South Carolina had a pair of highly recruited wide receivers on campus during a busy weekend of recruiting.
Michael Wyman of Greensboro, N.C., and Jaheim Bell of Valdosta, Ga., were in Columbia on Friday.
It was the second visit to USC for Wyman, who was also there Jan. 26. The Gamecocks have been among his favorites and remain in a strong position with him following this visit.
“Had a great visit,” Wyman said. “Definitely one of my top. My family got the opportunity to meet the coaches. We talked about life during and after football, and academics.”
Wyman also has visited North Carolina. His long list of offers also includes Penn State, Oklahoma, Stanford, Georgia, Notre Dame, LSU, Auburn, Southern Cal, Florida State, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Florida, Duke, Michigan and Arkansas. Wyman has set an official visit to Oklahoma for April 12.
Bell also visited USC on Friday and has an offer from the Gamecocks. He went to Alabama on Saturday and was offered by the Crimson Tide, and Sunday he picked up an offer from Florida.
Damarcus Beckwith of Florence, Ala., visited USC on Saturday. Beckwith, who plays quarterback in high school, said the Gamecocks like him as a tight end but he also can play receiver. He also has offers from Tennessee, Auburn, Michigan, Mississippi State, Nebraska and others.
Saturday was his first chance to check out USC. Beckwith also attended the USC basketball game where he was escorted by tight ends coach Bobby Bentley. And he visited with head coach Will Muschamp.
“He talked to me more about what he expects in the future for the team and the program,” Beckwith said. “He talked about what he would like to see on down the line like 2020 and 2021. Basically, the future and what the program will be like in the future for us.”
Overall, Beckwith said, it was a good experience and he’ll be back for an official visit on May 31.
“I see that could be a place for me,” Beckwith said. “It’s a fit.” He also has visited Alabama and UAB and will visit Tennessee in a couple of weeks.
Fort Dorchester linebacker Darryle Ware also visited USC on Saturday.
“We got to get up close and personal with the coaches the whole day,” Ware said. “That was one of the best parts because I felt like I was home. We toured the new facilities, which were great. I can see that play a big role in recruiting players for a lot of those guys who pay attention to those type of things, but I try not to base any decisions on just facilities.”
The Gamecocks are still in evaluation mode with Ware but he’s already feeling a relationship starting to build.
“The coaches love me and my family,” Ware said. “They show nothing but love. Coach Muschamp told me that my final evaluation will be during the spring, so I’ve got to get ready now to show the boss how it’s done. The coaches love my size, length, speed, character, film and the things they look into for a player, but my final evaluation should be the spring he said.”
Ware said he’s also visited Kentucky, Virginia Tech and Coastal Carolina.
Jayden Johnson, a 6-4, 300-pound offensive lineman from Goose Creek, also visited USC on Saturday. He is being recruited for the class of 2022.
Cornerback Andru Phillips of Mauldin visited USC earlier this month for a mini-junior day and said he's moving up the Gamecocks' board for 2020 cornerbacks.
“Coach Muschamp brought me to his office and talked to me and my family, just telling me where we stand right now in recruiting. They said I’m an offer guy, they’ve just got to figure out what’s going on with the past class that just finished and then they’re going to see where I stand.”
Phillips already has some major offers to consider but one from USC would give him a lot to think about.
“If I got the opportunity, I would like it a lot,” he said. “Just because of what they’ve got going on, and playing SEC football. They are really stepping up their game and their program to be at the top of the SEC the next couple of years. That’s what I really like about it.”
Phillips has offers from Virginia Tech, Kentucky, West Virginia, Wake Forest, East Carolina, Penn State, Coastal Carolina, Appalachian State and Georgia Southern. He’s also hearing from Clemson and the Tigers are telling him some encouraging things.
“They are showing me a lot of interest right now,” Phillips said. “They say I’m at the top of their board for my position and they are trying to get me up there around the coaches and everything. They talk to me and tell me where I’m going to play and I feel like I will fit into their scheme well."
Phillips said he’d like to make his decision coming out of the spring or early in the summer. Last season Phillips had 50 tackles with two interceptions and 13 pass deflections.
One of the state’s hottest recruits this month has been Cheraw wide receiver Jalen Coit. He has added offers from Penn State, West Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky. They joined other Power 5 offers from Duke, Kansas, Indiana, Purdue, Virginia, Wake Forest and Vanderbilt.
USC and Clemson, Coit said, have not shown much serious interest to this point.
