Gamecocks hope to end ’18 recruiting in big fashion

Posted 2/6/18

It was a super recruiting weekend for University of South Carolina football head coach Will Muschamp, and he's hoping to carry that momentum over to this week with the final two prospects on his board.

Muschamp literally beefed up his offensive …

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Gamecocks hope to end ’18 recruiting in big fashion

Posted

It was a super recruiting weekend for University of South Carolina football head coach Will Muschamp, and he's hoping to carry that momentum over to this week with the final two prospects on his board.

Muschamp literally beefed up his offensive line for 2018 and '19 with commitments from a pair of heavily recruited prospects, Dylan Wonnum (6-feet-5-inches, 290 pounds) of Tucker, Ga., for the '18 class and Vincent Murphy (6-4, 260) of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for the '19 class.

Wonnum will join his brother, rising redshirt junior defensive end DJ Wonnum, with USC this season. He chose USC over Tennessee and Auburn and should see early playing time.

"He's very talented," said Tucker High School head coach Bryan Lamar of Dylan Wonnum. "He can be very physical and nasty. He's very athletic and loves to get out and run. And he comes off the ball well. He loves to win against the guy on the other side of the ball. He's got some of that dog in him."

Murphy visited USC for the junior day in January and returned on Saturday for another visit during which he made his commitment. He chose USC over offers from Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, Georgia Tech, Texas and others.

Muschamp also added wide receiver Jamario Holley (5-10, 165) of Northwestern High in Rock Hill to his '19 class. He had 75 catches for 1,178 yards and 18 touchdowns last season.

"He has the ability to catch the ball wherever it's thrown," said Northwestern head coach James Martin. "It doesn't matter. His hands are awesome. And he has the ability to get open in one-on-one situations. He's able to get away from defenders when needed. Once you get the ball in his hands, he has vision of the whole field and has that gear to get away."

USC's 23-member class -- which includes December signees and commitments -- heading into Wednesday's National Signing Day is ranked 17th by ESPN, 18th by Rivals and 19th in the 247Sports composite ranking.

Bryce Thompson and Ronnie Jamison were two early commitments who did not sign in December because of academics. Both have said they plan on signing with USC on Wednesday.

USC did lose a commitment from the class last week when OL LaMarius Benson of Covington, Ga., decommitted and committed to Central Florida the next day. "It's all a business, I ain't mad at nobody," Benson said. "It's a lot of stuff behind what made me decommit. A person would not just decommit for no reason, but I want to keep that on the down low. I didn't feel wanted by South Carolina."

Muschamp's remaining targets are defensive lineman John Mincey of Homerville, Ga., and DL Rick Sandidge of Concord, N.C. USC assistant coach Lance Thompson and defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson saw Mincey on Friday, and he talked on the phone with Muschamp. He is choosing between USC and Tennessee.

Clinch County High assistant coach Don Tison, who has worked closely with Mincey on recruiting, feels USC would be a good place for him.

"I feel like South Carolina is very much like south Georgia," Tison said. "I think Muschamp and his staff are going to recruit a lot of the same type of kids that are real similar to John: the small-town-south-Georgia-country-quiet-not-big-city kids. I just feel like John would thrive in that environment more than he would in other environments. Feel like he fits in there, but it's his decision and I'll support him wherever he goes."

Muschamp and his defensive assistants got the final in-person home visit with Sandidge on Saturday. He is down to USC and Georgia. UGA head coach Kirby Smart and assistants were in earlier in the week. Concord High head coach Glenn Padgett said his star is facing a tough decision.

"For Georgia, one, they played for the national championship, they do a good job and they have really built that program," Padgett said. At the same time, you look at South Carolina and they are appealing because they've built their program, and he feels like he's really a priority for then, he's a focal point for them. I think that's true too. He's a big focal point for what Coach Muschamp wants to do defensively. From a young man's point of view and a parental point of view, that's very appealing."

