South Carolina could fill the last open spot in its 2021 football recruiting class with a transfer from Assumption University, a Division II program in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Carlins Platel, a 6-2, 190-pound cornerback, said he was offered by the Gamecocks after recent conversations with head coach Shane Beamer, defensive coordinator Clayton White and secondary coach Torrian Gray. The Gamecocks and Mississippi State are going head to head in this transfer portal battle.
“I like South Carolina a lot. I like Mississippi State a lot,” Platel said. “I’m just learning more about the schools. I have more meetings with South Carolina. I’m loving the school so far. I’m loving what they are doing over there. I think that would be a great opportunity.”
Platel said he first heard from the Gamecocks last week and the early conversations have gone well.
“Stuff just started building up and then they pulled the trigger and offered,” Platel said. “They see me coming in and playing. Obviously, I’ve got to do down there and compete. There’s opportunity there. I’ve just got to do my part.”
Platel added the relationship he's built with the Gamecock coaches has made him feel very comfortable with them.
But the same holds true for Mississippi State, he said.
“They are just an up and coming team in the SEC West,” Platel said. “They need some guys back there to compete for some jobs. They think I can come in and compete to play at either corner, nickel or safety. They want to get their best guys out on the field.”
Platel is gathering information and learning about USC and will have a virtual visit with the Gamecocks this week.
“I’m being a sponge right now and soaking everything in from every team,” Platel said. “I’m just trying to learn as much as I can and make my decision from that. I’m definitely going to make my decision soon, probably within the next week."
Coastal Carolina and South Alabama also have offered Platel, but his decision appears to be coming down to the two SEC rivals. Platel played three seasons at Assumption and was first team All-Conference in 2019, his last season of football. He played 33 games for the Greyhounds and recorded 96 tackles with 30 pass breakups and 7 interceptions.
Clemson’s primary 2022 quarterback target Ty Simpson of Martin, Tenn., said he will announce his commitment Feb. 19 at 3 p.m. Simpson is focused Clemson, Alabama, Ole Miss and Tennessee.
Four-star defensive tackle Mykel Williams (6-5, 255) of Columbus, Ga., is set to make his college commitment on Mar. 15. He has named his final 10 as Clemson, Ohio State, Georgia, LSU, Penn State, Arizona State, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Kentucky and Southern Cal.
Williams said he’s been talking with Clemson recruiter and defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall and recently did a Zoom call with the staff.
“Hearing a lot. Got a great relationship with the coaches there,” Williams said. “Coach Hall was telling me that I would fit in great, and the spot that’s there is mine for the taking.”
Williams had a dominant season in 2020 with 69 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 17 sacks and 5 forced fumbles. He had 59 tackles and 10 sacks in 2019. He’s ranked the No. 4 defensive tackle nationally in the 247Sports Composite and the No. 5 prospect in Georgia.
Five-star defensive tackle Walter Nolen (6-4, 300) of Cordova, Tenn., who is ranked the No. 1 defensive tackle prospect in the 2022 class, has released his top 10. Clemson is among his favorites, along with LSU, Alabama, Michigan, Florida, Oregon, Ohio State, Tennessee, Auburn and Southern Cal.
Last season Nolen totaled 98 tackles with 30 tackles for loss and 8 sacks.
The previous USC staff was the first to make an offer to linebacker EJ Lightsey (6-2, 210) of Fitzgerald, Ga. The new staff continues to recruit him.
New defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Clayton White was quick to pick up the baton from former linebackers coach Rod Wilson, and he let Lightsey know right away the offer from the Gamecocks was still good.
“It kind of hit me off guard,” Lightsey said of the coaching change. “It’s crazy because I still talk to coach Mike Bobo because I have an offer from Auburn, and he’s at Auburn now. I like the new staff, too. I’m building a relationship with them."
White, who had 111 tackles with 13 sacks and 11 tackles for loss last season, has many other offers to consider now. Among them are Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, Georgia, Tennessee, Boston College, Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi State, Arizona State, LSU, Florida, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and Florida State.
The Gamecocks early involvement with him, and their current pursuit, has put them in a good place.
“They are top four right now,” Lightsey said. “First of all, they were the first ones to offer me, the first ones to reach out to me and notice me. They are great people and a great coaching staff. That’s what I mainly look for, good program with great people who make you feel like family, make you feel like a priority."
New USC offensive line coach Greg Adkins has moved quickly to contact prospects, and in some cases, hand out scholarships. One he has targeted is Leyton Nelson, a 6-6, 272-pound tackle from Orlando. Nelson received his offer from Adkins on Feb, 2.