“To be honest with you, I haven’t heard anything,” Coit said. “Well, Clemson, I talked to them a couple of times and they’ve sent me stuff in the mail and send me stuff on Twitter about the school. South Carolina, I went down there for a couple of visits during the season, but as far as talking to them every day or even every week, haven’t really heard from them.”
The Tennessee offer was delivered by one of the new Vols’ assistant coaches, Tee Martin. “Tee Martin calling, and I was in shock. He’s going to come down and see me in the spring. They watched my film, he said they only watched five plays and they were like, ‘we’ve got to offer this kid,’ so, that was really good. They are really trying to recruit this state. They are trying to get kids to come out and really rep the orange. That’s a big deal, especially for them to recruit the state of South Carolina.”
Along with Tennessee, Coit cited Duke, Penn State, Washington State, Vanderbilt, Western Kentucky and Liberty as others showing strong interest.
Wide receiver Justin Robinson of McDonough, Ga., was offered last month by USC and the Gamecocks have moved up his list holding a share of the lead for him with Georgia and Virginia. Gamecock receivers coach Bryan McClendon has been leading the effort and Robinson has connected well with him.
“I really like what he’s got going on down at South Carolina,” Robinson said. “Coach McClendon said he likes all the tools I’ve got. He said if I come there, he’s going to coach me like I’m his own son. I really like that.”
Last season Robinson had 750 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. He also has offers from Notre Dame, Boston College, Tennessee, Central Florida, Kentucky, Florida, Florida State and West Virginia. He has visited USC, Georgia, Virginia, Florida, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest. This weekend he plans to visit Clemson and Notre Dame.
Clemson and USC both are pursuing running back Marshawn Lloyd of Dematha Catholic in Hyattsville, Md. Lloyd visited Clemson the last weekend in January and USC the following weekend. Lloyd also has been to Georgia and Penn State. He plans to take more visits with Texas, Texas A&M, Notre Dame and Ohio State on his agenda. And he’s planning a return visit to Clemson and USC, possibly for one of their spring games.
Defensive tackle Marquis Black (6-5, 300) of McDonough, Ga., visited USC the first weekend of this month and the Gamecocks will be one of the programs he strongly considers moving forward. His parents are from Columbia and he actually lived in the Capital City for a couple of years as a child.
Black also holds offers from West Virginia, Virginia, Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Purdue, Boston College and Charlotte. He’s also visited Georgia Tech recently and UCF wants him to come in for a visit. Right now USC, West Virginia and Georgia Tech sit in a strong spot with him. The Gamecocks are in a particularly good position.
“Right now they are pretty high up there,” he said. “I’m really from South Carolina and I’ve got a lot of family down there. It’s kind of like a second home to be honest.” Last season Black estimated he was in on 40 tackles with seven sacks.
One of the nation’s top linebackers in the 2020 class, Sav’ell Smalls of Seattle, released a top 12 and Clemson was among the select dozen. The others on the list are Alabama, Florida, Miami, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Georgia, Texas, Washington, Texas A&M, Florida State and Washington State.
Wide receiver Julian Fleming of Catawissa, Pa., narrowed his decision down to a final six of Clemson, Ohio State, Georgia, Alabama, Oregon and Penn State.
Defensive back Henry Gray of Miami announced a top eight of Clemson, Auburn, Ohio State, Penn State, Kentucky, Georgia, Tennessee and Florida.
USC coach Frank Martin and assistant Perry Clark had an in-home visit with Columbia native Christian Brown (6-6) two weeks ago, according to The State. Brown attends Oak Hill Prep, in Virginia.
USC target Gerald Drumgoole (6-6) of Rochester, N.Y., committed to Pitt. USC was one of his official visits.
Point guard Tyler Rice of Ridge View was back at USC for the Arkansas game. He also visited for the Auburn game and he plans to return for another game if he can work it in. Rice said this visit with Frank Martin was the best yet because the relationship between the two grew stronger.
“We just sat down after the game celebrating the win and had like a family conversation,” Rice said. “It wasn’t about as much basketball, it was about that family type of vibe that they bring in. I think that’s what really stood out to me about the visit.”
Rice said he was joined in the meeting by fellow recruits Trae Hannibal of Hartsville (a Gamecock commitment), Christian Brown of Oak Hill Academy, Korey Richardson of Lower Richland and Robert McCray of A.C. Flora. They all got together in the locker room with Martin and assistant Chuck Martin.
USC has not yet offered but Rice feels it’s just a matter of time. “We haven’t talked about that yet, but if I have to guess, I’d say it’s coming very soon,” Rice said.
Rice holds offers from Penn State and USC Upstate and is also getting interest from Clemson, Memphis, Oklahoma State, College of Charleston, West Virginia and Tennessee.