South Carolina continues to look for help in the defensive secondary and is focused on several key cornerback prospects.
Johnny Dixon of Tampa and his mother made another unofficial visit to USC over the weekend. Dixon has been very close to a Gamecock commitment. It didn't happen over the weekend, but it was something he considered.
"I went to the game, walked around the facilities a little bit and talked to coach T-Rob (defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson)," Dixon said, adding he talked briefly with head coach Will Muschamp. "I was going to (commit) but I'm going to wait until Signing Day (Dec. 19)."
Dixon said the decision to wait was made in consultation with the Gamecock coaches.
"They are coming to the house probably on the 12th," he said. "My mind is not completely made up but if I had to choose it probably would be them. I'm still going to take officials visits to Miami and West Virginia."
Dixon said it's possible he could announce a commitment to the Gamecocks when the coaches visit on Dec. 12. He plans to visit Miami this weekend and West Virginia the following weekend.
Cornerback Zay Flowers of Fort Lauderdale had planned on an official visit to USC this past weekend but he had a playoff game Friday night and had to postpone. He has visited Kansas State and Nebraska and also plans to visit N.C. State and Boston College.
USC is in good position with cornerback Dequanteous Watts of Atlanta and will be one of his official visits in January. He took an official visit for the Chattanooga game.
“They really want me there,” Watts said. “I stay in contact with them, Coach McClendon, Coach Muschamp and Coach T-Rob. They are a top priority for me right now. I have a guaranteed spot if I come. They said they really want me no matter who commits to them, they really want me.”
Watts is a former UCF commitment. The Knights are still in the hunt along with Ole Miss and Indiana. He will not be an early signee so January visits will work out fine for him. Watts said he will visit UCF on Jan. 18 and is planning to visit USC the following weekend. He’ll also set dates with Indiana and Ole Miss.
Linebacker Tyron Hopper, who grew up in Gaffney but now lives in Roswell, Ga., visited USC for the Akron game. He has been committed to Florida since April but the Gamecocks have not stopped recruiting him. He had in-home visits with Florida and Auburn last week and has maintained a strong commitment to the Gators.
Matthew Bedford of Memphis also was in Columbia over the weekend. He committed to Indiana last summer but is open to other options. He left USC and flew directly to Mississippi State for an official visit and will visit Indiana this weekend. He will make his decision soon after that and sign this month.
Wide receiver Xavier Legette of Mullins returned to USC for an unofficial visit last week. He watched the Gamecocks practice, toured the campus and met for a few minutes with Muschamp. Going into the visit, Legette contemplated committing but he held off for now to give himself more time with the process.
Muschamp wants Legette to be a part of his 2019 class but his numbers are tight. Based on the current commitments, and with two other players counting in the class, 20 of the spots have been taken. So, he’s proposed to Legette that he not enroll until August so that he can be counted toward the 2020 recruiting class.
Legette said Muschamp explained to him that because he will count him for the 2020 class, he can’t take an official visit with him but he can visit unofficially as many times as he wants. Legette as set official visits with Tulane for this weekend and East Carolina for Jan. 11. He also plans to set an official visit with Tennessee. Legette played quarterback for the Auctioneers this season and accounted for 1,826 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei (Class of 2020) of Bellflower, Calif., made his second trip to Clemson for the USC game. It was Uiagalelei’s first chance to see Clemson play in person and it gave him a greater feel for the program and the school.
“I loved it, glad to be back,” Uiagalelei said. “I was happy to see a game, a game experience, to see what they’ve been talking about, about a Clemson game, to see how many people there are. It was pretty cool, I loved it.”
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has become quite the quarterback recruiter. His recent history of grabbing four- and five-star talents is unmatched across the country.
“Just the culture they have, just a great culture up there in Clemson, the way they go about themselves around Clemson,” Uiagalelei said. “It’s a great atmosphere and somewhere you want to play."
Uiagalelei said he’s considering Alabama, Auburn, Oregon, LSU and Oklahoma. He has visited each except for Oklahoma. Uiagalelei, the top ranked prospect in the 2020 class, finished the season with 3,361 passing yards and 48 touchdowns.
Offensive lineman Will Putnam of Tampa is in the final stages of making his decision. He is down to Clemson, Auburn and Florida State and took official visits to all three. And all three had in-home visits with him last week.
Putnam played tackle at Plant High School but he’s being recruited as an inside offensive lineman. He’s also working on his skills as a center. He’s also a state wrestling champion.
First Baptist running back Michel Dukes completed his high school career with impressive stats. For his senior season, he rushed for 2,030 yards and 29 touchdowns. According to stats compiled by MaxPreps, for his five years on the varsity, which consisted of 34 game, Dukes rushed for 4,562 yards and 66 touchdowns.
Dukes said he continues to hear from Clemson but is not getting as much contact from USC. He has set an official visit to Syracuse for this weekend and he’s also planning to take an official visit to Virginia Tech. He has taken an official visit to East Carolina. Dukes said the basketball interest in him is picking up with N.C. State, Georgetown, VCU and Stetson now showing interest. He has an offer from IUPUI.
Florida coaches were in to see USC target cornerback Chris Steele last week and he’s expecting Gamecock coaches to visit this week.
USC defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson had an in-home visit last Thursday night with cornerback Jaydon Hill. He has been committed to Florida and has taken official visits with the Gators and the Gamecocks.
Tennessee had an in-home visit Thursday night with defensive back Jammie Robinson, also a USC target.
Sources indicate things look very good for Clemson with defensive lineman Tyler Davis of Apopka, Fla. Clemson and Florida State have been the top two.
USC target defensive lineman Jaquaze Sorrells had an in-home visit from Alabama last week. He has been to USC unofficially and is scheduled for an official visit to Penn State this weekend.
Offensive lineman Steven McKinney of Sanford, N.C., visited USC on Saturday and talked with line coach Eric Wolford about opportunities, including walking on. McKinney said his official offers to this point are from D2 progams. He plans to return to USC for an official visit and won't sign until February. He said USC is his favorite.
South Pointe offensive tackle Gavin Bennett visited USC on Saturday and received a preferred walk-on offer, as did offensive lineman Jalen Tatah of Lancaster.
USC offered 2021 tight end Hudson Wolfe of Savannah, Tenn. He visited Saturday. Memphis and Ole Miss also are reported offers for him.
The Gamecocks also offered 2020 wide receiver Jhari Patterson of Asheville. Some other reported offers are North Carolina, Virginia, Wake Forest and East Carolina.