South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp makes North Carolina a recruiting priority, and he struck again last week in the Tar Heel state with a commitment from highly regarded linebacker Mohamed Kaba of Clinton.
The Gamecocks won out over N.C. State, North Carolina and Florida. Kaba (6-3, 205) is the second straight big grab out of North Carolina for Muschamp. Last month, he gained a commitment from receiver Mike Wyman of Greensboro. He gives the Gamecocks six commitments for their 2020 class and is the first on the defensive side.
Kaba made unofficial visits to USC for a junior day in January and was back to watch a spring practice in late March. He also took unofficial visits to North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee and N.C. State, and an official visit to Oklahoma. Some of his other offers were Clemson, Nebraska, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Duke and Vanderbilt.
Meanwhile, this could be another big recruiting week for Clemson. Two prime targets in Georgia are set to announce their commitments. First up will be defensive end Myles Murphy of Powder Springs. He will reveal his choice Friday between the Tigers and Auburn. He visited Clemson for the spring game and also for a game last season.
On Saturday, running back Kobe Pryor of Cedartown will reveal his decision to the public. Pryor said last week he’s already privately committed to his school. Pryor, regarded as one of the top running back prospects in the country, narrowed his list to USC, Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Auburn and LSU.He visited Clemson for a junior day in January and has also been to Georgia and Auburn.
“Just somewhere where I felt like I was at home and I felt like I could be around all the coaches and players,” Pryor said of the school he’s chosen. “I just feel like I can come in and earn my position and learn the playbook. It’s just the way they would use me in their offense, and I think I can be a key player.”
In other recruiting news:
OL Kobe Baynes of Jacksonville took his official visit to USC in April, and that led to an offer from the Gamecocks. USC offensive line coach Eric Wilford likes Baynes as a guard and a center and he has Baynes on speed dial. “Me and Coach Wolf have been talking on the phone a lot,” Baynes said. “Me and Coach Muschamp, we’ve also been talking too. They just keep reassuring me that South Carolina is a great place. From my perspective, I’ve seen that. South Carolina is a great place. The coaches there all have experience. It’s a great place.” Baynes is in the final stages of his spring practice with the spring game this week. He said Wolford has been by his school but he wasn’t there and didn’t see him on that visit. He has met with coaches from Florida State and LSU. Baynes said he’s not added any offers. Others on his list are Florida State, Mississippi, Arkansas, Boston College, Cincinnati and Virginia Tech. He also has not scheduled any more visits but does plan to return to USC for a game this season. Baynes said he’d like to make his decision within two months and though he’s not claiming a favorite, he said USC sits in a good place with him.
One of the major targets for USC for the 2020 recruiting is DL Alex Huntley of Hammond. He has the Gamecocks in his top six along with Georgia, Oklahoma, LSU, Texas and Stanford. Huntley said he and New DL coach John Scott continue to communicate with each trying to get to know the other a little more. “Just getting a relationship with the D-line coach and just talking about, like if I do go there, what would I major in, just stuff like that,” Huntley said. “I love him, he’s a great dude and a great coach. I think he’s a great fit.” Florida and Tennessee have had recruiters in the school based on what his coaches have told him. Huntley’s last visit to USC was for the spring game and he’s not sure when he’s returning. He will consider taking one of his official visits with the Gamecocks. He’ll set his officials from the six he’s still considering. He said USC and Georgia have been recruiting him the hardest. Huntley said his decision will come no earlier than mid-summer and no later than October.
WR Antonio Barber, the former Rock Hill standout who now lives in Cornelius, NC, has seen recruiters from several programs come by to check out his spring practice. Alabama, Oregon, Texas A&M, Duke, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, West Virginia, Illinois and Cincinnati have been thru. Barber decommitted from Tennessee in March and USC was one of the programs to get back in touch with him. The Gamecocks have not yet formally offered but Barber said there is interest based on what he was hearing from recruiter Bobby Bentley. “He was saying that Coach BMac (Bryan McClendon) loves you, Coach (Will) Muschamp, he loves you,” Barber said. It’s at the point now that they want to see if they have a chance in the race. Our relationship kind of fell off and they just want to know if they are going to have a shot.” Barber said the Gamecocks will have a shot if they offer, and an offer would lead to an official visit. “With the bloodline I have there and all the connections I have there, I’m pretty sure, as soon as they offer, I’ll probably take my official there,” he said. His family members who played at USC include Jadeveon Clowney, Tony Watkins and the Dixons of Rock Hill. Barber plans an official visit to Syracuse in late July. He’s also planning one with NC State and is talking with Mississippi regarding an official visit as well. He plans to release a top five the end of May and have a decision in August.
