With the trend toward early commitments, the senior season has become meaningless in the recruiting process for many top prospects. But for those borderline guys, the senior season is that last chance to convince recruiters from major schools of their worthiness for offers.
Two players in South Carolina, in particular, are hoping to convert a big final season into big offers, wide receiver Stanton Seckinger (6-5, 200) of Porter-Gaud and quarterback Tamyn Garrick (6-3, 210) of Williston-Elko.
South Carolina receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr. visited Porter-Gaud on Friday for a check-in on Seckinger.
"Junior likes him a lot," said Porter-Gaud coach Rick Reetz. "He's showing him a lot of attention. He'll be in for the Georgia game."
USC has not yet offered. Clemson has made Seckinger a greyshirt offer, but that might soon change.
N.C. State and Memphis also have offered and he's getting interest from Georgia, Tennessee and Duke. Duke scouted him Friday night. Seckinger caught 58 passes for 1,095 yards and 10 touchdowns last season.
Garrick has offers from Newberry and Presbyterian right now. Garrick camped at both earlier in the summer. He plans to make an unofficial visit to Clemson and will go to a couple of games at USC. Last season, Garrick passed for 1,600 yards with 26 touchdowns and one interception.
Garrick is one of two quarterbacks Clemson is focused on for the final quarterback spot in the 2011 class. The other is Morgan Roberts (6-4, 205) of Charlotte. He made an unofficial visit to Clemson recently and quarterbacks coach Billy Napier was to scout him Friday night.
Last season, Roberts passed for 1,500 yards with 21 touchdowns and four interceptions.
In other recruiting news:
LB Dexter Staley (6-2, 225) of Williston-Elko would clearly be one of the state's most sought after prospects if his academic situation were clear. "Schools are waiting to see how things work out academically," said Staley's coach Dwayne Garrick. "He's going to be a bubble guy. It will come down to the end. He has a good chance to qualify." With that in mind, USC, LSU, Florida, East Carolina, Michigan State and Illinois have made offers to Staley. Florida and USC are 1-2 on his list according to is coach. Staley will visit Florida for a game and he will be at USC for the Alabama game. Clemson also has shown interest but wants to see how the academic thing works out. Last season Staley rushed for 1,467 yards with 22 touchdowns. He also had 30 receptions for 630 yards and 8 scores. On defense he had 67 tackles with 5 sacks and 6 tackles for loss.
USC head coach Steve Spurrier made a visit to South Pointe High School on Friday to check on recruiting targets DE Jadeveon Clowney (6-6, 240) and DE Gerald Dixon (6-4, 260). Clowney and Dixon will be at USC on Saturday for the Georgia game. Clowney also plans to attend the Florida at Alabama game and the Alabama at USC game. USC and Alabama have been his two favorites.
Spurrier also visited Manning High on Friday and checked in on DL Phillip Dukes (6-3, 295). Dukes attended USC's game last Thursday night against Southern Miss. He told the BigSpur.com Friday after his game that he's primarily looking at USC, Clemson and North Carolina with the in-state schools out front.
LB A.J. Johnson (6-3, 220) of Gainesville, Ga., made an unofficial visit to Clemson for Saturday's game with North Texas. Johnson is being heavily recruited by the Tigers and has them among his favorites, along with Tennessee and Florida.
LB Tony Steward (6-1, 225) of St. Augustine, Fla., has now set all five of his official visits. He will go to UCLA on Dec. 3, Florida on Dec. 15, Alabama on Jan. 7, Florida State on Jan. 20 and Clemson on Jan. 27. He will also take an unofficial visit to Alabama on Oct. 2 for the Florida game.
LB Mike Rose (6-4, 215) of Greenville was scheduled to visit Louisville over the weekend. He's also looking at Wake Forest, N.C. State, West Virginia and Kentucky for possible visits. All of those have offered, along with Maryland and N.C. State. Rose is not getting much interest from Clemson or USC at this point. He does not have a favorite.
