The recruiting fallout from South Carolina’s loss to North Carolina Saturday was immediate.
On Sunday morning, running back Lovasea Carroll of IMG Academy in Florida and Warrenton, Ga., who committed to the Gamecocks in early May, announced on Twitter a decommitment from the Gamecocks. Carroll wrote that he will still consider USC, but for now his recruiting is 100 percent open.
Soon after his tweet, Lovasea announced he had received an offer from Florida State. Lovasea now claims 14 offers including USC, Ohio State, Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and Mississippi State. When he committed following a visit in early May, Carroll said one of the reasons he made his decision was the comfort level he felt with the Gamecocks.
“They want me at running back,” Carroll said. “They were telling me how they will need me because they are going to be short on running backs because most of their running backs are seniors, so I’ll be a good fit for them.” Carroll rushed for 1446 yards and 9 touchdowns in his sophomore season. He was the Gamecocks’ only commitment for the 2021 class.
Running back Phil Mafah (6-1, 215) of Loganville, Ga., committed to Clemson on Thursday night ahead of the Tigers’ season opener against Georgia Tech. Mafah, a member of the 2021 class, committed to Clemson while on an unofficial visit to campus. He’s Clemson’s first commitment for the 2021 class and is one of two running backs the Tigers have offered in the class. Mafah has been a frequent visitor to Clemson over the years and a regular camp participant. According to MaxPreps, in 10 games last season Mafah rushed for 720 yards and 10 touchdowns, averaging over 8 yards per carry. Mafah chose Clemson over offers from USC, Arkansas, Baylor, Duke, Michigan, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Texas, Texas A&M and Tennessee.
In other recruiting news:
It’s still an uphill battle for USC and the others trying to dissuade CB Jahquez Robinson of Jacksonville from his Alabama commitment, but they are still trying, and he’s still listening. Robinson said the contact from the Gamecocks remains heavy and the two sides are talking about another visit this season. He made an unofficial visit to USC in June. “I’ve been hearing from coach (Travaris) Robinson and coach (Will) Muschamp,” Robinson said. “Me and my dad have a group chat with coach Muschamp. And they’ve been flooding my mailbox with letters from the whole staff. Coach Robinson is telling me that I can come in and play and change the program. He said he just signed a contract and he’s going to be there for my entire career.” Robinson also wants to see how things play out this season with some teams before moving forward. “I’m really just waiting everything out to see how my top five are doing, but it’s still Alabama right now,” he said. “I talked to coach Saban and he was telling me I can come in and play and how they are going to do this year and how they are going to play certain defensive backs and stuff for me to watch. I feel like I’m pretty strongly committed. I haven’t really been to a game to see their atmosphere yet, so I’m waiting to experience that.” Robinson said he’s also talking regularly with Oregon, Texas and Oklahoma along with USC and Alabama. He’s also had LSU and Florida among his favorites. He’s looking at visiting USC for the Alabama game. He’s considering a visit to Alabama for the LSU game.
Center Ryan Linthicum of Damascus, Md., plans to visit Clemson on Sept. 21. He has the Tigers, Michigan and Virginia Tech as his top three at this point. He camped at Clemson this summer, and he’s the teammate of Clemson 2020 commitment DE Bryan Bresee.
One of the faster rising prospects in the state of South Carolina is 2021 DE Justus Boone (6-5, 240) of Sumter. Last season, he played for Laurence Manning Academy. USC knew about him from camp this summer, and defensive ends coach Mike Peterson reviewed his film from his season opener when he had 7.5 tackles and 3.5 sacks and offered him. “Absolutely unbelievable, it really felt unreal at the time,” Boone said of getting his first offer. “I talked to my head coach Mark Barnes, and he sent me some information to call coach Mike Peterson from USC. I talked to him and he congratulated me on my first game and was telling me how well I did and to continue to be open to learning new things and make sure I’m doing everything I’m supposed to do. And he told me he was calling me to offer me.” Boone performed in camp in front of Peterson, so the Gamecock coach already had an idea of what his game was about. His film confirmed further Peterson’s opinion. “He was telling me I could move really well and was real athletic, and how aggressive I was,” Boone said. Being the first to offer no doubt will be a positive for the Gamecocks when Boone gets around to making a decision. He could easily have committed right away but he wants the process to play out a little more since his recruiting is just starting to heat up. “My family and myself have always liked the Gamecocks, especially my mom and family absolutely love them,” he said. “I was hoping to let my recruiting play out a little bit. Not saying that I wouldn’t be honored to play at South Carolina, but with me just being a junior I would like to see the other opportunities that I could get.” Boone also camped at Virginia Tech this summer and his hearing from the Hokies along with Wake Forest and East Carolina.
USC offered 2021 DE Jacques Hunter (6-3, 200) of Valdosta, Ga. He also has an offer from Colorado State.
USC also offered 2021 LB Terrence Lewis (6-1, 195) of Miami. Lewis is a national level recruit who had 102 tackles with 35 tackles for loss and 15 sacks last season. Some of his other offers include Clemson, Oregon, Georgia, Miami and Auburn.
The Gamecocks also offered 2021 LB Damon Owens of Brentwood, Tenn.
2021 OL Micah Morris of Kingsland, Ga., named a top 11 of Clemson, USC, LSU, Ohio State, Alabama, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, Auburn, Florida and Georgia. He plans a December commitment.
Scheduled official visits over the weekend: Clemson target 6-7 Noah Collier to Pitt; USC target 6-7 Matt Cross to Texas A&M; USC target 6-10 Cliff Omoruyi to Pitt; USC target 6-5 Earl Timberlake to Pitt; 6-8 Ja’Von Benson of Ridge View to College of Charleston.