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Clemson adds two offensive linemen to '21 recruiting class

Phil Kornblut
Posted 9/25/19

Clemson's 2021 football recruiting class added its second offensive lineman of the week on Tuesday when Marcus Tate (6-feet-4-inches, 326 pounds) of Jacksonville, Fla., announced a commitment to Clemson.

His addition comes roughly 24 hours after …

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Clemson adds two offensive linemen to '21 recruiting class

Posted

Clemson's 2021 football recruiting class added its second offensive lineman of the week on Tuesday when Marcus Tate (6-feet-4-inches, 326 pounds) of Jacksonville, Fla., announced a commitment to Clemson.

His addition comes roughly 24 hours after center Ryan Linthicum of Damascus, Md., announced a commitment to Clemson. He gives Clemson five commitments for the '21 class.

Tate is a highly recruited offensive tackle whose offer list includes Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Michigan, Louisiana State, Ohio State, Tennessee, Oregon and Texas A&M. Tate camped with Clemson last summer and was back for an unofficial visit for the A&M game.

Over the summer Tate also visited LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Georgia Tech, UF and Miami

Linthicum (6-4, 275) of Damascus, Md., is one of the top players in the country at that position. Linthicum is a teammate of Clemson '20 defensive end commitment Bryan Bresee. He had narrowed his recruiting to Clemson, Virginia Tech and Michigan. He was back at Clemson on Saturday for the Charlotte game, so it didn't take him long to finalize a decision after seeing the school and program up close again.

"I wanted to visit and make sure they are a good fit for me," Linthicum said. "We talked to (assistant) Coach (Todd) Bates, talked to (assistant) Coach (Robbie) Caldwell and then talked to (head) Coach (Dabo) Swinney a little bit before the game. That was awesome. Coach Swinney is just a great guy, and it was good to talk to them."

Linthicum also talked with a number of other recruits, some already committed to Clemson, and that went a long way in influencing his decision.

"I loved talking to all of the commits there. It was just crazy. They are all awesome guys," Linthicum said." I was hanging out with Mitchell (Mayes), and he is such a good guy, really down to earth. We can talk about other things than just football. I talked to him and Sergio (Allen) a little bit, and it was awesome. It's also awesome that I get to share this with my high school teammate, a guy I will play college football with."

Linthicum also liked the fact Clemson used 111 players in Saturday's game. The early playing opportunity when he arrives is important to him.

"That means a lot. It just says so much about all of them, honestly, and how they love their players," Linthicum said. "And if you work your tail off, you will get some PT (playing time)."

Clemson will lose starting center Sean Pollard after this season. Junior Cade Stewart is the backup and there are two freshmen centers on the roster in Mason Trotter and Hunter Rayburn.

Kaseem Vauls a '21 defensive lineman from Irmo High School, '21 OL Prestin Hawkins of Cornelius, N.C., and '21 linebacker Isaiah Henderson of Salem, Va., all planned to visit Clemson on Saturday. Also planning to be at Clemson on Saturday were '22 wide receiver Jaleel Skinner and '23 quarterback Raheim Jeter of Greer High, and '21 DE Kelvin Gilliam of Richmond, Va.

USC

LB Desmond Tisdol of Rochelle, Ga., has been a frequent visitor to South Carolina, and he returned for an unofficial visit to see USC play Alabama. That was his fourth visit of the year and his second exposure to the game atmosphere inside Williams-Brice Stadium. He also was in for the spring game. "Pretty much the same as last time, but the crowd was loud; it was a big crowd," Tisdol said. "A lot of young players playing at an early time. The coaches just let them go out and play and do what they do. I was talking to (assistant) Coach (Coleman) Hutzler on the field, and he was saying I would play inside linebacker and running back at the goal line.

"He was asking if I could see myself playing there, and I told him I did," Tisdol said. "It (a decision) could happen anytime. If I'm feeling right, I could go ahead and do it, but not yet. I wouldn't say there's a favorite right now."

Tisdol said USC, GT and Auburn are at the top of his list right now, and he also mentioned his continued interest in FSU and Nebraska. He said he might return to FSU for the North Carolina State game, and he said there's a chance he'll be back at USC for another game this season.

Kamarro Edmonds, a '21 cornerback from Havelock, N.C., has been a regular visitor to USC since his sophomore year. He was back for another visit for the Alabama game. USC is one of his favorites at this early stage of his recruiting. This visit gave him a chance to talk more with the coaches and also get a look at the young secondary in action.

"I feel like it was a great experience, a great atmosphere at the game, the crowd was going wild," Edmonds said. "I got to chill with the coaches a little bit before the game and see a couple of the players. I definitely watched their corners because Alabama has a lot of great receivers, and I just watched the corners to see the technique they had and how they reacted to the ball.

"The visit moved them up even more. Pretty much the family feel, the way they treat us when we come up there."

Edmonds planned to visit East Carolina this past Saturday and has penciled in North Carolina for a visit this Saturday against Clemson. He named USC, UNC and NCSU as the schools showing the strongest interest at this point. Clemson has invited him for games and sent him mail. VT and Tennessee also have offered.

USC offered '21 DE Noah Collins of Loganville, Ga., '21 OL Tristan Leigh (6-5, 265) of Fairfax, Va., '21 WR Marcus Burke (6-3, 180) of Jacksonville and '21 DE Keeshawn Silver (6-5, 258) of Rocky Mount, N.C., last week.

Silver was in for the Alabama game. Silver and USC have known each other for a few years now. He first showed up in a camp as a freshman and has visited three or four times. USC didn't move on him right away, preferring to watch and wait on him to develop.

