Quarterback Dakereon Joyner of Fort Dorchester said last week he's got his list down to a final three with South Carolina and N.C. State tied at the top and Alabama just on the outside.
He has visited USC and State and is going to Alabama on April 22. Oregon also is on his mind some but he's not expecting the Ducks to factor into the final decision. Joyner said the recruiting push from USC and N.C. State has increased and he's talking more to both. The fact N.C. State already has a quarterback committed for the class, Joyner said, is not a factor to him. USC, from the start, has recruited Joyner as its top quarterback prospect preaching to him the benefits of staying in-state and being "the face of the program."
He said that approach by head coach Will Muschamp has not changed.
"Come run your state, stay true to your state, come be the man in your state, he is kind of right I guess," Joyner said. "I've got to do what's best for me like I always say. Come run the state, come be the man, stay in state, stay home an hour and fifteen minutes from my house, and I can be the face of the program. And N.C. State has told me the same thing. I trust the Carolina staff completely only because USC as a whole was here for me since like day one. Not that particular staff but USC as a whole, the fan base and just the school itself, since my eighth grade year. I trust Muschamp and Roper because their relationship with my coaches is pretty strong and I know they won't let me down. It's the same with N.C. State because we have alumni. So, I'd say it's kind of even but it's kind of different from home state and out of state."
Joyner does not plan to visit USC or N.C. State again before he announces on Father's Day. He will visit Alabama to see what that's all about and he won't rule out the possibility of the Crimson Tide making this a true three-team race. This will be his second visit there but his first with an offer, so he's expecting a different reception.
"My first time going to Alabama I was excited but I didn't have an offer then, and they didn't show me the love that I feel like I should have gotten," he said.
Saban did offer Joyner as a quarterback. Joyner will make his decision known to the public on June 18 but he plans to make his decision 2-3 weeks before that and will let the coaches know at that point trusting that they won't leak his decision.
QB Chase Wolf (6-foot-2, 195 pounds) of Cincinnati visited USC last March as part of a tour of several Southern schools and the Gamecocks are right at the top of his list at this point along with Boston College.
Wolf primarily is a passing quarterback who can run when necessary. He passed for 1,291 yards and 15 touchdowns last season. He watched the Gamecocks practice and focused on what the offense liked to do. Wolf said he would like to make his decision in May. He has also visited N.C. State, North Carolina, Duke, Boston College, Indiana and Cincinnati. He will visit Wisconsin this week.
Wolf said after his Wisconsin visit he will start to work on his final decision though it's possible he'll make a return visit to USC before making up his mind. He will not be an early graduate.
USC is dangerously thin at quarterback for the 2017 season and the Gamecocks are looking into Westin Elliott (6-5, 230), a Texas native who played last season at Blinn JC in Texas. The Gamecocks have made some preliminary contact with him and he's just waiting for Roper to take the next step in recruiting Last season Elliott played in 4 1/2 games passing for 670 yards and six touchdowns while completing 60 percent of his passes. He will have four years to play three at the next level. He finishes school at Blinn on May 12.
University of Minnesota graduate transfer DE Gaelin Elmore is in the process of checking out the schools he's considering for his final season. He was at Houston during the weekend and before that USC and Arizona. The Gamecocks are shopping for some immediate help at defensive end and did their best to convince Elmore to join in. Some of his other offers are Oklahoma, East Carolina, Wake Forest, West Virginia, and Texas Tech.
First-year USC offensive line coach Eric Wolford is checking out the junior college ranks for talent and that search has taken him to Brooklyn and ASA Junior College for left tackle Thomas Lopez (6-5, 300), a native of Middletown, N.J. Wolford hasn't offered Lopez yet but strong interest does exist. Lopez signed directly with ASA out of high school and started last season as a freshman. Lopez said Wolford first reached out to him thru Twitter and after the two connected, they've remained in contact and the relationship has gotten stronger. He has offers from Akron, UTSA and Marshall. He has visited Maryland this spring and he's also looking at Oklahoma State for a visit, but he won't take any other visits until after his spring ball. He will graduate in December and will enroll in January. He will have three years to play two.