Sandidge will announce on Wednesday at 1:45 p.m.

CLEMSON

Clemson goes into signing week with a chance to make some noise of its own. The Tigers are holding on WR Justyn Ross of Phenix City, Ala., OL Richard Gouraige of Tampa, Fla., defensive back Trevon Flowers of Tucker Ga., DB Mario Goodrich of Lees Summit, Mo., DB Leon O'Neal of Cypress Springs, Texas and DB Patrick Surtain of Plantation, Fla.

Ross is down to Clemson, Auburn and Alabama. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney made his in-home visit last week, hoping to convince the highly regarded Ross he can be the next great WR in the Tigers' offense. However, Alabama and Auburn have been making their own similar arguments.

"We do have two great programs in-state but everybody is different," said Central High head coach Jamey Dubose. "(Former Florida State quarterback and current Tampa Bay QB) Jameis Winston was one of the last to leave the state. It comes down to a family decision and where they feel comfortable."

Ross will announce at 1:15 p.m. on Wednesday on ESPN2.

Gouraige has been a UF commitment, but he took an official visit to Auburn over the weekend. He visited Clemson, Mississippi and UF last month. He will choose from the Tigers, UF and Auburn on Wednesday at 2:45 p.m.

"He's looking for the right fit with the coaching staff. I know he loved Coach Swinney and the coaching staff right from the beginning. I know he's definitely impressed, right program at the right time," said Cambridge Christian head coach Bob Dare.

Flowers made an official visit to Clemson on Thursday and Friday and one to Tennessee over the weekend. He's also considering UK, with which he signed a baseball letter of intent in November but was later released from that. Flowers is a middle infielder for baseball and a safety for football. He only played one season of football so schools like Clemson were late to get on him for that sport.

"They want me bad," Flowers said. "They need help at the safety spots and I'm pretty much a priority. They want me bad."

He talked with Clemson safeties coach Mickey Conn on Saturday and Sunday. He had very positive things to say about the Tennessee visit and feels like new head coach Jeremy Pruitt will build a strong program. Flowers plans to play both sports in college.

Goodrich is a former Nebraska commitment but is choosing from Clemson, UGA and Louisiana State. He took his official visit to Clemson the last weekend in January and Swinney was in last Monday for his in-home.

"He'll fit in good with everything they want to do," said Limbo Parks, one of Goodrich's assistant coaches. "He's confident he can play in it. He liked everything about Coach (Clemson DC Brent) Venables and (assistant) Coach (Mike) Reed."

UGA got the last in-person visit on Thursday. He plans to announce his choice on Wednesday between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.

O'Neal's plan was to announce sometime on Monday with Texas A&M, UGA and Oklahoma the others on his list. He's a former A&M commitment.

Surtain is considered a long shot for the Tigers. He took an official visit to Miami over the weekend. He also visited Clemson, Ohio State, LSU and Alabama. He will announce on Wednesday at 10 a.m. on ESPNU.

Clemson has tried to get back in the picture with linebacker Dax Hollifield of Shelby, N.C. The Tigers were his first offer but later moved on from him, and he has been focused on Virginia Tech, Stanford and North Carolina.

Venables was by his school last week to express his rekindled interest. According to TigerIllustrated, Hollifield visited Clemson last week, not to meet with coaches but with some players he knows. He made an unofficial visit to VT on Saturday.

Clemson also offered a grayshirt opportunity to Conway High LB Jaylen Moody. He took an official visit to Alabama over the weekend and has also visited Arkansas, Ole Miss and Georgia State.

Clemson's 15-member class, all of which signed in December and enrolled in January, is ranked sixth by ESPN, eightth in the 247Sports composite ranking and 14th by Rivals.

2019 PROSPECTS

CLEMSON

Clemson is in the top six with RB Devyn Ford of Stafford, Va. The others on his list are Ohio State, VT, Penn State, Oklahoma and UNC.

