Not only do South Carolina and Clemson fans have bowl games this week to capture their attention, they also have to keep an eye on some of their targets and commitment who are playing in all-star games. Several plan to announce commitments during their game.
Up first this week was the inaugural Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl Tuesday in Phoenix. There were two Clemson targets in the game -- DE Kenderius Whitehead and RB Todd Gurley.
Whitehead is down to Clemson, Georgia and N.C. State. He has taken official visits to Georgia and N.C. State and is scheduled to visit Clemson on Jan. 13. But his coach said last week Whitehead knows enough about Clemson based on two unofficial visits to make a call on his commitment without taking an official visit with the Tigers. His coach said Clemson is in good shape with him.
Gurley has a final four of Clemson, Georgia, North Carolina and N.C. State. He plans to make an announcement soon after returning home. He has made official visits to Clemson, Georgia and N.C. State.
Thursday, it's the Under Armour All-American Game in St. Petersburg, Fla. USC target DB Chaz Elder will announce his decision during the game, and the Gamecocks are expected to land him over Georgia and Vanderbilt. Gamecocks commitments in the game will be WR Shaq Roland and OL Brock Stadnick.
Clemson targets in the game are DB Ronald Darby, DL Eddie Goldman and DE Dante' Fowler. Darby has been a Notre Dame commitment but is scheduled to visit Clemson on Jan. 14. Goldman has visited Florida State, Miami, Alabama and Auburn, and is considering Clemson, Maryland and California for his final trip. And Fowler has been committed to Florida State but plans to take an official visit to Clemson this month. Committed Tigers in the game are QB Chad Kelly, OL Patrick DeStefano and OL Jay Guillermo.
And Saturday, it's the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, where four major targets of the Gamecocks and Tigers plan to announce decisions. DB Jordan Diggs has had USC, Nebraska, Michigan State, Tennessee and Vanderbilt on his list with USC believed to be the favorite. "I sort of, kind of know, but I'm still looking at two other schools," said Diggs, who might shorten his list early this week. "Me and (Marcus) Lattimore have gotten close. I also talked to (DJ) Swearinger. He said they were all excited and fired up (about Lorenzo Ward). That's good for their program in terms of recruiting and everything. And to know they are going to have a guy that's been there and comes from a 4-2-5 is pretty cool."
USC also is expected to get good news from DE Tyriq McCord, who has also been considering Florida, Miami, Georgia and Southern Cal.
However, indications surrounding DB Eli Shumate are that he will announce for Notre Dame over USC and Rutgers.
And DE Jonathan Bullard will announce a choice Saturday, with Clemson and Florida the top two with him ahead of USC. Bullard said Sunday he has made his decision.
Another USC/Clemson target in the game, RB Mike Davis, won't announce until Jan. 31. Davis has actually made his decision, which, according to a source, came down to the Gamecocks and Georgia. The source said Davis looked hard at the depth charts of both in making his decision. Davis has never visited USC and has spent just a short time on one unofficial visit at Georgia. He will take an official visit to USC on Jan. 13 and Georgia on the 20th. "The other one (he didn't pick) will have to blow him away (for him to change his mind)," the source said. Davis also is scheduled to visit Clemson on Jan. 27, but that trip is not definite since his decision came down to the other two. Davis on Sunday afternoon denied a Rivals.com report that he said he was favoring Georgia. However, in the videotaped interview, Davis did say if he were announcing this weekend, it would probably be for Georgia.
Three Clemson commitments are in the game -- punter Bradley Pinion, DL Carlos Watkins and DB Travis Blanks.
LB Cassanova McKinzy (6-3, 230) of Birmingham, Ala., has been committed to Auburn since March and remains a Tigers commitment. But McKinzy told 247Sports.com he has scheduled an official visit to Clemson for Jan. 13. He also plans to visit Florida State. McKinzy said he's also looking at Alabama and Arkansas. McKinzy said he is still "pretty solid" to Auburn but wants to give the other schools a chance. This season, McKinzy totaled 113 tackles with 21 for loss and one sack.
DB Marty Williams of Fox Creek committed to Clemson in September and remains firm with the Tigers, according to his coach. But Russ Schneider said East Carolina continues to tantalize Williams with the idea of playing on offense, something Williams really wants to do in college. "East Carolina is recruiting him hard," Schneider said. "They plan to come back. They are recruiting him as an upback and have told him they won't redshirt him and will play him right away. I think he's still going to Clemson. I haven't heard anything different from him." Williams will take his official visit to Clemson on Jan. 13. His coach was not sure if he will take a visit to ECU.
