Former Clemson running back Tavien Feaster entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal earlier this month and is busy juggling summer school and football recruiting.
Feaster plans to earn his degree from Clemson this summer so he can be eligible immediately at his new school. He said this new round of football recruiting is not something he’s rushing.
“I haven’t really thought about all that yet,” Feaster said. “I’m going to take my time and weigh out all my options and find the best place for me. You’ve definitely got to check the depth charts. I didn’t think I was in a bad position at Clemson but personal reasons are why I left."
Feaster said one of the schools interested in him is South Carolina.
“They are recruiting me like most teams. Obviously, they want to talk to me and see where I’m at with everything,” Feaster said. “That’s really how it’s been with everybody. Everybody is seeing where my head is and where I’m at with everything. But, I look at it (USC) as a place that’s providing me with an opportunity to better myself and better my future.
"I haven’t really looked at it from a fan’s aspect because that’s not my job and that’s not what I’m doing it for. That doesn’t really matter to me. What really matters to me is that I go to a place that’s going to use me and play me in the way that I need to be played."
Other schools reaching out to Feaster include Virginia Tech, East Carolina, Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas. He said he won’t make a decision until he has the chance to visit some of the schools that are interested in him.
“I want to go to a team where I’m not the only good player,” Feaster said. “I want to go to a team that has weapons around me. They already got weapons and I can come in and contribute, then hopefully we can get to the playoffs.”
Clemson landed a double dose of Georgia talent with a commitment Friday night from defensive end Myles Murphy of Powder Springs and one Saturday afternoon from running back Kobe Pryor of Cedartown. The Tigers are now sitting on 16 commitments for their 2020 class, six from Georgia.
Murphy (6-5, 240) announced a commitment to the Tigers over Auburn.
“Both Auburn and Clemson checked the boxes of the culture that they adopt there, the people that they develop there. They develop their players into men, not just football players, but men,” Murphy said. ”To single them out, I just had to go with a gut feeling, and I chose Clemson.”
Murphy visited Clemson last season for a game and was back for a junior day visit in April. What really caught his eye, besides the winning football, were the other elements of the program.
“Really, it’s the great environment that they have and the great players that they produce because of the atmosphere and what they teach into the boys – the PAW Journey program,” Murphy said. “After college, they really try to push them into the real world by giving them job opportunities, internships and some of them went out of the country. Some of them went to New York over spring break. That’s what I really like to see out of Clemson.”
Last season Murphy totaled 53 tackles with 18 tackles for loss and 10 sacks.
Pryor (6-0, 200) actually committed to Clemson a couple of weeks ago but kept that pledge under wraps until Saturday. He also had South Carolina, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Auburn and LSU on his short list.
“Just somewhere where I felt like I was at home and I felt like I could be around all the coaches and players,” Pryor said. “I just feel like I can come in and earn my position and learn the playbook. It’s just the way they would use me in their offense and I think I can be a key player.”
Pryor spent most of his junior season as a slot back so his carries were limited as he rushed for 960 yards and nearly 10 yards per carry. But his coach, Doyle Kelly, has seen him as a running back and knows he has the chance to excel with the Tigers.
“He’s going to be a special kid, a special running back,” said Kelly. “The way he works in the weight room. … He’s benching 355, power-cleaning 270, he’s squatting 565. He can catch the ball out of the backfield. He has great hands. He’s a back that can run over your or run around you."
USC was the first offer for offensive lineman Jazston Turnetine (6-8, 340) of Ellenwood, Ga., and Hutchinson (Kansas) JC, and later this month Turnetine and his family will make an official visit. USC offensive line coach Eric Wolford has made Turnetine a primary target for his 2020 recruiting haul and that’s paid off with a return of heavy interest from the big tackle.
“I’m feeling actually pretty good about them,” Turnetine said. “They talk to me. They call and communicate with me. Talk with me before I even open my eyes. I’m really loving it. I just want to get up there and see how it looks for myself."
Turnetine said he’s also looking into an official visit with Missouri, plus Houston and TCU also are possible for visits. But the two SEC East rivals, USC and Missouri, are the two standing out the most to him.
“They both want me pretty bad, but I feel most of the love coming from South Carolina,” Turnetine said. “They were my first offer and they show me they actually really want me.”
Turnetine also has offers from Utah, West Virginia, Arizona and SMU.
Running back Tank Bigsby of Hoganville, Ga., remains a primary USC target and the Gamecocks are high on his list. His spring practice concluded Wednesday and USC recruiters were in to scout him this month.
