Vandy’s Mitchell transfers to Clemson

Shelton Mitchell (14) of the CP3 All-Stars gets double-teamed by E1T1 Elite players during the 2013 Nike Peach Jam tournament. Mike Adams/Aiken Standard/File

Clemson didn’t land point guard Shelton Mitchell of Waxhaw, N.C., when he finished his high school career at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, but the Tigers are getting him on the rebound.

Mitchell, a 6-3 freshman who played last season at Vanderbilt, signed a financial aid agreement to transfer to Clemson. Mitchell will sit out the 2015-16 season and have three years of eligibility remaining. Mitchell also had contact from N.C. State, East Carolina and Charlotte after announcing his plans to transfer.

“We’re excited Shelton has decided to join our program,” Clemson coach Brad Brownell said Monday. “Our staff has known him a long time; we recruited him throughout his high school career. He’s a true point guard with great vision and passing skills, and loves to get others involved. Our guys will enjoy playing with him. He’s been a part of winning teams, both at the high school level and at Vanderbilt.”

A native of Waxhaw, N.C., Mitchell appeared in 31 games for the Commodores as a freshman in 2014-15. He earned 11 starting assignments and averaged 4.3 points and 3.3 assists per game. Mitchell posted 103 assists for the season, tied for second in Vanderbilt history for a freshman.

He made an official visit to Clemson over the weekend with his parents.

“I just felt at home and comfortable with the staff there,” Mitchell said. “I felt I could be very successful there.”

Mitchell isn’t the only transfer Clemson is pursuing. Ricky Tarrant, a 6-2 shooting guard at Alabama, is scheduled to visit this weekend. He was at Memphis this past weekend. Tarrant will be eligible to play next season.

Malik Ellison, a 6-6 point guard from Burlington, N.J., made an official visit to South Carolina over the weekend. He was joined on the trip by his father and coach, former college player of the year and No. 1 NBA Draft pick Pervis Ellison. This was Ellison’s second official visit to USC. He’s also been to Minnesota.

Ellison recently picked up an offer from Pittsburgh. He has also been considering Georgia Tech and Wake Forestf, and has offers from Maryland, Cal, Temple and Rutgers.

Conor Clifford, a 7-0 center at Saddleback (Calif.) JC who has visited USC and Washington State, visited Utah over the weekend. That’s expected to be his final visit and his coach said he expects a decision by Friday.

Dikembe Dixson, 6-7, of Delbarton, W.Va., has not scheduled any official visits to this point but said he will set up visits with USC, Arkansas and Mississippi State. Dixson said he won’t take any visits until after May 1. He took the ACT this past weekend and wanted to get that behind him before scheduling visits, according to his coach.

USC commitment 6-11 Travon Bunch of Racine, Wis., has not yet signed his letter of intent according to his coach at Score Academy in Chapel Hill.  Coach Tony Taylor said there is no problem and Bunch should sign within a few days. Another USC commitment, 6-4 Jamal Gregory of Washington, D.C., did sign his letter of intent Wednesday.

According to Rick Lewis of, USC is among the schools that have contacted UNC Asheville transfer 5-11 Andrew Rowsey. Rowsey played two seasons for Asheville, averaging 20 points per game as a freshman and 19 points per game as a sophomore.  He made 208 three pointers over that span and was twice named to the Big South All-Conference team. Tennessee, Vanderbilt, N.C. State, Cincinnati, Duquesne and Marquette are also recruiting him.

Also, Clemson offered 6-8 PF Alex Reese of Pelham, Ala., and 6-9 junior Javin DeLaurier of Charlottesville, Va. USC offered 6-10 Sedee Keita of 22 Feet Academy in Greenville. 

USC signee DE Shameik Blackshear of Bluffton will have a bench trial on Tuesday morning at the Bluffton Municipal Court. Blackshear is facing a misdemeanor petit larceny charge dating back to February. The maximum penalty upon conviction in the case is a fine of not more than $1000 or imprisonment of not more than 30 days at the discretion of the judge.

“We initially had demanded a jury trial but because Shameik is scheduled to report to USC on the 30th of May and they start summer training at that point and time, we did not want to run the risk of this thing being delayed any longer,” said Thomas C. Taylor, Blackshear’s attorney. “We have asked for what is known as a bench trial or a trial by judge and that will happen Tuesday morning.”

The trial is set to begin at 9 a.m. and Taylor said ordinarily a decision from the judge would be rendered the same day. Blackshear was charged with stealing items valued at $1,400 from a safe and purse he allegedly took from a home he was visiting Feb. 7.