Nelson also holds offers from Miami, Arizona State, Oregon, Pitt, UCF, Mississippi State, Cincinnati, Tennessee, Connecticut, FIU and South Florida. He’s not in a hurry in his recruiting process, but from first impression, he feels the Gamecocks will be in the mix with him.
“They’ll be up there on my list,” Nelson said. “Right now I’m liking Pitt. The relationship is real good. And Arizona State. Those are like two that I really do appreciate right now. They almost call me like at least once a day.”
The new USC staff continues to flood the market with offers for the 2022 class and beyond, which is not surprising considering the overall needs of the program. Shane Beamer and quarterbacks coach Marcus Satterfield made an offer last week to 2022 quarterback prospect Drew Allar (6-5, 230) of Medina, Ohio. Allar passed for 2,962 yards and 26 touchdowns last season. Some of his other offers are Indiana, Washington, Texas A&M, Michigan, Florida State, Kentucky, Wake Forest, Iowa, Iowa State and Pitt.
The Gamecocks also offered QB Tayven Jackson (6-5, 185) of Greenwood, Ind. Jackson is rated a three-star prospect in the 247Sports Composite and the No. 19 pro-style quarterback nationally. In his career, Jackson has passed for 2,971 yards, 26 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. This past season he led his team to an unbeaten season and a state championship. Jackson said he also has offers from Texas A&M, Nebraska, Washington State, TCU, Michigan, Oregon, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Louisville, Kansas State, Pitt and West Virginia.
The other 2022 QB with a Gamecock offer is Tanner Bailey (6-1, 195) of Gordo, Ala. Bailey’s offer list includes Alabama, Auburn, Duke, Florida State, Georgia, Louisville, USF, Maryland, Oregon, Miami, Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech.
Bailey is a four-star prospect and is ranked the No. 8 pro-style quarterback nationally. He suffered a collarbone injury in the sixth week but returned for the final four games last season. He finished with 2,444 passing yards and 32 touchdowns. He passed for 2,309 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2019.
Other recent offers from the Gamecocks include:
• ATH DeMario Tolan (6-3, 205) of Kissimmee, Fla. Some of is other offers include Texas A&M, Missouri, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and LSU.
• CB Andre Stewart (6-0, 169) of Snellville, Ga. Rated a three-star in the 247Sports Composite and ranked 34th nationally. Auburn, Arizona State, Virginia, Indiana and Mississippi State are some other offers.
• SAF Demari Henderson (6-0, 150) of Sanford, Fla. Miami, Boston College and Louisville are among his other offers.
• CB Ja’Cari Henderson (6-0, 175) of Sanford, Fla. Louisville, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Georgia Tech, Florida State and Miami are some of his other offers. He and Demari are twins.
• ATH JaCorey Thomas (6-1, 188) of Orlando. He’s rated a 3-star in the 247Sports Composite and the No. 34 ranked ATH nationally. Arizona State, Arkansas, Marshall, USF and Colorado State are some other offers.
• WR Ja’Kobi Albert (6-1, 175) of Fairfield, Ala. Some of his other offers are Arkansas, Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, Virginia Tech, Penn State, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Michigan, Florida State and Tennessee.
• WR Dane Key (6-2, 170) of Lexington, Ky. He’s rated a four-star in the 247Sports Composite and ranked 31st nationally. His father played at Kentucky. He has offers from Oregon, Kentucky, Texas, Mississippi State, Northwestern, Virginia, Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Penn State, Kansas, Maryland, West Virginia, Purdue and Michigan State.
• CB Marcus Allen (6-2, 165) of Marietta, Ga. He also has Auburn, Duke and Florida State among his offers. Last season he had 60 tackles with 8 pass deflections and 2 interceptions.
• Four-star WR Peter Kikwata (6-1, 170) of Germantown, Md. Some of his other offers are Penn State, Vanderbilt, Pitt, Kentucky, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Duke, Tennessee, Arkansas, Maryland, West Virginia, Miami, Auburn and Boston College.
• 2023 SAF Kylin Jackson (6-1, 185) of Jackson, La.
• 2024 ATH Jayden Lewis (6-0, 175) of Anniston, Ala. He also has an offer from Florida State.
• 2024 DB Asaad Brown (6-1, 174) of Portsmouth, Va.
Dutch Fork wide receiver Antonio Williams was offered by Georgia, Ole Miss, Michigan and Auburn.
Bluffton defensive end DJ Aiken was offered by Georgia Southern.
Hammond offensive lineman Drew Bobo was offered by Charlotte.
Westside quarterback Peter Zamora committed to Marshall.
Woodland wide receiver Jevon Walker committed to S.C. State.