Wando’s OrTre Smith, a 6-4, 212-pound wide receiver, had a spectacular junior season with 84 catches for 1,364 yards and 18 touchdowns. As a result, the college offers have been pouring in.
Clemson, South Carolina, Florida State, Louisville, East Carolina, Georgia, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, N.C. State and Tennessee are some of the major offers thus far.
Smith, who has family ties to Clemson, attended the Tigers’ junior day on Jan. 30 and was at USC’s junior day Saturday. He is also going to North Carolina, N.C. State and Georgia and has been talking to Tennessee and Wake Forest about visits.
“Really, there’s not an early favorite,” said Wando coach Jimmy Noonan. “Everyone has pegged him for Clemson but he’s wide open. He’s taking everything in. He hopes to narrow things down in the next few weeks, get through these junior days and go to some spring games. He wants to narrow things down heading into spring practices.”
USC coach Will Muschamp handed out several offers on Saturday, including one to defensive back Hamsah Nasirildeen of Concord, N.C. Nasirildeen also plays receiver, but he said Muschamp likes him as a safety.
“It was real exciting to get an SEC offer,” Nasirildeen, a 6-4, 205-pound junior, said. “Coach Muschamp told me he really liked my film. He saw the talent I had and he wants me to play for him. He like my size and said I can fill holes and I have a natural instinct for the ball.”
This was the first junior day visit for Nasirildeen, who has been to North Carolina and Charlotte for games. He plans to visit North Carolina this weekend and N.C. State the following weekend. He also has offers from East Carolina, Maryland, Temple, Charlotte and Georgia Southern. He does not plan an early decision and, because he’s a basketball player as well, is not going to graduate early. Bobby Bentley is his USC recruiter.
Muschamp was familiar with Monty Rice (6-2, 223) of Madison, Ala., when he was coaching at Auburn, and hasn’t lost interest in the linebacker. Muschamp on Saturday offered Rice while he was in Columbia for the Gamecocks’ junior day.
“All the linebacker coaches, they like my film,” Rice said. “Coach Muschamp said wherever you choose, make sure you’re not a second option because you’re nobody’s second option. The visit was better than I expected. Coach Muschamp has already put his brand on the program.”
Rice also has offers from Kentucky, Louisville, Ole Miss, UAB, Troy and Iowa State. He will visit Auburn this weekend and also plans to visit Alabama, Florida and Ole Miss. He does plan to graduate early and at this point there is no favorite.
“South Carolina was impressive,” he said, “but I want to wait it out and see how everything goes.” Last season Rice had 124 tackles with 11 tackles for loss, three interceptions and three forced fumbles.
Among the other offers passed out by USC Saturday: DB Yusuf Corker of Stockbridge, Ga.; OL Summie Carlay of Laurens; WR Sage Surratt of Denver, N.C.; TE Drake DeIuliis of Charlotte; LB Ellis Brooks of Richmond, Va.; and WR Chad Terrell of Dallas, Ga.
Defensive back Tank Robinson (6-1, 198) of Lake Marion was at USC Saturday and has also been to Clemson and Virginia Tech. He also visited Clemson for the Notre Dame and Florida State games last season. He does not have favorites at this juncture. His other offers include Georgia, Louisville, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Penn State, N.C. State, Michigan, Virginia Tech, Tennessee and Duke.
One of the state’s leading prospects in the 2017 class is Union County WR Shi Smith (5-11, 175) and last week he was in Columbia to meet with Will Muschamp and attend a basketball game. Smith said he grew up a Gamecock fan but there is no favorite right now between USC and Clemson. He’d like to make his decision around the middle of his senior season. Last season Smith caught 50 passes for 1,300 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Defensive back Jamyest Williams (5-9, 175) of Decatur, Ga., was at USC on Saturday and has more than 50 offers at this point, including USC and Clemson. Muschamp and defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson recruited Williams when they were at Auburn so a relationship already exists.
Williams attended Clemson’s junior day in late January and is also strong on the Tigers. “I really like Clemson,” he said. “Coach Swinney loves me and he wants me to be a part of that program.”
Williams has also been to Georgia and Notre Dame and will visit Florida State later this month. He doesn’t plan a decision until his senior season and he said USC and Clemson will be factors to the end. He does not have any favorites. Last season Williams had 60 tackles and two interceptions.
DE Logan Rudolph (6-4, 225) of Northwestern is one of the heaviest recruited players in the state in the 2017 class thus far with 29 offers including USC. Clemson is showing interest but has not offered. Some of his other offers include Oklahoma State, Arizona State, North Carolina, Auburn, Florida, Miami, Florida State, Penn State and Michigan.
Rudolph has not narrowed his list and has no current favorites. He said he will have a top 10 by summer and then take his five official visits in the fall. Rudolph made an unofficial visit to USC in January and left there with a better feel for the new coaches.
“It was basically a chance to meet Coach Muschamp and the rest of the coaches,” Rudolph said. “I got a good idea of what they are going to try to do and I think they’ve got a chance to be real successful in the future.”
Rudolph, who also plays tight end, said USC and all the other offering schools like him for defensive end. Last season he was in on 60 tackles with 15 sacks and 13 quarterback pressures.
Virginia Tech was the first major program to notice the talents of WR Austin Connor (6-0, 180) of Dutch Fork and step up with an offer and others are sure to follow. Connor is one of the state’s fastest players and is a threat to win the 100 meters state championship this spring. On the football field last fall, Connor had 30 catches, averaging 30 yards per catch, and had five touchdowns receiving and four rushing.
Connor also has an offer from Dartmouth. He went to Virginia Tech’s junior day and was at USC Saturday. He is going to Duke in March for a spring practice. He’s also planning to visit Wake Forest. Connor also visited Miami for track.