have developed a solid relationship with him. And Simmons is working on getting Evans over to Clemson for a visit while he's home this summer. "They've probably got the best relationship with him and his mom, they've been around the longest and they were the first school to offer," Simmons said. "He's known their coaching staff a lot longer. I wouldn't say he has a true leader. I would put it at those eight for right now." Simmons said Evans will make a decision before his senior season in Texas.
6-1 PG Ty Hudson of Mableton, GA remains a major Clemson target and the Tigers are doing their work in trying to get him in the board. "I talked to coach Grant every day," Hudson said. "They tell me they want me on campus and that I'm a Clemson guy." Hudson has visited Clemson twice and will be going back soon. He's also going to visit Xavier in July and Virginia Tech also wants him to visit. Hudson has set September 30th for his commitment date which coincides with his mother's birthday. And Clemson still leads. "The lead is getting larger by the day," he said. Hudson has been to Florida, Georgia Southern, Murray State, Vanderbilt and UT Chattanooga for camps.
The Citadel signed 6-0 Tim Broom of Jacksonville and 5-11 Brandon Thompson of Gaithersburg, MD.