LB Bryton Constantin of Baton Rouge, La., plans to visit Clemson on March 3.

USC

Placekicker Ryan Fitzgerald of Moultrie, Ga., was contacted by USC special teams coach Coleman Hutzler. Fitzgerald said he will visit USC for a spring practice. He's going to Mississippi State for a junior day and is also looking at visits to Tennessee and Purdue. He's also hearing from Georgia Southern.

WR Jalen Kelsey (6-1, 170) of Gainesville, Fla., was a recent visitor to USC. Valdosta State was the first to offer him but now bigger schools are

starting to show interest. Kelsey said he's also drawing interest from

UNC, UF, Oregon State, Boston College, Cincinnati, South

Florida, UCF and UK. His early favorites are USC,

UF, South Florida and UK.

USC is in the top 10 with DE

Derick Hunter of Fort Myers, Fla. His others are UF, Miami,

Mississippi State, Oregon, Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee, Maryland and PSU.

CLEMSON AND USC

DB Andrew Booth of Lawrenceville, Ga., was on hand for Clemson's junior day a couple of weekends ago. Booth was at Alabama on Saturday and also has visited UGA and Auburn. He will visit USC on March 3.

Booth said he doesn't have clear favorites right now, but added that "Clemson is up there. Everyone is recruiting me hard."

Some of his other offers are Alabama, Auburn, Duke, UF, UGA, Louisville, Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Mississippi State, and Tennessee. Booth said he does not plan to graduate early and is not sure about signing early.

USC and Clemson DE target Curtis Fann of Twin Cities, Ga., was offered by ND

WEEKEND OFFERS

CLEMSON

OL Andrew Kristofic (6-5, 255), a '19 recruit from Gibsonia, Pa.,; and '19 OL Zeke Correll of Cincinnati.

USC

RB Keilan Robinson, a '19 recruit from Washington; '19 OL Melvin McBride (6-4, 315) of Memphis, Tenn.,; '19 DE Lloyd Summerall (6-6, 218) of Auburndale, Fla.,; '19 LB Jamie Pettway of Woodstock, Ga.,; '19 TE Jude Wolfe of Laguna Hills, Calif.,; '19 DB Chris Steele of Bellflower, Calif.,; '19 DL Jaquaze Sorrells of Largo, Fla.,; '19 LB Jammal Abrams of Birmingham, Ala.,; '19 OL Will Putnam (6-4, 280) of Tampa; '20 WR Michael Wyman of Greensboro, N.C.,; '20 OL Chris Morris of Memphis; '20 LB Bryson Eason of Memphis; '20 LB Quandarrius Robinson of Birmingham; '20 OL Marcus Henderson of Memphis; '21 QB Tevin Carter of Memphis; and '21 QB Aaron McLaughlin of Buford, Ga.

OTHERS

DB Von Ramsey of Greenwood High and DE Palmer Story of Daniel High in Seneca, both committed to The Citadel. OL Kavesz Sherard of T.L. Hanna High in Anderson, committed to Colorado State and Rock Hill High OL Devin Cannon committed to Catawba College.

QB Savion Watson of Chesterfield High, DE Chance Miller of Northwestern, Conway DL Malik Morant and Newberry High RB running back Amir Abrams each committed to Newberry College.

Newberry High QB Tyriq Goodman committed to Coastal Carolina, and RB/DB Treshawn Chamberlain of Emerald High in Greenwood committed to Rice.

Spartanburg High LB Connor Shugart committed to North Greenville. He had considered a preferred walk-on offer from USC.

DE Dorian Gerald of Florence and the College of the Canyon Junior College in California, ook an official visit to UF over the weekend. He also visited Arkansas last week. He's also considering Texas Tech, Louisville and A&M.

USC offered a walk on-opportunity to punter George Georgopoulos of J.L. Mann High in Greenville, who recently visited. He's ranked 10th nationally by Chris Sailer. He's also talking with LSU, Arizona and Nebraska.