“I feel good about them,” Bigsby said. “It was about two weeks ago when we last talked. It was the same thing basically, just talking to them and catching up.”
LSU, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Louisville and Oklahoma also were in this spring to scout Bigsby, who is considered one of the top running back prospects in the country after rushing for 2,200 yards and 22 touchdowns last season.
He said USC, Georgia and Tennessee were recruiting him hard with Georgia, which offered him in the 9th grade, recruiting the hardest.
“I really don’t know yet,” Bigsby said when asked if a favorite had emerged. “I got a little bit of a leader. I don’t want to say nothing right now.”
Another running back on USC's list is Janari Dean of Batesville, Miss. Dean said Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Indiana and Tennessee also are recruiting him with intensity, just like the Gamecocks.
“I like South Carolina, I always watched them growing up,” Dean said. “It’s a big-time offer and they have a chance. They are up there in the top five now. I don’t have a top five, but they’d fit up there.”
According to stats from MaxPreps, last season Dean rushed for 2,030 yards, averaging 6.9 yards per carry, and 18 touchdowns.
Defensive end Myles Murphy (6-6, 280) of Greensboro, N.C., announced a top five of USC, North Carolina, LSU, Florida and Alabama. Gamecock recruiters Travaris Robinson and Kyle Krantz were by his school last week and their work has put the Gamecocks in a good spot with him.
“They offered me a couple of months ago when I first started to get offers and they’ve been showing me a lot of love,” Murphy said. “They’ve always been in the picture. They showed me that I can be a centerpiece of what they’re doing and showed me I can lead the way if I went there. I can just take over if I went there, be a dominating player."
Murphy said he’s used strictly as a pass rushing defensive end. Despite his current size, he doesn’t expect to move inside because he plans to drop 10-20 pounds before getting to college. Murphy made an unofficial visit to USC in February. He has set an official visit with the Gamecocks for May 31.
USC is one of the latest major programs to take notice of Wide receiver Malick Meiga (6-4, 190) of Montreal. The Gamecocks offered last week, joining the likes of Tennessee, Penn State, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Baylor and West Virginia.
“They (USC) saw my numbers on Twitter and saw a little video of me and they reached me and said they really like me. They said potentially I could be a good player on their team,” Meiga said.
USC receivers coach and offensive coordinator Bryan McClendon is the one who contacted Meiga. He wants him to come to a camp and Meiga said he probably would.
Conway defensive end Tonka Hemingway said he continues to hear regularly from USC defensive line coach John Scott. USC, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt and Duke have checked on him at his school this spring. He visited USC for the spring game and has also been to Duke and Wake Forest.
Some of his other offers are Louisville, Alabama, Rutgers, Ole Miss, Georgia, East Carolina, North Carolina and N.C. State. He plans to announce his decision by the end of summer.
Defensive end AJ Beatty of Pittsburgh included USC in his top seven. The others are North Carolina, UCF, West Virginia, Purdue, N.C. State and Maryland. He visited USC for the spring game.
Wide receiver Rico Powers of Savannah named a top five of USC, Georgia, Auburn, Nebraska and Oregon. He visited USC for the spring game.
Cornerback Dominick Hill of Orlando said USC leads Texas and Missouri for him at this point. He’ll take an official visit to USC at the end of this month. Georgia is also in the mix.
USC target linebacker Desmond Tisdol was offered by Nebraska. And Allen Merrick, another linebacker being recruited by the Gamecocks, was offered by Kentucky and Missouri.
Tight end Jonathan Odom, who had a USC offer, committed to Florida, where his dad played.
Fort Dorchester linebacker Darryle Ware was offered by Colorado State.
USC quarterbacks coach Dan Werner was in Georgia recently to check in on 2021 QB Colten Gauthier (6-3, 205) of Dacula. He liked what he saw enough to offer Gauthier.
“I was really excited about the offer and I am definitely going up for a visit in the next month,” Gauthier said. “Coach Muschamp informed me about the offer after Coach Werner came to watch me practice. Coach Muschamp said he was super excited about me and what I have to bring to the table which is size, huge arm and athletic ability, and he wants me to come to campus as soon as possible.”
Gauthier also has offers from Boston College, Colorado, Duke, Kentucky, Syracuse, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, UCF, South Florida and Louisville. Gauthier has visited Georgia, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, UCF and South Florida. He and his head coach Jeff Saturday, the former NFL all-star center, are currently planning his summer camp and visit schedule