"Had a good time down there, but they didn't offer me," Silver said. "I was just waiting and learning more and more about the game. I'm still learning. It's a great atmosphere down there. They've got good coaches, plus they've got the No. 1 business program. That's a big thing." USC head coach Will Muschamp and assistant coaches Kyle Krantz and John Scott are recruiting Silver, and USC owns a spot among his favorites at this point.

"They are still a high out of my offers right now," he said. "They are top fiveish along with Tennessee, North Carolina, Duke and N.C. State." Silver's only visit this season was the one to USC last weekend, but he's planning to be at UNC for the Clemson game.

Former USC commitment and current '21 running back target Lovasea Carroll of IMG Academy was offered by Penn State.

BASKETBALL

Ja'Von Benson, a 6-8 player from Ridge View High in Columbia, has become the center of an instate recruiting battle between USC and College of Charleston.

Benson has taken official visits to each and has not scheduled any others. He's not completely closed the door on others, but for now, USC and Charleston sit atop his list, and he's trying to figure out the best situation for his college future. When he will make that decision is up in the air.

"I want to weigh my options and discuss it with my family a little more," Benson said. "I don't know. I like both schools. I don't know what I'm going to do right now. Tough situation for me. It's two great schools on me. I just hopefully will wake up one day and say this is where I want to go."

Benson took his official visit to USC the weekend of the Alabama football game. He toured the campus and basketball facilities and watched USC do some work in the weight room. He also met with head coach Frank Martin and other coaches, academic people and the strength coach.

"I was able to see the bigger picture there," Benson said. "It's not all about basketball, it's about getting a degree and being successful in the world. I love the players. I'm cool with Trae Hannibal. He kind of told me the ins and outs of going to that type of school. I think my official was one of the best weekends I've ever had. What else can you say."

Benson said his conversation with Martin was not so much a recruiting pitch as it was encouragement to continue doing what he's been doing since transferring to Ridge View from Westwood High.

"He told me to keep working, Benson said. "He said, 'I'm not going to promise you any anything, you've got to come in here and work.' "

USC assistant coach Bruce Shingler was in to check on Benson last week. Charleston also came by last week.

"They didn't stay too long," Benson said. "The fact they drove from Charleston to here to see me, that means a lot."

Benson said Martin and Charleston head coach Earl Grant have yet to have their in-home visits with him, and they have not yet been scheduled.

Clemson had 6-7 Noah Collier of Norristown, Pa., in for an official visit over the weekend. He also has taken an official visit to Pittsburgh and is scheduled to visit California this weekend.

PJ Hall, a 6-9 player from Dorman High in Roebuck, took his official visit to UF over the weekend. He has taken a senior official visit to Clemson and still has trips to VT, Tennessee and GT to take before making his decision.

Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes made his in-home visit last week. He's the third head coach to be in to see Hall and his family, following Mike White of UF and Mike Young of VT.

"With these home visits we're trying to build a really good relationship, just make it like family and really good friends," Hall said. "We were all just joking around, having dinner and messing around with each other."

Hall said VT and UF were by his school last week. Clemson head coach Brad Brownell is expected for his in-home visit this week.

One-time Clemson target 6-8 Keon Ambrose-Hylton of Willoughby, Ohio, announced a final five of Alabama, Dayton, Southern California, NCSU and Arkansas.

Tyler Rice, a '21 point guard from Ridge View, has offers from PSU, South Carolina Upstate and Elon at this point, but the interest from USC continues to grow, and others are picking up their interest as well.

USC assistant Shingler was in last week to see Rice, a couple of days after Rice was in for an unofficial visit.

"It was pretty good actually," Rice said of his day with USC. "I actually got to experience the whole Gamecock Nation. Obviously, Alabama brought them out. It was actually great to see the amount of support they have behind their program."

This particular visit was built around the football game. Rice didn't get over to the basketball offices or facilities.That will come soon when he makes a return visit. Rice left USC without an offer, but the fact it continues to recruit him and want him back right away for a basketball-related visit might be signs of something to come.

"Hopefully,' he said. "I can't tell right now because it's not clear to me yet. I do expect one this year, but if it doesn't come, that's alright. I'm just going to keep working and hopefully I can get it whenever."

Rice said Upstate, Charleston and Buffalo also were in last week to see him.

Bryce McGowens, a 6-5 '21 player from Wren High in Piedmont, made it to USC for an unofficial visit for the Alabama game.

"One of the nicest campuses I have been to," McGowens said. "The atmosphere of the game was great, and I'm looking forward to going there again."

McGowens has offers from USC, Clemson, Providence, LSU, Nebraska, PSU, Wake Forest, UF, Iowa State, VT, Xavier, Pitt and others. This past Saturday he was at Mississippi. He also has visited UGA, WF and Clemson in the last few months.

John Butler Jr., a 7-0 recruit from Christ Church High in Greenville, is emerging as a national prospect in the '21 class.

Clemson was one of his early offers and was in to see him this month. USC has not yet offered, but that process was set in motion when Butler and his father, who also is the head coach at Christ Church and the former head coach at Eau Claire High in Columbia, came in earlier this month to meet with Martin.

"He just came down and talked to him a little bit," Coach Butler said. "He wanted to get to know one another a little bit, just an interest kind of deal."

Coach Butler said they toured the campus and facilities and got the feeling from Martin that there is interest there, and he will continue to develop the relationship.

Butler visited Clemson in August for the GT football game. He's also been to FSU unofficially, and he was at GT on Saturday.

"Just kind of letting John soak it in," Coach Butler said. "We're just trying to help him through this process. I think he really enjoyed his Florida State visit.

"The academics are attractive at Georgia Tech, and, of course, Clemson being close by, but it's wide open. We're just trying to kind him and help him make a good decision."

The Butlers are also looking at Missouri for a future visit. Butler's offers also include UF, Saint Louis, VT, Tennessee, Baylor and DePaul. Arkansas also is showing interest.