Hammond’s Woods visits Gamecocks, Tar Heels

South Carolina basketball coach Frank Martin has the Gamecocks in contention for Hammond basketball star Seventh Woods. Associated Press/Mic Smith/File)

Hammond junior sensation Seventh Woods has had in-home visits with South Carolina basketball coach Frank Martin and North Carolina coach Roy Williams, and they have been the two strongest recruiters of Woods to this point.

But there are others, says Woods’ father, Louis Woods.

“It will be a little ways down the road,” Louis Woods said. “I don’t know what’s out there on the Internet, but it’s going to be down the road. He really doesn’t have anything close in his mind at this time.”

Williams made an offer to Woods, who was 13 at the time. The Tar Heels coach made an in-home visit with the Woods family a couple of weeks ago. Martin met with the family last week.

Woods has visited USC, Clemson, North Carolina and Duke. Clemson isn’t a factor in his recruiting at this point. His father said they are eyeing a decision before the start of his senior year in August.

In other recruiting news:

USC recently offered 6-9 power forward Eric Cobb of Baltimore, as did several others after he decommitted from Kansas State. The Gamecocks are expected to get an official visit from him. Cobb made an unofficial visit to Seton Hall last week. VCU is another program believed to be strong with Cobb and he is scheduled to visit there this week.

Dikembe Dixson of Delbarton, W. Va., who recently named his top four as USC, Arkansas, Marshall and Mississippi State, has set his first official visit with Arkansas for May 8. He is also planning to visit USC and said that likely would take place the weekend after the Arkansas visit.

Malik Ellison of Burlington, N.J., who made an official visit to USC recently, met with coaches from St. John’s and Rutgers last week and was offered by St. John’s. He already has a Rutgers offer. He will take an unofficial visit to St. Johns on Tuesday. He has taken official visits to USC and Minnesota and has not yet scheduled others.

USC has become strongly involved with 6-9 Aric Holman of Owensboro, Ky., and he told 247Sports at a tournament over the weekend he will take an official visit with the Gamecocks this week. Holman is planning to attend Hargrave Prep, Va., this fall to build up his slim frame at the advice of some coaches, but he wants to take some official visits before finalizing his plans. He has been to Louisville several times and is also hearing from Texas, Xavier, Cincinnati and Auburn. USC coach Martin watched Holman over the weekend.

USC center target 7-0 Conor Clifford of Saddleback (Calif.) JC has narrowed his decision to Utah and Washington State, his coach said Thursday. Clifford also took an official visit recently to USC.

The Gamecocks also missed out on 6-2 Seton Hall transfer Jaren Sina when he committed to George Washington.

Tevin Mack of Dreher, the former VCU signee, met on Wednesday with Texas head coach Shaka Smart, who visited with him in Columbia. Mack had committed to Smart when he was at VCU. Kansas assistant Norm Roberts was in Columbia last week to see Mack. There’s also been contact of various forms with USC, Clemson, Oklahoma State and Georgia.

Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com reported last week Brown University rising senior 6-9 Rafael Maja is transferring and will have home visits in Providence with USC, Nebraska and Rice, and he plans to take official visits to Southern Cal and Pittsburgh.

De’Riante Jenkins, the former Lake Marion star who now attends a prep school in Orlando, visited Clemson on Wednesday with his grandfather. Jenkins had been favoring Clemson but he’s drawing a lot more interest from schools now and he’s decided to back away from having any clear cut favorite. “I have no favorites as of now,” Jenkins sad.

Linebacker Donta Evans of Lawrenceville, Ga., who once played for Lake Marion, would have strong interest in playing his college football in his home state if he received an offer from one of the big boys. Clemson and USC have shown interest in him with the Gamecocks appearing closer today to making the offer than Clemson.

USC recruiter GA Mangus checked in on Evans at his school and plans to come back for another look when spring practice begins this week.

Evans has visited Illinois, Ohio State, Kentucky, Louisville, Auburn and Tennessee in the spring. He will visit Mississippi, USC, Georgia, Tennessee and Boston College in the weeks ahead and thinks he’ll get offers from them on his visits.

