Clemson gets big commitment from wide receiver Higgins

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney received a commitment last week from Tee Higgins, a 6-5 wide receiver considered one of the top prospects in the country. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

Clemson landed a commitment from one of the nation’s top wide receiver prospects last week in Tee Higgins.

Higgins, a 6-5, 190-pound senior at Oak Ridge, Tenn., once was a Tennessee commitment. As recently as June he was publicly touting the Vols as his leader among his top five — Tennessee, Clemson, Ohio State, Florida State and Ole Miss. But as his decision time grew nearer Higgins started to have a change in heart.

“I just followed my heart and that’s the place I wanted to go,” Higgins said of Clemson.

Higgins had 52 catches for 941 yards and 28 touchdowns last season. Higgins is also a basketball prospect who averaged 15 points per game last season. He said he has not talked with Clemson in detail about playing basketball.

Defensive end Mykelle McDaniel of Loganville, Ga., remains unsigned as he finishes up academic requirements and he said last week his hope, and his intention, is to go to South Carolina.

“I will be going to USC,” McDaniel said. “I’m just waiting on test scores.”

McDaniel said he talked with Gamecock head coach Will Muschamp last week and was told a scholarship is being held for him. McDaniel visited USC in March and it appeared a commitment was forthcoming but he was forced to hold off while his academic issues were sorted out. According to his assistant coach Kenyatta Watson, McDaniel has achieved a qualifying test score and the NCAA approved his classes. He is now waiting on results of his most recent graduation test. And even after getting that test result back, McDaniel will still have to clear USC admissions to join the Gamecocks. Last season McDaniel had 100 tackles and 13 sacks.

Linebacker James Houston of Plantation, Fla., has made a couple of visits to USC and says the Gamecocks are showing him more attention than most other schools recruiting him. He’s also hearing from Florida, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Defensive back Johnathan Abram of Jones County (Miss.) JC is a former starting safety at Georgia and now is a top target for USC.

“Me and Coach Muschamp talk every day,” Abram said. “He’s just saying how much they need me and stuff like that.”

Abram said he’s planning to visit USC this month along with his brother Aaron, who also has a USC offer. Abram said he likes Muschamp and his interest in the Gamecocks at this point is “pretty high.” He’s also hearing from LSU, Alabama, Mississippi State and Colorado State.

Abram said he will visit Alabama and LSU. He doesn’t expect to make his decision until after this season and he plans to graduate in December.

Defensive end Matthew Butler of Garner, N.C., has narrowed his focus to USC, Tennessee, N.C. State, North Carolina and Duke. Butler visited USC in June and he’s looking at some dates for return visits to USC this summer and this fall. He has no timetable on a decision but said it could be done before the season. Butler added that all five schools are recruiting him the same and there’s no leader at this point.

Quarterback Kaymen Cureton of Lawndale, Calif., has a grandmother who lives in Beaufort and he is going there July 23 for a family reunion. And while in the state the San Jose State commitment plans to visit USC. Cureton reported an offer from the Gamecocks in April but hasn’t had that much contact with them between then and now. He has talked recently with quarterbacks coach Kurt Roper. Cureton passed for 3,787 yards and rushed for 773 yards last season. He also lists offers from Alabama, Colorado State, LSU and Boston College.

Defensive back Tre Shaw of Ellenwood, Ga., has set July 18 for his commitment announcement. He recently narrowed his list to Clemson, USC, North Carolina and Auburn. He’s visited all four this summer.

Defensive back C.J. Avery of Grenada, Miss., spent three days at a Clemson camp in June and left there with the Tigers as his top choice. He is going to Florida State next week and also plans to attend camp at Mississippi State. Avery has had a top 10 of Clemson, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Louisville, Tennessee, Michigan, Alabama, Cal and Auburn.

USC, Duke and Virginia Tech remain the top three with running back Jalen Holston of Stockbridge, Ga., and the Gamecocks have him lined up for another visit July 22. Holston was at USC for a camp last month and has also been to N.C. State, Duke, Virginia Tech, Kentucky, Georgia, Tennessee and Auburn. He’s also going to visit North Carolina this week.

Defensive back Naytron Culpepper of Miami released his top seven schools as USC, Michigan State, Tennessee, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Louisville and Utah. Culpepper has strong interest in the Gamecocks.

“It’s a great opportunity to play early and get coached by a great DB coach,” Culpepper said. “He (Travaris Robinson) sees me being on the island at corner but staying versatile in the secondary like (former Florida State star Jalen) Ramsey.” Culpepper has made two unofficial visits to USC. Last season Culpepper had over 20 tackles with 3 interceptions and 4 passes defended.

Defensive back A.J. Terrell of Atlanta is being strongly recruited by USC and Clemson. They are two of his top teams at this point along with Florida, Auburn, Georgia and Alabama. He’s pointing towards a decision in September. Between now and then Terrell plans to visit as many of his favorites as possible. Also:

— DL Neil Farrell of Mobile, AL has a top six and in no order of USC, Michigan, Alabama, Florida, Southern Cal and LSU on the list. He attended a USC camp last month.

— DE J’Bril Glaze of Tampa says he continues to hear from USC “moderately. It hasn’t been very recent. About a month ago.” He is hearing a lot from Indiana, Mississippi State and Cincinnati and he recently heard from Alabama. Glaze said USC did scout him during the spring. Glaze said he and some of his teammates will either visit or camp at USC later this month. He has a top eight of USC, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Arizona, Indiana, Michigan State, Tennessee and South Florida. Glaze doesn’t plan to make a decision until after his season.

— LB KJ Britt of Oxford, AL has been in contact with USC recruiter Coleman Hutzler and remains interested in the Gamecocks. Britt said he’s no longer in touch with Clemson. He’s also talking to UAB, South Alabama, Georgia Tech, Jacksonville State, Georgia, Florida and LSU. Britt said there is no favorite. He said he’ll probably come to a USC game this season.

— LB Sherrod Greene of Rocky Mount, NC said at The Opening he will visit NC State July 22nd and USC July 23rd. He told 247Sports USC and Virginia Tech are pushing him the hardest.

— DL Breyon and Brandon Gaddy of Virginia Beach have set the announced of their school for August 26th. They are going as a pair and have been favoring Tennessee over Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Southern Cal, Virginia Tech and Florida in that order. They plan to visit Clemson this week.

— DE Joe Anderson of Copiah-Lincoln JC, MS said he will visit USC but hasn’t set a date. He also likes Houston, Texas A&M and Southern Cal.

— DB Jamyest Williams of Loganville, GA announced a top 5 Sunday of Clemson, USC, Georgia, Ohio State, and Tennessee.

Late last month 6-6 shooting guard Naji Marshall of Greenbelt, Md., made an unofficial visit to USC and he has the Gamecocks on his short list as he works on a decision he’d like to make by the end of July.

“He told me he liked South Carolina a lot,” said Marshall’s coach Brendan O’Connell. “He’s been to about six schools and he’s got four of five he likes.”

Last season Marshall averaged 15 points, nine rebounds and four assists per game.

USC has offered 6-7 Duane Moss of Carolina Forest. His father Benny is the associate head coach at Coastal Carolina. Some of his other reported offers are Middle Tennessee, Charlotte, Tennessee Tech and Furman.

Pitcher Corey Stone of Mid Carolina committed to USC last week. He’s the 15th commitment for the Gamecocks 2017 class and the third southpaw.