Fort Dorchester’s Simpson says USC, Clemson in his top 5

Fort Dorchester offensive lineman John Simpson visited South Carolina last week and said he rates the Gamecocks and Clemson Tigers in his top five. Photo Provided

John Simpson, an offensive lineman at Fort Dorchester High, spent last Thursday touring the University of South Carolina and watching the Gamecocks at spring practice. He came away impressed.

Prior to his USC visit, Simpson had proclaimed that Clemson was his favorite after a visit there.

“Yeah, they did. They did,” Simpson said when asked if the Gamecocks had gained ground on the Tigers. “They and Clemson are in my top five. I don’t have a number one. I don’t have a number one because, as I said, I haven’t really established a top school yet and they both offer me the same thing. They are even.” Simpson said his next visit will be to Florida this weekend for the Gators’ spring game.

Linebacker Tre Lamar of Roswell, Ga., took recent visits to Alabama, Florida and Florida State and now has a new top five of Clemson, Alabama, Auburn, Florida and Florida State, in no particular order. He is going to Auburn April 18 for the spring game. Lamar said Clemson and Alabama are contacting him more than the others. He said all of his visits have been equally good so it’s hard to differentiate between the schools.

Running back Tre Harbison of Shelby, N.C., told 247/Sports he has his list down to USC, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, Virginia and Pittsburgh. He attended USC’s junior day late last month.

Highly recruited defensive back Trayvon Mullen of Pompano Beach, Fla., has nearly 40 offers at this point and he plans to reveal a top 10 list very soon. Clemson and USC are among the offers and Mullen said both will be on the list. Mullen has visited both schools and remains in regular contact. Some of Mullen’s other offers are Florida, Ohio State, LSU, TCU, Alabama, Florida State, Arkansas, Auburn, Michigan, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Wisconsin. He recently visited Miami and was at Florida’s junior day last month. He has been favoring LSU.

Greer defensive back Troy Pride visited USC Friday for a spring practice. He has been committed to Virginia Tech and said he’s still committed to the Hokies. USC has not yet offered Pride but told him he is under evaluation by the defensive staff. He does have offers from Virginia Tech, Marshall, Mercer and Appalachian State.

Offensive lineman Landon Dickerson of Hudson, N.C., has a current top three of USC, Tennessee and Virginia Tech. He attended USC’s junior day the end of January. Dickerson also has visited North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Tennessee and went to games last season at Wake Forest and Clemson.

Offensive lieman Brett Heggie of Mount Dora, Fla., has strong interest in USC and plans to visit the Gamecocks for their spring game on Saturday. Heggie visited Central Florida Tuesday and will be at Florida for a spring practice Wednesday. Heggie has offers from USC, N.C. State, Central Florida, West Virginia, Indiana, Tulane, Memphis, Georgia Southern, Cincinnati and Florida International.

Offensive lineman Clark Yarbrough of Woodberry Forest, Va., is one of the nation’s most sought-after offensive linemen, and as he comes down the stretch of his recruiting activities both Clemson and USC are still in play. Yarbrough visited both schools earlier this month and both figure to be on his list when he makes his decision known May 21.

Offensive lineman Branton Autry of Coffeyville (Kan.) JC is getting a lot of interest from USC these days and when he gets around to deciding on official visits he will take this summer and fall, he’s confident the Gamecocks will get one. He has offers from the Gamecocks, Arizona State, Florida, Arkansas, Missouri, Ole Miss, Southern Miss, Oklahoma and Arkansas State. He’s not taken any visits thus far and hasn’t decided on where he will visit.

Laurens defensive back Thomas Jones is gaining momentum in recruiting circles. He recently was offered by USC and North Carolina. He also has offers from Duke, Charlotte and Miami of Ohio, and Clemson is showing some interest. He plans to go to Clemson for the spring game Saturday. Jones picked up his USC offer at the junior day late last month.

Deep snapper Patrick Phibbs of Pittsburgh visited Clemson on and apparently plans to join the Clemson program in 2016 as an invited walk on.

RB Elijah Holyfield of Atlanta was at USC Saturday for a scrimmage. It was his second visit to USC this year.

DE Ron Johnson of Camden, N.J. plans to visit USC this week.

LB Elysee Mbem Bosse of Athens, Ga., and DB Tre’ Shaw of Ellenwood, GA were offered by USC last week.

Clemson and USC target E.J. Price, a lineman from Lawrenceville, Ga., committed to Georgia.

2017 DB Carlito Gonzalez of Stone Mountain, GA was at USC Saturday for the scrimmage at Williams-Brice Stadium. He had talked about a possible commitment going into the visit but decided not to on this trip. He also has an offer from Kentucky and has drawn interest from Clemson, Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee and Michigan State.

Offensive lineman Cory Helms, who is transferring from Wake Forest to USC, will have to wait until 2016 to suit up in a game for the Gamecocks.  Helms, working with the USC Compliance Office, had appealed to the NCAA for immediate eligibility based on a family issue that necessitated his transfer to a school closer to his home in Alpharetta, GA.  He learned Tuesday that the appeal was turned down.

Jamall Gregory, a 6-4 shooting guard from Washington, D.C., committed to USC last week, picking the Gamecocks over Kansas State, Maryland, Minnesota, Rutgers and others. Gregory, who attended Elev8 Sports Institute in Delray Beach, Fla., made his official visit to USC last weekend with his mother and saw enough on the visit to convince him to join Frank Martin’s program. Gregory is the fourth commitment for USC’s 2015 class.

Conor Clifford, a 7-0 center from Saddleback (Calif.) JC, has set his official visit date with USC for Friday. He has visited Washington State. Martin had an in-home visit with Clifford last week.