PJ Dozier, a 6-7 senior at Spring Valley High School, is the state's top basketball prospect for the 2015 class and is considered one of the best players in the country.
After mulling over offers from coast to coast, Dozier has cut his list to the five schools he will visit officially, and from those five he will make his decision. Making the list are South Carolina, North Carolina, Louisville, Michigan and Georgetown.
The Dozier family has strong ties to the Gamecock program. PJ's father Perry and his uncle Terry played there and his sister Asia plays for the USC women's team.
USC coach Frank Martin certainly knows PJ is a key recruit in his building plans and he and his staff are leaving nothing to chance.
"Whenever PJ is playing, somebody is going to be there if not Frank himself," said Perry Dozier, the basketball coach at Spring Valley. "The biggest thing he's trying to look for is where it's going to be the right fit for him for his career."
There has been speculation the family's long running ties to USC might work against the Gamecocks, suggesting the younger Dozier may want to blaze his own path somewhere else.
"My personal perspective is it's the exact opposite," Perry Dozier said. "I know he wouldn't mind going there to keep on the tradition, but it's got to be the best thing for him."
Tevin Mack of Dreher released his shortened list Saturday and it includes Clemson and USC. The other basketball programs on his list are Georgia, VCU, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech. USC is the only program on the list that hasn't offered Mack.
USC missed on one of their other targets for the 2015 class when 6-8 Jarred Reuter of Brewster Academy, N.H., committed to Virginia Saturday.
Chris Silva, a 6-8 native of Africa who attends school in New Jersey, plans to announce his decision Sept. 19. USC is one of the schools he's been considering.
Keith Stone, a 6-7 forward from Deerfield Beach, Fla., has USC in his top five along with Florida, VCU, Alabama and Virginia Tech.
Running back Mon Denson (5-11, 214) of LaGrange, Ga., didn't land an offer from USC until the Showcase Camp and it didn't take long to decide that he wanted to join Steve Spurrier's program. Denson came out of the camp favoring the Gamecocks over North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas and Wisconsin and last week he announced a commitment to USC.
He is the 27th commitment for the 2015 class, including three holdovers from the 2014 class, and the second running back in the class.
Offensive lineman Brandon Sandifer of Warner Robins, Ga., is headed to the SEC, he's just not sure if he'll call Columbia, Tuscaloosa or Gainesville home.
Sandifer visited USC for the Showcase Camp, and he also visited the Gamecocks in May. He was at Florida for Friday Night Lights and he visited Alabama in early June.
"I don't know that he's any closer to making a decision," Sandifer's coach Kevin Kinsler said Thursday. "I don't know if he's going to make a decision soon. He's just mulling it over trying to make his choice. He's not ready to make a decision yet."
USC appears to have the edge right now over Wake Forest for offensive lineman Nathan Gilliam (6-5, 270) of Knoxville, according to his high school coach.
"South Carolina and Wake Forest are his two big choices, that's what he told me, and South Carolina is more of the leading candidate because he visited there last week again and every time he goes he likes it even more," coach Eddie Courtney said.
Summerville offensive lineman Zack Bailey made an unofficial visit to North Carolina last week and hinted he may no longer be only looking at USC, Clemson and Georgia.
"It was fun and a nice place. Different than some of the in-state schools I've seen," Bailey said. Asked if he was still down to three, Bailey replied, "Right now I'm looking at other options." Bailey Defensive end Rasool Clemons of South Aiken has a top three of Tennessee, Virginia and LSU in that order. He has Clemson fourth on his list. He visited Clemson last week.
Linebacker Amonte Caban of Smith's Station, Ala., wasn't able to make USC's camp but that's no indication of declining interest on his part.
"I didn't make it to camp but I'm going to one of their games," Caban said. His favorites are USC, Clemson, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Louisville and Kentucky. But he added he hasn't heard from Clemson in some time.
DB Carlton Davis of Miami did not make the Showcase Camp at USC, but he said he remains interested in the Gamecocks. He also has Florida, Miami, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Alabama on his short list.
Dorman WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside committed to Stanford last week.
WR Tavin Richardson of Byrnes has his list down to five..Kentucky, Central Florida, Louisville, Virginia Tech and Nebraska
WR Trevion Samuel of Phenix City, AL committed Friday to Louisville while on a visit. He had also considered USC.
WR George Campbell of Tarpon Springs, FL has a top ten of Clemson, LSU, Florida State, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, UCLA, Ole Miss, Auburn and Maryland.
DL DJ Jones of East Mississippi JC, who is committed to Florida State, attended USC's practice Friday night with some family members including his father. Jones said he was only in Columbia to help his sister, who was a USC student, move.
LB Ricky DeBerry of Richmond, a Clemson target, visited Texas A&M last week and plans to take one of his official visits there.
WR Auden Tate of Tampa, a former Irmo resident, plans to announce his commitment Tuesday. He is considering Clemson, Florida State, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Maryland and South Florida. Tate has never visited Clemson but considering the Tigers' success recruiting in Tampa, and he's friends with the Tigers' recent commitments from the city, they can't be discounted.
WR Markeyvious Adams of Greenwood attended camps at USC, Clemson, Georgia and Georgia Southern over the summer. While at the USC camp, Adams spoke with USC assistant G.A. Mangus and said the conversation has him waiting to see what the Gamecocks do. His offers are from Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Appalachian State, NC State, Marshall, James Madison, Charleston Southern and Old Dominion. Georgia Southern and Appalachian State are showing the most interest.
USC coach Steve Spurrier said after practice Friday night there was nothing new to report on the status of signee Joe Blue. Spurrier said the case is in appeal before USC admissions and he hopes to have a resolution this week.
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