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Gamecocks in hunt for running back, wide receiver prospects; Clemson working big lineman

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South Carolina made the cut last week with running back  Jaylon Glover of Lakeland, Florida.

Glover, a three-star prospect, included the Gamecocks in his top 10 schools. He plans to visit USC on June 11.

“South Carolina has done a great job recruiting me,” said Glover, rated 34th among the nation's running back recruits. “Coach (Shane) Beamer and the staff, just showing the love throughout the process. He’s doing a really good job. I just like what they are doing.”

Beamer and his new running backs coach Montario Hardesty had to re-establish the momentum for the Gamecocks with Glover that had been generated by former running backs coach Des Kitchings. He had put USC in good shape and Hardesty has improved things even more.

“Me and coach Des Kitchings, we were really tight. That was my guy,” Glover said. “Coach Hardesty filled in and it doesn’t feel like he’s missed a beat. Definitely a fire guy. He’s really down to earth and he can relate to a lot of things I’ve done because he’s been through the process."

Glover's other top picks are Michigan State, USF, Purdue, West Virginia, Tennessee, Florida State, Louisville, Utah, Georgia Tech, UCF and Iowa State.

Last season, Glover rushed for 1,588 yards and 31 touchdowns and was named the county’s Offensive Player of the Year. In three seasons, he’s rushed for 4,023 yards and 54 touchdowns.

Speedy wide receiver C.J. Smith of Orlando recently named a top 10 that included USC. And last week he  identified four schools that will get official visits in June. He’ll start with Arkansas on June 4 followed by USC on June 11. He also plans to visit Florida and Auburn in June.

"It’s really hard to make a decision based on virtual aspects. I really have to see it all.” Smith said.

Smith is one of the top track athletes in Florida. He said he will run the 100 meters, 200 meters and the 4x100 relay in college.

Offensive tackle Grayson Mains (6-5, 265) of Suwanee, Ga., announced a commitment to USC last week, becoming the Gamecocks’ second commitment for the 2022 class.

Mains picked USC over Tennessee and Michigan State.

"South Carolina has exactly what I want to study in Sports and Entertainment Management," Mains said. "I truly believe that Coach Beamer and Coach Adkins are going to start something great there, and I really want to be a part of that.”

Mains is rated a three-star prospect in the 247Sports Composite and is ranked the No. 62 offensive tackle nationally in the class. Some of his other offers include  Air Force, Duke, Arizona State, Mississippi State, Wake Forest, Purdue, UCF, West Virginia and East Carolina. Mains has scheduled his official visit to USC for the weekend of June 11 and he said his commitment closes his recruiting.

Hammond running back C.J. Stokes has set two official visits for June and would like to take all five before he makes a decision. Stokes has scheduled a trip to Missouri for June 11 and one to Michigan for June 18. Vanderbilt also is talking with him about an official visit.

USC has also been a major player for Stokes, but living 15 minutes from campus, he’s not sure an official visit will be needed.

“I’ve been on South Carolina visits more times than I can count, so I already know how everything looks, how everything feels,” Stokes said. “The only think I really need to get into is the new staff. See what they are about more and meet them in-person. That’s probably not going to happen until June. So, I’m looking forward to that. I don’t think I need an official to get to know the staff really."

Some of Stokes' other offers are Penn State, Minnesota, Duke, Louisville, Wake Forest, Tulane, Appalachian State, Liberty and Middle Tennessee State.

Clemson has worked its way into the top five with highly prized offensive tackle Kiyaunta Goodwin (6-8, 305) of Charlestown, Ind. The others are Alabama, Michigan State, Ohio State and Kentucky.

Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott and offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell are recruiting Goodwin for the Tigers. They offered in late February and have made up a lot of ground on the other contenders.

“(Caldwell and Elliott) told me I’m the top tackle on their board and they want to make me a Tiger,” Goodwin said. “I really like Coach Caldwell. He’s really down-to-earth and honest. We had been talking for a while and there were some things I needed to do academically. Once I handled that part, Coach Caldwell made the offer to me with coach (Dabo) Swinney on the phone.”

Goodwin is the No. 1 recruit in Indiana and the No. 5 offensive tackle nationally in the 247Sports Composite.

USC made the top 10 with defensive tackle Felix Hixon (6-4, 280) of Jackson, Ga. The others are Arkansas, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Illinois, Wisconsin, Virginia, Louisville and Georgia Tech.

USC is in the top 10 with wide receiver Dane Key of Lexington, Ken. The others are Virginia, Kentucky, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Oregon, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Virginia Tech and Purdue.

Tight end Tyrus Washington of Leesburg, Ga., added USC to his short list which has gone from six to seven teams. The others are Ole Miss, South Florida, Arkansas, UCF, Cincinnati and Kansas State.

USC offered defensive end D.J. Wesolak of Boonville, Missouri, who is also a Clemson target. He also picked up offers from Florida, Southern Cal and Northwestern. Wesolak plans to attend Clemson’s Elite Retreat in June.

USC and Clemson target tight end Oscar Delp has set an official visit to Florida for June 11.

Clemson made the top 5 with running back Branson Robinson of Madison, Miss. The others are Alabama, Georgia, LSU and Tennessee. Robinson is rated a four-star prospect and is ranked the No. 7 running back nationally in the 247Sports Composite. He rushed for 1,179 yards and 15 touchdowns last season.

Clemson is in the top eight with safety Azareyeh Thomas of Niceville, Fla. The others are Florida, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma, Miami, Alabama, LSU and Louisville.

Basketball

USC basketball coach Frank Martin added to his roster  Saturday when 6-2 guard Chico Carter Jr. announced he will transfer from Murray State. Carter prepped at Cardinal Newman and signed with the Racers in 2019.

“A lot of schools reached out to me and wanted me to come to their program, and one of them was South Carolina,” Carter said. “Of course, I’m from Columbia and that attracted my attention a lot. Their staff has recruited me since high school, and coming out of the transfer portal, it’s all about finding the best fit for you at your next school, and I feel South Carolina is going to give me the best opportunity to fulfill my goals.”

Carter, who averaged 13 points per game this past season, also had offers from College of Charleston, Hampton, High Point, Youngstown State, Winthrop, Saint Louis, North Carolina A&T, Elon, Arkansas State and Charlotte.

Former Sumter star C.J. Felder (6-7) announced last week he will transfer from Boston College to Florida. He had also talked with Clemson.

USC offered Tyrell Ward (6-5) of Dematha Catholic in Hyattsville, MD. He also has offers from Maryland, Indiana, Seton Hall, George Mason, Wake Forest, Georgetown, Georgia and LSU.

Baseball 

USC got a commitment from right-handed pitcher James Hicks of Crowder (Arkansas) Junior College. This season Hicks is 5-0 with a 3.25 ERA. He has 36 strikeouts in 36 innings and one walk.

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