Brent Venables

Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables just got a new $11.6 million contract. Gwinn Davis/The Post and Courier

Clemson will learn this week if highly recruited cornerback Jaden Davis of Fort Lauderdale plans to join the Tigers' football team.

Davis say he will announce his commitment on Wednesday with Clemson, Kentucky, Penn State, Miami and Oklahoma the finalists. He last visited Clemson for a junior day in January and recruiters Brent Venables and Mike Reed have been in regular contact to remind him about what they have to offer.

“They are just saying they have one (corner) committed now I think, Sheridan Jones I believe. I think they are taking two or three. They were just saying by the time July 18 comes I will have a spot and everything like that. They were just hoping that I choose Clemson.”

Davis has taken official visits to Oklahoma and Penn State (in April) and to Kentucky (early June). He said if he chooses Clemson he will return for the All-In Cookout the end of this month. 

Offensive lineman Warren McClendon of Brunswick, Ga., say he is close to a decision. Early last week, McClendon said he was at about 90 percent sure of his college choice. But later in the week he said that percentage had dropped. He has USC, Georgia, Auburn and Tennessee as his top four.

“It kind of went down a little bit after talking to some of the different coaches,” McClendon wrote. “I talked to my cousin Bryan (McClendon, USC recruiter). I (also) talked to Georgia and Florida.”

About the strongest attraction to USC, McClendon said, “Just the coaching staff and the players and just having my cousin there, Bryan, that’s a boost, too.”

And for Georgia, he said, “Basically the same thing. The coaching staff, I feel the same thing with the coaching staff, Coach (Sam) Pittman. I’ve built a strong bond with Coach Pittman since the first of the year.”

Defensive lineman Travon Walker of Thomaston, Ga., has family ties at USC with the Wonnum brothers, and he likes the plan the Gamecocks have for him. USC is one of his top five.

Clemson is another of his favorites and he feels strongly about the Tigers as well. Georgia, Auburn and Alabama are the three other schools on Walker’s short list.

Clemson and N.C. State are hooked up in an old-fashioned, head-to-head recruiting battle for cornerback Shyheim Battle of Rocky Mount, N.C. Coaches from both sides regularly contact him by phone and on social media. Battle settled on Clemson and N.C. State as his top two in the spring and neither has been able to separate itself from the other in his mind.

“I’m in between things with both schools right now so I’m just putting a lot of thought into it,” he said. “I’m going to visit N.C. State at the end of next week. And I’m going to go to the Clemson cookout on July 27. Every day that goes by I’m thinking about do I want to go here or do I want to go here. Right now it’s kind of hard for me.”

Battle has set Dec. 15 for a decision announcement but he said it could come sooner.

Cornerback Johnny Dixon of Tampa not only is dealing with recruiting this summer, he’s also rehabbing a knee he injured last December while dunking a basketball. USC has been recruiting Dixon hard and he said recruiter Travaris Robinson isn’t concerned about the knee.

“They were my first offer and they’ve kept the same energy. They like me just as much as when they offered me. They said they don’t care if I don’t play a down this season and they will still let me sign.”

Dixon made an official visit to USC in June. The end of this month he will visit Florida and Miami unofficially and will schedule official visits with them. He is scheduled for an official visit to Penn State in September. Ohio State and Alabama also are on his short list.

Offensive lineman J.D. Duplain of Strongsville, Ohio, said Clemson offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell plans to get back to him with word on an offer this week. Duplain said he’ll wait on Clemson before making his decision. He has Michigan State, Boston College and Indiana as his current top three.


Josiah James (6-6) of Porter-Gaud is playing with his TMP team of Charleston this month in his final AAU events. He was in Atlanta last weekend and has tournaments in Greensboro, N.C., and Orlando to wrap up his summer ball travel.

In August he will schedule his official visits. James has released a final nine of USC, Clemson, Kansas, Michigan State, Duke, Virginia, Tennessee, Arizona and Florida State. The Gamecocks and Tigers have been with James on the recruiting trail from the start.

“I know it’s the way he’s being recruited by both schools. He enjoys it,” Porter-Gaud coach John Pearson said. “Both schools are quality and both schools’ coaching staffs are quality and they’ve really shown him how much he means to their program. I definitely know that’s why those two schools are in the mix.”

Juwan Gary (6-6) of Gray Collegiate in Columbia on Friday announced a commitment to Alabama over USC, Clemson, Virginia Tech and N.C. State.

Gray said he sees himself as a “one-and-done” prospec, meaning he plans to play just one year of college ball before going to the pros.