USC has been the favorite of WR Jatavious Harris of Milledgeville, Georgia, since early March and even though he has received many more offers and taken other visits, Harris still has the Gamecocks at the top of his list. He has not yet visited the campus but he plans to do so in May. He has been to Georgia and Georgia State and will visit Tennessee this weekend. Harris said Tennessee is second to USC on his list. He is also going to visit Florida, Pitt and possibly Louisville. Harris has declared a final eight of USC, Tennessee, Florida, Pitt, Minnesota, Louisville, West Virginia and Miami.
What has kept the Gamecocks atop his list, Harris said, is the constant communications between the two and what he feels they have to offer. Harris said he does plan to make his commitment before his season. He will be an early graduate.
Gamecock targets LB Dax Hollifield of Shelby, N.C., and DB DJ Crossen of Greensboro, N.C., visited Virginia Tech last week.
DL Jeffery Johnson (6-2, 325) of Brookhaven, Mississippi, added USC to his offer list last week. He also has offers from Kentucky, LSU, Alabama, Florida, Louisville, Memphis and others. The Gamecock interest is all brand new to Johnson and he hasn't had enough time to investigate the program thoroughly to know where USC would fall in his big picture. Johnson has visited Ole Miss, LSU, Florida State and Louisiana-Lafayette. He will go to either Alabama or LSU for a spring game.
DB Jaycee Horn of Alpharetta, Georgia, trimmed his list to a final seven of USC, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Wake Forest, Ohio State, Alabama and Auburn.
USC target DB Steven Gilmore Jr. of South Pointe was offered by Louisville.
Spring Valley LB and USC target Channing Tindall was offered by Arkansas.
OL Carter Colquitt (6-6, 295) of Buford, Georgia, visited USC this month and was at Clemson's spring game. He has not been offered but is expecting coaches to scout him this spring. Colquitt said he will attend several camps this summer in hopes of landing offers.
USC offered WR Ja'Marr Chase of Metairie, Louisiana; WR Kamryn Babb of St. Louis and DE Jamarcus Chatman of Rome, Georgia. USC also offered 2019 OL/DL Chris Akporoghene of Seymour, Tennessee; 2019 DB Kaiir Elam of North Palm Beach, Florida; 2020 QB Max Johnson of Watkinsville, Georgia, and 2020 WR Porter Rooks of Charlotte.
CLEMSON AND USC
DE KJ Henry of Clemmons, N.C., has Clemson and USC in his final 10 and he visited both recently, the Tigers for a spring practice and the Gamecocks for their spring game. Both continue to push for Henry and figure to be in the fight for him until the end.
Muschamp is leading the charge in an effort to entice Henry to Columbia. Having already missed on Xavier Thomas, Muschamp could restore some major momentum to his recruiting by landing Henry.
Henry visited Charlotte last week and Snow said he will also visit Virginia Tech sometime soon. And he said he will take all five of his official visits before making his decision. The other schools on Henry's short list are Penn State, Georgia, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Alabama, Louisville, Virginia Tech and Charlotte.
RB Jashaun Corbin (6-1, 186) of Melbourne, Florida, visited Clemson and USC last week. Corbin has not yet been offered by Clemson but that does not diminish his interest in the Tigers. Corbin has not yet shortened his list to a top group from his nearly 30 offers. He has also visited Tennessee, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Florida and Florida State. He also has offers from Michigan, North Carolina, Iowa State, Notre Dame, LSU and others. Last season he rushed for 1022 yards and 11 touchdowns and 25 catches for 619 yards and seven touchdowns.
RB Mateo Durant of McCormick has taken some visits, including one to USC, and has more to come. Clemson no longer is interested but USC remains in touch. Durant also has visited Georgia and Georgia State and he has visits coming up to Wofford, Duke, Virginia Tech. Charlotte and West Virginia.
2019 WR Stephon Green (6-5 190) of Carvers Bay took in spring practices at USC and Clemson. He's been a basketball player but is now being recruited more for football. Coaches from both schools plan to scout him this spring and he plans to attend camps at each. Green also is hearing from East Carolina and Wingate.