USC recently offered LB Allen Merrick (6-2, 220) of Gadsden, Ala. Merrick has been undervalued as a linebacker because he’s not played the position for long. He had been primarily a receiver, tight end and running back. “It’s a dream come true to have an SEC offer,” Merrick said. “I just got on the radar. I had no idea they were looking at me at first. My coach just let me know that the head coach wanted to talk to me. I got on the phone with him and he offered me a scholarship. That was the most exciting news I’ve had in awhile. He likes that I fly around and just hit people. He said I’m a good fit, I’m a good person and have good character.” Merrick has not yet visited USC but will do so this summer. Merrick said the Gamecocks sit in his top five along with UAB, Tulane, Memphis and UCF. He has visited UAB, Tulane, Memphis and Samford. He plans to announce a commitment in December and sign early.
USC running backs coach Thomas Brown is now working RB Janari Dean (6-0, 190) of Batesville, Miss. Brown just offered the 2000 yard rusher and the relationship is now starting to develop. “When South Carolina called, I was mind blown. It was definitely a dream offer of mine as a kid. I grew up watching them and my favorite player was Pharoh Cooper. Friday was our first time talking but Coach Brown said he would be talking to me just about every day and that he would be down to see me (next week), so I think it’s going to be a great relationship. If you would have told me a year ago from today that I would be in the situation I am today, I would not have believed you because of the injuries I endured, but thanks to the man above and a great family I overcame adversity.” That adversity included a torn ACL early in his career and a broken arm from a four-wheel vehicle accident. But he has recovered nicely rushing last season for 2030 yards and 20 touchdowns. “They said they love that I have skills you can’t teach such as natural feet and vision, and that I’m a gritty player and run hard” said Dean who also plays safety. Brown wants him for running back, he said, but also told him he could go over to defense. Some of his other offers are Alabama, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Mississippi, Indiana and Southern Miss. He has visited Alabama, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Arkansas and Memphis. He said he plans to visit USC, most likely with an official, but no date has been set. He’ll make his decision in December and will be an early grad. Dean said Arkansas and Mississippi State have been the two out front for him.
2021 DE Kelvin Gilliam (6-3, 230) of Highland Spring, VA already has garnered numerous major offers including Michigan, Michigan State, West Virginia, Georgia Tech, NC State and Virginia Tech. There is mutual interest with Clemson and he attended the spring game in April. “Oh, yes. I talked to a Clemson coach right after I got the Michigan offer and he said that Trevor Lawrence didn’t get his Clemson offer until his 11th-grade year, because they don’t really offer sophomores,” Gilliam said. “He said to be patient and trust the process. I definitely want to make it back. Probably during the summertime,” I will visit for camp, and then I want to come back during the season for just a regular visit.” Gilliam said the visit to Clemson for the spring game opened his eyes about the program and further generated his desire for an offer. “Really, the spring game itself is what stood out,” Gilliam said. “I got the chance to look at what commits were, and what recruits were there, and I got the chance to talk to the coaches. I got the chance to sit down with coach Mike Reed Pants and coach Todd Bates. It was a great experience. If the people are showing up for a spring game like this, imagine what it would be like for a real game. But I was just amazed by how many people were there just for a spring game. And how much support the Clemson community has for them.” This spring Gilliam also has visited North Carolina, Michigan State and NC State.
USC last week offered former Clemson RB Tavien Feaster according to GamecockCentral. Feaster has his name in the NCAA Transfer Portal. He is working to graduate late this summer and will have one year of eligibility. Alabama and Oklahoma are some others reportedly to contact Feaster.
CB Rashad Battle of Fairburn, Ga., named a top six of USC, Louisville, West Virginia, Georgia Tech, Maryland and Iowa.
Clemson WR target Julian Fleming has set May 31 for his announcement date. He has had Clemson, Penn State, Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia and Oregon as his top schools.
New USC offers: DE Derrell Bailey of Greenback, Tenn.; 2021 TE Nick Elksnis (6-5, 220) of Jacksonville; 2021 ATH Kaemen Marley of Ramseur, N.C.; 2021 OL Charles Armstrong (6-5, 265) of Bradenton, Fla.; 2021 CB Kyndrich Breedlove of Nashville, Tenn.; 2021 DE Javon Nelson (6-3, 260) of Murfreesboro, Tenn.; 2021 RB/DB Yulkeith Brown of Miami; 2021 DE Travali Price of Lincolnton, N.C.; 2021 QB Eli Stowers of Denton, Texas; 2021 LB Deontae Lawson (6-2, 235) of Mobile, Ala.; 2022 CB Marquis Killebrew of Snellville, Ga.; 2022 LB Richard Thomas of Ft. Lauderdale.
Clemson offered Miami commitment 2021 DE Donell Harris of Miami.
Conway DL Tonka Hemingway, a USC target, was offered by Vanderbilt.
USC target LB Desmond Tisdol of Rochelle, Ga., was offered by Georgia Tech and Mississippi.
USC target DE Reggie Grimes was offered by Nebraska.
USC target DL Makius Scott of Gainesville, Ga., was offered by Syracuse.
Clemson and USC target TE Diego Lamonica was offered by Georgia Tech.
