Top QB recruit narrows choices to Clemson, UGA

Trevor Lawrence of Cartersville, Ga., is regarded as the top quarterback in the 2018 recruiting class. (Photo provided)

Trevor Lawrence of Cartersville, Ga., is regarded as the top quarterback in the 2018 recruiting class and has received more than 20 college offers already. From those offers, Lawrence has narrowed his decision to Clemson and Georgia.

Lawrence has visited both schools and plans to see each again before announcing his decision, which could be before the end of the summer.

“I feel very comfortable at both schools, that’s why they are my top two,” Lawrence said. “My relationship with the coaches from both schools is great and I think I can play in both offenses. Just finding which one might be a little better for me or help me the most will influence my decision.”

Last season, Lawrence passed for 3,655 yards and 43 touchdowns. He passed for 3,042 yards and 26 touchdowns as a freshman.

One of the nation’s top linebackers, Sherrod Greene of Rocky Mount, N.C., attended The Opening, an annual showcase featuring 166 top high school prospects, in Oregon last weekend but he could not participate due to a broken hand. But he really didn’t need to perform because his status as an elite linebacker prospect already is set after he totaled over 150 tackles last season.

USC linebackers coach Coleman Hutzler has been recruiting Greene and has gotten the Gamecocks into Greene’s small circle. Greene plans to visit USC on Saturday for the social gathering of invited prospects. Greene was at USC in June for camp and worked out for the coaches then. He also has been to Alabama, Georgia Tech and Georgia this summer along with the trip The Opening. Greene also plans to revisit Alabama, N.C. State and Virginia Tech.

Greene doesn’t plan to make a decision until January and he plans to take his official visits in the fall. Last season Greene had 154 tackles with four forced fumbles and four recovered fumbles he returned for touchdowns.

Linebacker T.J. Minniffee of Lebanon, Tenn., plans to visit USC on Tuesday.

I think it is in the works soon, I can’t really say when but it will be pretty soon,” Minniffee said of his decision. “I like South Carolina a lot. I was at Louisville (last week) and I like them a lot, and also I like Purdue. Really it’s between those three.”

Last season Minniffee had 70 tackles with eight sacks and one interception.

Defensive back Zay Brown of Athens, Ga., will announce his college commitment Saturday and it’s expected to be USC. He was offered by the Gamecocks at a camp in late June. He also has offers from Wake Forest, Colorado State, Middle Tennessee State and others.

Linebacker Cain McWilliams of Lewisburg, Tenn., will announce his college decision July 29. He has offers from USC, Middle Tennessee State, Jacksonville State, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech and Tennessee Martin. USC offered him in June at a satellite camp near Nashville and he visited later in the month.

Defensive end M.J. Webb of Madison, Ga., went back on the road to check out some favorites starting Saturday with a visit to Kentucky. He is going to Tennessee on Thursday and on Saturday will visit USC for the third time since the middle of May.

Webb said the Gamecocks continue to have a strong recruiting presence with him. Webb said at this point he’s focused on USC, Tennessee, Auburn, Kentucky and Florida. He is looking at November for making his decision. He has scheduled an official visit with USC for the Georgia weekend and he will also take one to Tennessee.

USC joined fellow SEC programs Tennessee and Kentucky in offering defensive back Shakur Brown of Stockbridge, Ga. His teammate and fellow defensive back Yusef Corker also has a USC offer.

Brown also has offers from West Virginia, Minnesota, Oregon State, Colorado State, Georgia Southern, Troy and Miami of Ohio.

“I really like how their bond is and how they are like a family and when I go up there I feel like I’m part of something big,” Brown said. “They are in my top five, guaranteed.”

Brown played mostly quarterback for his team last season but he did play four games at cornerback and registered 23 tackles and four interceptions.

Defensive lineman Romello Martin of Brooklyn, N.Y., has USC in his top 10 along with Tennessee, Kansas, Rutgers, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Louisville, Penn State and Syracuse. Martin is planning to visit the Gamecocks in August.

Defensive lineman Ben Hutch of Nashville plans to visit USC on Tuesday. He has been favoring Louisville and Texas A&M. This will be his first visit to USC and his first real chance to talk with the coaches.

USC target DE Matthew Butler of Garner, N.C., was offered by Kentucky. USC, Tennessee, N.C. State, North Carolina and Duke have been his top schools.

DE Joshua Paschal of Olney, Md., released a top seven of Clemson, North Carolina, Maryland, Tennessee, Southern Cal, Notre Dame and Oklahoma.

DB Jeffrey Okudah of Grand Prairie, Tex., released a top five of Clemson, Florida State, Ohio State, Georgia and Southern Cal.

DB Terrell Bailey of Marrero, La., named a top nine of USC, Mississippi State, Arizona State, North Carolina, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech and Colorado.

OL Trey Smith of Jackson, Tenn., announced a top six of Clemson, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Ohio State, Alabama and Notre Dame.

DE Mike Allen of Buford, Ga., has a top six of USC, Tennessee, Alabama, Southern Cal, Georgia and Wake Forest.

OL Andrew Thomas of Atlanta committed to Georgia while at The Opening. He picked the Bulldogs over Clemson and Notre Dame.

USC commitment DB Damari Mathis of Lakeland, FL was offered by Minnesota. He committed to the Gamecocks in June over Ole Miss, Pittsburgh, Central Florida and Cincinnati.

Clemson offered 2018 OL Richard Gouraige of Tampa on Thursday. He’s a national recruit with other offers from the likes of Florida State, Alabama, Auburn, Kentucky, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Miami, Louisville, Iowa State, Michigan, Nebraska, Ole Miss and Tennessee.

USC basketball coach Frank Martin has one scholarship remaining for the 2016 class after the departure of guard Marcus Stroman. Martin is looking at 6-9 Ran Tut of Monroe (N.Y.) JC, who arrived in Columbia Sunday for an official visit through Tuesday. Tut is coming off of a visit to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Tut is a native of Melbourne, Australia, and played two seasons at Monroe leaving him two years of eligibility. Last season he averaged 10.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.

Duane Moss (6-7) of Carolina Forest has had a very productive summer and has caught the eye of several coaches, including Martin.

He also has offers from Charlotte, Middle Tennessee, Tennessee Tech, New Jersey Tech, Furman, Delaware and Coastal Carolina, where his father is an assistant coach. Moss said Martin has told him he has the type of game USC needs.

Guard Haley Troup (5-10) of Gadsden City, Ala., announced a commitment to the USC women Friday night. Some of her other offers were Texas, Vanderbilt and Auburn. She’s the second commitment for Dawn Staley’s 2017 class.

Clemson offered 6-9 Josh Carlton of Dematha High in Hyattsville, Md.