2020 QB JW Hertzberg of Southside Christian already is drawing the interest of USC, Clemson and others. He has been to USC and Oklahoma State. Clemson invited Hertzberg to the spring game but he had already promised Oklahoma State a visit for the weekend. He plans to reschedule Clemson. He also has been to Miami and Florida International. Hertzberg currently is 6-foot-2 but projects to be 6-4 or 6-5.
WR Justyn Ross of Phenix City, Alabama, visited Clemson last week. Ross is heavily recruited receiver with other offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Louisville, Miami, Tennessee, Southern Cal and others.
LB Teradja Mitchell of Virginia Beach plans to get to Clemson for a visit soon.
Clemson targets WR Jordyn Adams of Cary, N.C.; RB Zamir White of Laurinburg, N.C., and OL Jackson Carman of Fairfield, Ohio, were at Ohio State's spring game Saturday. Carman said afterwards the Buckeyes and Tigers are now tied at the top of his list.
OL Hamilton Hall (6-6, 332) of Chamblee, Georgia, visited Clemson earlier this month. Hall also has visited Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, N.C. State and Georgia. He would only say he has ACC and SEC offers adding that his coaches advised him not to specify his offers publicly.
RB Zamir White of Laurinburg, N.C., was at Clemson's spring game Saturday with his mother, but from there he went to Athens for another visit with Georgia. That was his third visit with the Bulldogs this spring and he's expected back for the spring game.
2019 OL Riley Simonds (6-4, 290) of Buford, Georgia, visited Clemson recently. Simonds has an offer from Virginia Tech.
2020 ATH Joshua Shepphard of Stone Mountain, Georgia, visited Clemson last week.
OL Wyatt Campbell of Lugoff-Elgin has added offers from N.C. State and Duke. He also has offers from Louisville, Virginia, Wofford, Appalachian State, Middle Tennessee, Georgia State and Eastern Kentucky. N.C. State and Duke were his most recent offers and he has no future visits planned. He's not heard much recently from USC or Clemson.
Byrnes WR Demarcus Gregory was offered by Nebraska.
Ben Lippen LB Kyle Wright was offered by Georgia State and Wofford.
Conway DL Raiqwon O'Neal was offered by East Carolina and North Carolina Central.
2019 DB Akele Pauling of Ben Lippen visited Georgia Tech Saturday.
USC and Clemson are in the top 6 with 6-4 Sharone Wright Jr. of West Florence. The others on his list are Georgia, Wake Forest, Kansas State and Arkansas.
Clemson head coach Brad Brownell still has a scholarship available for the 2017 class and one player he's going to get a closer look at 6-8 Evan Cole of Cumming, Georgia. Cole signed with UNC-Wilmington in November, but after the coaches left for N.C. State he got his release earlier this month. He visited State during the weekend and will see Clemson this weekend. Georgia, Georgia Tech, Minnesota and Wofford also are on his new short list. Last season Cole averaged 23 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks per game.
Clemson also reportedly will get a visit from 6-9 grad transfer Jack Whitman. He averaged 10 points and five rebound per game last season for William and Mary.
6-9 Chevez Goodwin announced last week he is transferring out of the College of Charleston after one season. Goodwin would like to move to program in a Power Five conference and said USC is one of the programs he'd like to consider. Goodwin, who prepped at Hammond Academy in Columbia, played in all 35 games last season and averaged 2.3 points per game.
Charleston Southern signed 6-6 Travis McConico of Florida State JC and Wofford signed 6-2 Tray Howell of Hopkinsville, Kentucky.
6-2 Justin Jones of Cowley JC, Kansas, and Myrtle Beach signed with S.C. State.
6-2 NaLyssa Smith of Converse, Texas, took an official visit to USC earlier this month. She's ranked 4th nationally by ESPN.
2019 OF Tyler Kehoe (5-11, 165) of Prospect Park, Pennsylvania, committed to USC. He had been committed to Louisville. He also was recruited by Clemson, Arkansas, Penn State, Houston, Pitt and Virginia Tech.