DE Ron Johnson of Camden, N.J., is one of the top prospects in the Garden State, but a visit to the Palmetto State in his sophomore year has him highly interested in USC. Johnson visited Michigan three weeks ago and the Wolverines area also strong with him. He also cited Rutgers, Penn State, Mississippi, North Carolina, Alabama and Miami as other programs that are strong with him at this point.

Offensive lineman Josh Ball of Fredericksburg, Va., visited USC during his spring break earlier this month and he has the Gamecocks well up on his list at this point.

Ball has also visited Penn State, West Virginia and Virginia. He is up to 22 offers with Florida State his newest. Recruiters from Florida State, Pittsburgh, Kentucky, Maryland and  Virginia Tech have been to his school and he’s expecting USC to visit as well. At the top of the list with Ball right now are USC, Penn State, Florida State, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland. 

Wide receiver Diondre Overton of Greensboro, N.C., met with USC recruiter Shawn Elliott last week at his school. Overton continues to favor Clemson but remains receptive to overtures from other schools. USC is one of his offers, and he visited there for a junior day in early March.

Overton said Tennessee is right behind Clemson right now, and Alabama is also moving up with him. He’s expecting an offer from the Crimson Tide once he visits there. His other offers include N.C. State, East Carolina — which visited Saturday for the spring game — North Carolina, Wake Forest, Duke, Louisville, West Virginia, Boston College and Kentucky. He plans to attend summer camps at Clemson, North Carolina, N.C. State and Boston College, and he also wants to visit as many schools on his list as possible.

USC is targeting OL Branton Autry of Coffeyville (Kan.) JC for the 2016 class and stands in good shape with him at this point. Autry has been in regular contact with Gamecocks offensive line coach Elliott.

Autry said that when he gets around to lining up his official visits, USC will get one. Florida was also out to see Autry last week. He also has offers from Arizona State, Florida, Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Southern Miss, Arkansas State, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Louisville and Iowa State. Arizona State has been the only school to visit him thus far. Autry said he doesn’t have a favorites’ list at this point and he’s looking to make a decision this summer, possibly in July.

OL Brett Heggie of Mount Dora, Fla., is highly interested in USC. He visited the Gamecocks for the first time earlier this month for their spring game and came away thoroughly impressed. Heggie also has seen Florida and Central Florida. He has no future visits planned. Heggie also has offers from Cincinnati, Florida International, N.C. State, Central Florida, West Virginia, Indiana, Georgia Southern, Tulane, Memphis and Iowa State.

DB Thomas Jones of Laurens has seen his offer list grow considerably over the past couple of weeks. Jones has picked up recent offers from Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, South Alabama and East Carolina.  They join earlier offers from USC, Duke, Charlotte, Miami of Ohio and North Carolina. USC and Wake Forest have been by to see him, and he’s also hearing a good bit from Clemson recruiter Brent Venables. Jones went to Clemson’s spring game and is on hold for an offer from the Tigers.

OL Bryce Matthews of Brentwood, Tenn., made an unofficial visit to Clemson Saturday. Clemson is among his offers.

Clemson offered 2017 prospects QB Lowell Narcisse of St. James, La., WR Juwan Burgess of Tampa, Fla., LB Chandler Wooten of Kennesaw, Ga., QB Shawn Robinson of Denton, Texas, DE Corey Bolds of Paramus, N.J., and DE Josh Kaindoh of Paramus, N.J. The Tigers also offered 2018 QB Joey Gatewood of Jacksonville.

USC will be losing power hitting first baseman Kyle Martin after this season and the Gamecocks may have found his replacement in Ross Grosvenor (6-5, 250) of Walters State (Tenn.) JC. He’s the 17th commitment for the Gamecocks and the first listed as a first baseman. This season, the sophomore is batting .445 with 15 home runs and 78 RBIs. He also has 15 doubles and has a slugging percentage of .811.