Clemson football coach Dabo Swiney held his first annual “All-In Cookout” Friday, and some of the prospects found his recipe for recruiting tasty. In fact, three players committed — two for the 2013 class and one for 2014.
Running back Tyshon Dye of Elberton, Ga., and wide receiver Demarcus Robinson of Fort Valley, Ga., pushed Clemson’s 2013 commitments total to 15. The Tigers are expected to take a maximum of 21 in the class. They also give the Tigers seven commitments from Georgia after having none in the 2012 class.
Tight end Cannon Smith of Hammond became the Tigers’ fifth commitment for the 2014 class with his pledge on Friday. He’s the son of former Tigers defensive lineman Bill Smith, who played on the national championship team and is also a member of the school’s board of trustees.
OL Austin Droogsma of Gulf Breeze, Fla., visited Florida State last week before going to Swinney’s cookout. He has named the Tigers in his top two with FSU. “I love (Clemson),” Droogsma said. “They really like me and they really want me.” He plans to take official visits to his top two and is confident he could make a decision as early as October.
In other recruiting news:
Committed Clemson DE Robert Nkemdiche visited Ole Miss on Sunday with his parents. His brother plays for the Rebels, and he had said he would visit Oxford even after committing to Clemson. Of course, word of his visit sent shockwaves through the recruiting world. Nkemdiche, on his Twitter account, had some advice for those hyperventilating: “I went to visit my bro so all those media trying make a big story about my visit please calm down.”
DB Vernon Hargreaves of Tampa visited Clemson the middle of last week and has the Tigers high up in his final five. In order, Hargreaves has Florida, Clemson, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame and Georgia. Hargreaves also took visits last week to Notre Dame, Vanderbilt and Georgia. He said he knows where he wants to go and plans a commitment within a month.
WR Jonathan Howard of Rochelle, Ga., will commit before his senior campaign begins and he likes Clemson right now. Howard does not have any plans of taking other visits prior to committing. He named his top five in order as Clemson, Alabama, Kentucky, N.C. State and Mississippi State.
USC LB commitment Brandon Golson on Thursday backed up his high school coach’s words from earlier in the week saying he’s still firmly committed to the Gamecocks despite taking an official visit to Texas A&M recently. Golson, the former Calhoun County star who now attends Georgia Military JC, said the A&M visit was the only one he’s taken. “I don’t have any other visits planned right now,” he said. Golson talked to his Gamecocks recruiter Joe Robinson last week. “It’s all good with them,” Golson said.
USC commitment OL DJ Park of Dillon continues to hear from LSU and Tennessee. He says it will not change his mind, but he could visit one or both schools in the future. “I’m not going to de-commit,” he said. Park plans to enroll in January.
OL Tyrone Crowder of Hamlet, N.C., plans to narrow his list to five in the next two weeks and those schools will get his official visits. Crowder did says Clemson and USC are candidates for his top five. He has been to both this summer along with Auburn, North Carolina, Wake Forest and Georgia among others.
DL Jay Woods of Jackson, Ga., reduced his list from 11 to 6. Clemson made the cut, USC did not. Surviving the cut with the Tigers were Georgia, Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, Missouri and Kentucky. Woods has visited Clemson twice and was at Vanderbilt earlier this month.
WR Tyree Harris of Marietta, Ga., has taken Clemson off his list and is down to Wake Forest and Mississippi State. Harris was high on the Tigers but he said he’s not heard from them in some time.
LB Jalen Stevens of Goose Creek has offers from North Carolina, Arizona State, Connecticut and Southern Miss, with interest from Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Southern Cal, N.C. State, Pitt and Central Florida. He visited UConn and UNC this summer.
2014 RB Caleb Kinlaw of Goose Creek has early offers from USC and Clemson, with interest from Tennessee, N.C. State, North Carolina, LSU, Alabama and Ohio State among others. Kinlaw has visited USC and Clemson and camped at Tennessee and UNC. As a sophomore, Kinlaw carried the ball 176 times for 1497 yards and 12 TD.
Clemson 2014 QB commitment DeShaun Watson was offered last week by Florida State. Watson plans to take in a game in Tallahassee this season.
6-2 guard LaShay Page has not been heard from since committing to transfer to USC from Southern Miss following an official visit with the Gamecocks last month. A source close to Page said last week the former Latta and Dillon High standout is still planning to enroll at USC next month if he gets the necessary waivers from the SEC and NCAA for immediate eligibility. Page, who has one year of eligibility left, is completing his academic work this month to be able to graduate from Southern Miss.
The source could not confirm if Page had recently visited UTEP as was reported by a Texas internet site.
6-6 SF Michael Carerra of Venezuela is not yet a lock for USC despite what he told reporters, and apparently some of the Gamecocks, after his official visit earlier in the month. Then, Carerra said he planned to sign with the Gamecocks in a matter of days. Two Gamecock players even tweeted that he had committed on his visit. Now, his coach at Montrose Christian Academy in Maryland says Carerra won’t sign anything until the end of the month at the earliest and may take more visits. Stu Vetter told the Washington Post Carerra won’t sign until after he completes a summer school course the end of July. He said his star forward has narrowed his list to USC, Memphis and Pittsburgh and might take visits to the other two schools though nothing has been set up.
6-5 Sindarius Thornwell of Lancaster has not yet shortened his list. In fact, he’s adding to it with recent offers from Florida and Missouri. And he’s expecting offers soon from Syracuse and Connecticut. USC and Clemson remain strongly in the mix with neither having an edge on the other. “I like the coaches at both schools and the playing styles at both,” Thornwell said. He plans to take most, if not all, of his official visits this fall while he’s at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia. He has not set a timetable for a decision.
Clemson offered 6-5 Austin Ajukwa of Cardinal Newman over the weekend. He also holds offers from Virginia Tech, East Carolina, Jacksonville, Georgia Southern, Mercer, Presbyterian and UNC-Wilmington.
USC Friday landed a commitment from RHP Junior Harding (5-10 170) of Cambridge, MD for the 2014 class according to John Whittle of the BigSpur.com. Harding made his commitment while on a visit to USC Friday. Harding told Whittle he also considered LSU, North Carolina, Virginia and Miami among other schools and picked the Gamecocks over UNC. Harding said he views himself as a closer. Whittle reported Harding was hitting 92-94 MPH in a tournament this week in Marietta, GA.
Whittle also reported commitments for the Gamecocks from INF O’Kevius Conway (5-10 175) of Clinton for the 2014 class and LHP Will Crowe (6-1 160) of Marietta, GA for the 2015 class.
The Gamecocks also picked up a commitment recently from RHP Jackson Smith (6-3 215) of Hartselle, AL for the 2013 class.