DB Brian Dawkins Jr., the son of the former Clemson and NFL star safety, plans to enroll at Clemson with the 2016 recruiting class according to  Dawkins Jr. lives in Colorado and plans to attend Fork Union Prep, VA this season and sign with the Tigers for their 2016 class.  His commitment gives Clemson 10 recruits set to report for 2016.

USC commitment WR Kyle Davis of Decatur, Ga., picked up an offer from Alabama Thursday.

USC offered LB Michael Divinity of Marrero, La.

LB Elysee Mbem-Bosse of Athens, Ga., recently was offered by USC and has interest in the Gamecocks though he doesn’t have them in his top eight yet.  That group is Wake Forest, N.C. State, Ole Miss, Tennessee,  Michigan, Alabama, Auburn and Oregon in no particular order. Mbem-Bosse has visited Wake Forest, Auburn, Alabama, N.C. State and Tennessee.  He’s not visited USC but is interested enough to do so this summer. Mben-Bosse plays both inside and outside linebacker.  Last season he had 87 tackles with 5 tackles for loss and 3 sacks.

OL Parker Boudreaux of Orlando, who has registered better than 70 offers this recruiting season, is down to a final 10. Clemson made the cut.  USC did not. His 10 are Georgia Southern, Clemson, Penn State, Notre Dame, Auburn, Oklahoma, Alabama, Ole Miss, Florida and Iowa.  

LB TJ Brunson of Richland Northeast landed an offer from North Carolina. The Tar Heels are the third ACC team to offer Brunson joining N.C. State and Louisville. Brunson also has offers from USC and Georgia Southern. Brunson attended USC’s spring game and he plans to visit North Carolina as soon as he can. Brunson had considered committing to the Gamecocks last month but they held him off because of his hip surgery to further evaluate him in the fall. Brunson had been favoring the Gamecocks but now says he’s wide open about his plans.

OL Jack DeFoor of Calhoun, Ga., has replaced Vanderbilt in his top three with Georgia Tech.  Clemson and Ole Miss remain among his three and he wants to visit each one some more as he continues thru the process. DeFoor said he’s talking with the Tigers on a regular basis. He has visited Clemson, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, Auburn and Mississippi State.

OL Jordan Johnson of Jacksonville, Fla., attended USC’s spring game, his first visit to USC. He toured the city and got a good look at the stadium and facilities. Along with USC, Johnson has offers from Louisville, Ole Miss, Miami, North Carolina, Rutgers and Georgia Tech.

Whale Branch DL Nyles Pinckney had planned to attend Clemson’s spring game but couldn’t make it because of a track meet. Clemson, USC, Georgia, Georgia Tech and Florida State make up his top five right now with the Tigers and Gamecocks at the top. Pinckney also has offers from Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, Miami, Virginia and Duke. Pinckney has visited USC and Clemson several times and has also been to Georgia.

OL John Simpson of Fort Dorchester went to Florida for the Gators’ spring game.  And before leaving, he was given an offer by the Gators giving him an even dozen to choose from. Simpson doesn’t have any future dates set but he wants to see LSU and Tennessee. Simpson said he doesn’t have a current favorite but has a top five of USC, Clemson, Georgia, Florida and Alabama in no order.

Dillon QB Avery McCall made a recent visit to North Carolina and the Tar Heels are high up on his list according to his coach.  Dillon coach Jackie Hayes said McCall is no longer getting interest from Clemson or USC.  His other offers include East Carolina, Tennessee, LSU, Ohio State, N.C. State, Duke and Old Dominion.

RB Tre Harbison of Shelby, N.C., a USC target, committed to Virginia.

OL Chris Barnes of Leesburg, Ga., committed to Georgia Saturday. He also was a USC target.

OL Tyler Pritchett of Auburn, Ala., committed to North Carolina. USC and Clemson also offered.

DE Julian Okwara of Charlotte committed to Notre Dame. Clemson was one of his finalists.

DL Tyler Clark of Americus, Ga., said he has a top three in order of Georgia, Auburn and Clemson.

USC target WR Josh Imatorbhebhe of Atlanta was offered by Miami and Mississippi State.

QB Austin Scott of Spartanburg was offered by Old Dominion.

2017 ATH D’Najee Whosendove of Allendale-Fairfax attended USC’s spring game Saturday and said the Gamecocks are becoming more interested in him.  He’s also heard recently from Missouri and Georgia.  He will visit Georgia April 27 and Clemson May 6.