LB Marcquis Roberts (6-1, 205) of Stone Mountain, Ga., continues to favor USC and was scouted Friday by recruiter G.A. Mangus. Roberts said he will set his official visits soon with USC, South Florida, West Virginia and Wisconsin. He's uncertain about a fifth visit.
TE Drew Owens (6-5, 230) of Charlotte is set for his official visit to USC on Oct. 29 when the Gamecocks play host to Tennessee. He also has set an official visit to Virginia Tech for Oct. 15. His top five schools are USC, Clemson, Arkansas, N.C. State and North Carolina. He's also considering Michigan for an official visit. He does not have a favorite at this point.
DB Demetrious Nicholson (5-11, 175) of Virginia Beach, Va., was moving toward a commitment to North Carolina before the NCAA investigation there caused him to rethink his plans. "I'm kind of holding off on everything and I've opened the doors back wide open," Nicholson said. He plans to take official visits to Clemson, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Stanford and West Virginia. Nicholson visited Clemson earlier in the summer and remains strong on the Tigers. But Nicholson said he doesn't have a clear leader.
RB Shon Carson (5-9, 195) of Lake City has a top five of USC, Florida State, Alabama, North Carolina and Georgia and those likely will be his official visits. He will take those visits during the season. And he will go to the Georgia at USC and Alabama at USC games, as well as games at other locations. He was at Clemson on Saturday for the North Texas game. Baseball also will play a major factor in his decision and Carson said USC is recruiting him the hardest for baseball. His decision won't come until after the season.
LB Montese Overton (6-3, 212) of Greenville, N.C., is planning to visit USC for the Georgia game. His top four schools are USC, North Carolina, East Carolina and Notre Dame. He plans to take official visits to USC and possibly East Carolina.
WR Hakeem Flowers (6-3, 189) of Wade Hampton plans to narrow his list to 10 by mid-season and will take all five of his official visits. Both UNC and LSU are in good shape for making that list. Flowers will likely announce his commitment on signing day and does not have any favorites.
OL Xavier Ward (6-7, 260) of Moultrie, Ga., still has a final nine of Clemson, USC, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Auburn, Tennessee, North Carolina and Notre Dame. He plans to get down to a final five around mid-season and will take his official visits before making a decision. Ward does not have any favorites but did say USC and Clemson are schools he is considering for his final five.
LB Darius Williams (6-1, 220) of Belton Honea-Path recently picked up an offer from Navy. He also has an offer from Wisconsin. Vanderbilt also is showing interest. He does not have any favorites.
USC running back target Mike Blakely (5-9, 193) of Bradenton, Fla., has one official visit set and that's to Auburn on Sept. 24 for the USC game. He's also looking at USC and Florida for two of his visits. And he's still considering Georgia, Tennessee, Ole Miss and Southern Cal. Blakely said all the schools are basically even with him right now, but he added that Auburn was showing the strongest interest.
DB LaQuentin Smith (6-1, 208) of Orlando already had named USC, Arkansas and South Florida as his top schools and now adds Michigan. He will take official visits to USC, Arkansas and Michigan and is undecided on his other two visits. He plans to commit sometime in September.
WR Justin Scott (5-11, 205) of Camilla, Ga., has been committed to Georgia but will take other official visits. He's looking at USC, Clemson and Wake Forest for possible trips along with Georgia. Scott says his commitment to UGA is fairly solid.
Shooting guard Damarcus Harrison (6-5, 197) of Greenwood made an official visit to BYU last weekend. Harrison, who attends Christ School in Arden, N.C., also is scheduled to visit Florida State on Sept. 18 and he will set up a visit to Clemson soon after the trip to Florida State. He is down to Clemson, BYU and FSU.
USC has set its sights on signing 6-5 Damien Leonard of JL Mann for the 2011 class but the Gamecocks are keeping in touch with 6-4 Mike Taylor of New York City. Taylor said he last talked with the Gamecocks about two weeks ago. He recently visited Rutgers, his first visit to the New Jersey campus. He plans to set official visits with USC, Rutgers, South Florida and Pittsburgh and he'd like to make a decision by the end of September. Taylor is not claiming a favorite.