South Carolina basketball coach Frank Martin Monday landed a big man for this 2015 recruiting class in 6-9 Eric Cobb, a native of Jacksonville who attends St. Francis Prep in Baltimore. Cobb originally committed to Kansas State but decommitted in April.
After that he took an unofficial visit to Seton Hall and an official visit to USC. He also considered VCU, Old Dominion, Boston College, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Washington and Memphis.
The 280-pound Cobb is USC’s fifth commitment for the class. He averaged 13 points and 9 rebounds per game last season.
“He’s very skilled, his footwork and his hands are great,” said St. Francis coach Nick Myles. “On a post, he can give you a drop step, he can give you up and under, he can give you a hook shot. He has a variety of post moves and a nice 10- to 12-foot jump shot.”
Cobb visited USC last month with his mother and that experience basically sold him on the Gamecocks.
“It’s two hours away from home, and he wants to be closer to home so his family can watch him play,” Myles said. “And it’s the SEC. It’s great college basketball at its highest level. He’s really going to be pushed and they really showed he was a priority.”
Cobb will sign his letter of intent at his school in Baltimore sometime before Wednesday’s deadline.
Myles said because they don’t get out of school in Baltimore until June 6, Cobb won’t be able to enroll at USC until the second session of summer school. His coach said Cobb needs to go on a conditioning program to lose some weight to compete in college and he’s confident he will do that.
“I’m not saying for Coach Martin but I think he can play some in this next year,” Myles said. “I think after a year in, I think he can really be an impact guy in the SEC. If he takes off a good 15-20 pounds, get lean, quicker and stronger, he’s going to be an impact player in the SEC.”
In other recruiting news:
Tevin Mack, a 6-6 player from Dreher, plans to announce his college choice Tuesday at a ceremony at his school. The former VCU signee recently took unofficial visits to Texas and Georgia. Clemson and Kansas have also remained in touch, according to his mother.
Tookie Brown, a 5-11 guard from Madison, Ga., committed to Georgia Southern last week. He made an unofficial visit to USC the previous week but was not offered by the Gamecocks.
A.C. Flora wide receiver Denzel Johnson has set Wednesday for his signing day, some 2½ months after National Signing Day. Johnson was a late qualifier and needed a good academic semester this spring to be able to sign with a Division I school. He accomplished that and is expected to sign with Clemson. The Tigers have stayed with Johnson throughout the process, and on multiple occasions Dabo Swinney assured him he would have a scholarship for him if he met the academic standards.
Defensive lieman Naquan Jones of Evanston, Ill., has set June 5 for his decision date. “It’s near the end of my school year and I’m ready to be done with recruiting so I can focus on my senior season and senior year,” Jones said. He is down to USC, Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio State and Penn State.
Offensive lineman Clark Yarbrough of Woodberry Forest, Va., originally had planned to announce his college choice May 21 at the conclusion of his spring practice. But Yarbrough won’t be ready to make his decision by then and has pushed the process into June. Yarbrough has been working with a short list of Clemson, Stanford, Duke, Florida and Virginia.
Offensive lineman Ranton Autry of Coffeyville (Kan.) JC is a big USC target in more ways than just his physical presence. The Gamecocks are thin in quality offensive linemen and will lose three seniors, all of whom could be starters, after this season. That opens a window of opportunity for incoming linemen, and that’s exactly what Autry is looking for.
USC sits firmly in Autry’s top 10. The others are Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Baylor, Missouri, Arizona State, Louisville, Iowa State and Oklahoma. There is no order to the 10 and there is no favorite. Along with USC, Autry said he’s been talking with coaches from all of the offering schools. Autry is home in Mobile, Ala., for summer break and won’t return to school until August. He’s planning to make his decision around Aug. 15. Autry will graduate in December and have three years to play two.
Linebacker TJ Brunson of Richland Northeast is sitting out spring practice to allow his surgically repaired hip to heal. “The hip is great, it’s healing well,” Brunson said. “I’m a little ahead of schedule. I have a follow-up with the doctor May 19.”
Brunson nearly committed to USC earlier in the year, but the Gamecocks asked him to hold off until they could see him this fall and judge how healthy he is. “Coach Botkin has been keeping up with me since everything,” Brunson said of the Gamecocks’ linebackers coach. “I talk to him at least three times a week. They want to see me play during the fall and if everything is fine, it picks back up.”
Myrtle Beach QB Drayton Arnold committed Thursday to Old Dominion after an unofficial visit. The last two seasons he passed for 5,462 yards and 68 touchdowns.
Dorman QB Collin Hill committed to Colorado State on Friday. Last season, he passed for 3,300 yards and 31 touchdowns.
Clemson OL target Jack DeFoor of Calhoun, Ga., committed to Mississippi over the weekend.
DE Chidi Okonya of Riverdale, Ga., committed to Tennessee on Friday night. Clemson was also on short list along with Duke, Stanford and Mississippi.
DB Chris Smith of South Pointe was offered by James Madison. He also has offers from USC, Old Dominion, Mercer, Furman, Coastal Carolina, Campbell, Gardner-Webb, Miami of Ohio and Air Force. He plans to visit USC in couple of weeks.
DB Trayvon Mullen of Pompano Beach, Fla., has Clemson in his current top 10. The others are TCU, LSU, FSU, Baylor, Auburn, Florida, Ohio State, Georgia and Texas A&M.