USC target CB Jamorri Colson of Ocilla, Ga., was offered by Tennessee and Auburn.
Former USC OL commitment Javion Cohen of Phenix City, Ala., was offered by Oklahoma and Virginia Tech.
USC target CB Art Green of Hutchinson JC, Kan., was offered by Mississippi and Kentucky. He visited Tennessee Saturday.
Cheraw WR Jalen Coit was offered by Louisville and Colorado State.
Byrnes WR Braylin Johnson was offered by Indiana.
Fort Dorchester LB Darryle Ware was offered by Georgia Tech.
Dutch Fork OL Ta’Chawn Brooks was offered by Charlotte.
Dutch Fork WR Jalin Hyatt, a Virginia Tech commitment, was offered for football and track by Oregon.
CB O'Donnell Fortune of Sumter was offered by Kansas.
2021 QB JJ McCarthy of La Grange, Ill., who had a USC offer, committed to Michigan.
6-9 Micaiah Henry, a grad transfer from Tennessee Tech, made an official visit to USC late last week. He told The State he was very impressed by the program and the business school. He said the visit will move up his decision making process by allowing him to eliminate some other options. He did go on a visit to Lamar Thursday. He said he would have a decision in the next 10 days. Henry averaged 10 points and 5 rebounds per game last season.
Texas Tech 6-8 transfer Khavon Moore was at Clemson on Thursday for an official visit, according to HypeSouthMedia. Moore is a native of Macon, Ga., who signed last year with Texas Tech. Moore broke his leg his senior season in high school and spent much of last season rehabbing. He only played in one game and at times expressed his frustration over a lack of playing time. Clemson, Auburn and Alabama were some of his other offers coming out of high school.
Clemson last week picked up 6-4 Curran Scott as a grad transfer from Tulsa. He’s the second transfer guard Brad Brownell has taken for this class. Earlier 5-11 Nick Honor announced his plans to move in from Fordham. Scott has played in 96 games in his career averaging over 8 points and 2 rebounds per game. He has shot 42% from the floor, 40% from 3 and 81% from the line. Last season, he averaged nearly 9 points and over 2 rebounds per game. Scott is a native of Edmond, OK. He signed with Charlotte out of high school and played one season there before transferring to Tulsa to be closer to his home. He sat out one season and played the next two for Tulsa. Scott gives Clemson 11 scholarship players for the 2019-20 season and is the only one that is not an underclassman. As a high school senior in Oklahoma, Curran averaged 22 points per game.
USC women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley continued to reshape here roster last week with an announced commitment from Texas transfer guard 5-9 Destiny Littleton. The native of La Jolla, Calif., will join what women’s basketball recruiting observers are calling the nation’s best recruiting class. Littleton left California as the state’s all-time leading scorer with 4300 points. averaging 33 points per game She was a McDonald’s All American. She signed with Southern Cal but gained her release after the coaching change there. At Texas, Littleton played in just eight games as a freshman. Last season she played in all 33 games with 12 starts. She averaged 8 points and 4 rebounds per game. She scored in double figures 12 times with a career high of 22 points. Barring a successful appeal to the NCAA for immediate eligibility, Littleton will sit out this coming season and will have two years to play.
6-7 Kobe Brown of Huntsville, Ala., named a final four of Missouri, Vanderbilt, Minnesota and Penn State. Clemson also had offered.
6-6 Terrance Williams of Washington cut his list to a final seven of USC, N.C. State, DePaul, Virginia, Stanford, Georgetown and Notre Dame.
6-9 PJ Hall of Dorman was offered by Maryland, according to Phenom Hoops.
6-8 Ja’Von Benson of Ridge View added offers from East Tennessee State, N.C. A&T and Murray State.
6-1 Zeb Graham of Nation Ford and 6-3 Sean Jenkins of Spartanburg committed to Presbyterian.
Former Wofford forward Keve Aluma will follow his former coach Mike Young to Virginia Tech.
Clemson was the first major program to offer 2021 6-4 Korey Richardson of Lower Richland. Richardson has not been flooded with offers yet, and he said he really didn’t see the one coming from Clemson. “They started following me in February and I went up there for a visit when they played Boston College. And I played in an AAU game and after the game my coach told me they made me an offer,” Richardson said. “I was surprised, excited when I got it I really didn’t think Clemson was really talking to me and would come this fast after me.” Getting an ACC level offer is big for Richardson and he hopes that will lead to others. Regardless, he said the Clemson opportunity would be a good fit for him. “I feel like I can fit in good with their team,” Richardson said. “One of my close friends goes there right now, Clyde Trapp. I like the coaching staff, too.” Richardson had good numbers as a sophomore averaging 12 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists per game. He said USC, Michigan State, Iowa State, Ohio State, Providence and Georgia State are some of the other schools to contact him. He visited USC twice last season for games, and he said the Gamecocks also scouted him in his recent AAU outing.