DB Jordan Moore (6-3, 208) of Lithonia, Ga., is ranked No. 1 in the country as a hurdler but is also garnering a lot of interest in football. He has several offers in track and field, including one from Clemson and has football offers from the Tigers, TCU, Michigan State, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Central Florida, Ohio State, Illinois and Mississippi. He has an offer from USC in track, and the Gamecocks are showing interest in football as well. He is also hearing from Georgia and Texas. Though he has not taken a visit for football, he has been to Clemson and LSU on visits for track. Moore will visit TCU on Jan. 21 and is considering a visit to Ohio State. He does not have a leader.
USC recruited RB L'Tavius Mathers of Chattanooga, Tenn., last summer. He made an unofficial visit on July 6, but he committed to Ole Miss in August. According to a story in The Tennessean, the contact between Mathers and the Gamecocks remains alive, as does his interest in USC. Mathers was named the high school player of the year in Tennessee for the second straight season after rushing for 2,253 yards and 27 touchdowns. With the coaching change at Ole Miss, Mathers has not ruled out looking elsewhere. He told the paper USC, Vanderbilt and Arkansas remain options. He wants to make his decision before National Signing Day. In his last two seasons, Mathers rushed for 4,867 yards and 58 touchdowns.
USC baseball signee OF Jamie Jarmon was named the Delaware football offensive player of the year in a vote of state coaches. Jarmon was a four-year starter at quarterback for Indian River High School and had one of the best season's ever in high school football in Delaware, rushing for 1,428 yards and 29 touchdowns and passing for 2,151 yards and 24 touchdowns in leading his team to the state championship. Jarmon's high school coach told the News Journal newspaper of Delaware that he would hate to see Jarmon not play football. But before Gamecocks fans get excited about the thought of another two-sport athlete joining the football team, Jarmon has made his plans clear. "My goal is to make it to the major leagues," Jarmon told the paper. "So, the sooner I can start my road to the show, the better." Jarmon may not even make it to USC for baseball. The pro scouts are expressing strong interest in him for this summer's baseball draft.
DB Thomas Brown of Seneca has committed to Furman. This season he had 60 tackles with three interceptions.
DB Marquise Jones of Eau Claire has committed to S.C. State.
ATH Ky Tyler of Columbia is probably headed to junior college, according to his coach. Marshall also is a possibility or Division II.
LB Justin Muller of Columbia is looking at Fort Scott JC, KS and Georgia Military JC.
Junior LB Larenz Bryant (6-1, 210) of Charlotte has offers from USC, Clemson, Illinois, N.C. State, North Carolina, Duke, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech. He is hearing from Alabama, Notre Dame, Oregon, Nebraska, Stanford and Penn State among others. Bryant attended two camps at USC last summer. He has not visited Clemson but plans to do so for a junior day. Other junior days the linebacker plans to attend include Virginia, N.C. State and Georgia. Bryant does not have any favorites. As a junior, he rushed for 1,300 yards and 22 touchdowns, adding 63 tackles and four interceptions on defense. Bryant is being recruited as a linebacker.
Junior LB-TE Derwin Gray (6-5, 265) of the District of Columbia has offers from Clemson, Auburn, Michigan State, Tennessee, New Mexico, North Carolina, Maryland, West Virginia and Connecticut, among others. After a visit to Clemson over the summer, Gray returned home impressed, but a visit to Auburn may have exceeded all other visits Gray has taken. He also has visited Alabama, Rutgers and Maryland, and is headed to West Virginia in February. Gray is being recruited as an outside linebacker and a tight end and says he is unsure which position he will play at the next level. He does not have a favorite.
Junior RB Adam Lane (5-8, 200) of Winter Haven, Fla., sat out his junior campaign with a broken bone in his leg, but that has not deterred the offers. The Florida product has received offers from USC, Florida, Ohio State, Alabama, South Florida and Rutgers, with interest coming from Clemson, Oregon, Louisville and Kansas. Thus far, he has been to Florida, Alabama, Rutgers and South Florida. He does not have any favorites.
Junior DE Devin Washington (6-3, 220) of Orlando, Fla., has an offer from Florida International and is hearing from USC, Florida, Georgia Tech, Miami, Syracuse, Connecticut, Texas A&M, Georgia, Central Florida, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Northwestern, Alabama and Auburn. Washington plans to visit USC this semester. He has visited UCF, Florida, FSU, Miami and Georgia Tech.