Clemson, Carolina still chasing targets in last recruiting week

Posted 2/2/18

We've hit the final full week of the 2018 football recruiting campaign. Yes, it seemed like it ended on Dec. 20 with the early signing day, but it didn't. The official National Signing Day is Wednesday, so coaches will come off the road at the end …

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Clemson, Carolina still chasing targets in last recruiting week


We've hit the final full week of the 2018 football recruiting campaign. Yes, it seemed like it ended on Dec. 20 with the early signing day, but it didn't. The official National Signing Day is Wednesday, so coaches will come off the road at the end of this week.

South Carolina and Clemson are still chasing a few targets to fill out their respective classes and the Gamecocks hosted four on official visits over the weekend.

Defensive lineman John Mincey of Homerville, Ga., wrapped up his visit on Saturday morning. He arrived Thursday night so that he could get his visit in and then return home for a basketball game on Saturday. Mincey is now finished with his visits and is ready to get down to a decision between USC and Tennessee, the two schools he officially visited.

"They just told me and showed me how I would fit in the defense and how much I was needed down there at South Carolina and how much I could help the team," MIncey said. "The visit put them up there a good little bit."

Offensive lineman Dylan Wonnum of Atlanta is down to USC, Tennessee and Auburn and could have a decision this coming week. He said there is no leader among the three, and he's not sure what will separate them.

"I don't know, that's something I really have to sit down and think about," Wonnum said. "It's muddled. It's all over the place." Shrine Bowl DL Rick Sandidge of Concord, N.C., had the chance to sit down again with USC head coach Will Muschamp and the message was the same he's heard repeatedly from Muschamp. "He said I'm a priority multiple times," Sandidge said. "They kept on saying that. He said I'm going to get playing time as a freshman."

Sandidge said the head coaches would be in his home this week, and he will make his decision this week and notify the school. However, he won't announce his decision until signing day. He said USC, Georgia and North Carolina are still in it, and he did not indicate any separation among the three at this point.

Former Oregon wide receiver commitment Warren Thompson of Seffner, Fla., was at USC over the weekend, but he announced he would be signing with Florida State. He follows head coach Willie Taggart to FSU. Taggart had been at Oregon.

USC defensive end target Dennis Briggs visited FSU over the weekend and he committed.

USC OL commitment Lamarius Benson of Covington, Ga., took official visit to Central Florida. His status with USC is tenuous because he has not met the weight requirement asked of him by OL coach Eric Wolford.

"He said he still wants me but to get in shape and stuff," Benson said. I weigh 315 pounds and they want me under that. He said he likes my power, I just have to use it the right way."

Benson said Muschamp told him he still wants him and his commitment strength is "up there" though it's not 100 percent at this point.

USC commitment Bryce Thompson, who took an official visit to Marshall last weekend, said he's shutting down his recruiting and plans to sign with USC on Wednesday.

USC landed a pair of '19 commitments last week, giving it five in that class. OL Mark Fox (6-feet-4-inches, 290 pounds) of Miami said he has been heavily recruited by Wolford and was impressed with what he's seen and heard from him and Muschamp.

"Their coaches are real, real good and they make sure their players are alright and stay straight," Fox said. "The program is definitely getting better and better. The coaches are always honest and will always make sure you are straight as a student athlete."

Fox has never visited USC, but said he may join a couple of teammates on a visit on March 31. If he can't make it then he'll definitely be in for a camp in June.

Fox also has offers from Florida, Auburn, Mississippi, Louisville, UGA, Illinois, Purdue, UCF and others. He said he is not ready to shut down his recruiting and will continuing talking with other schools.

DE Devontae Davis (6-5, 250) of Georgia Military College and Silver Bluff High School in Aiken, also committed to USC.

"South Carolina was coming in to see Jabari Ellis to get him on board in this class and they noticed Devontae," said GMC head coach Bert Williams. "He's long and has great measurables, and he plays hard, has a great motor. He's got a lot of upside potential as he continues to develop as a defensive lineman."

Williams said Davis has a "solid chance to be a mid-year guy. He doesn't have any room for error, but he does pretty good in school. He had some academic things he had to do, but I think he's a great young man, great worker and has his head on straight. I expect big things from him."

Last season as a freshman, Davis had 15 tackles with five quarterback sacks in nine games. He will play this season for GMC and have three years to play two with USC.

OL Jackson Lampley of Nashville, Tenn., identified USC, Tennessee, Auburn, Wisconsin and Penn State as schools sticking out to him more than any others to 247Sports. He has visited Tennessee and plans to visit USC and Auburn soon.

Jamario Holley, a '19 WR from Northwestern High in Rock Hill, visited USC in January, and USC appears to be in good shape with him.

"Feeling very good about them," Holley said. "I went down there and they showed love. I was fitting in, it felt like a second home."

DB Tancey Richardson of South Aiken High played last season at Fort Scott JC in Kansas. He committed to Kansas State in December, but still has another year to spend in JC. Richardson said he's had some recent contact from USC DC Travaris Robinson. He said he's also hearing from Tennessee, UF and Toledo.

Some underclassmen who visited USC last Saturday included OL Keiondre Jones, OL Wanya Morris, linebacker Kalen Deloach, DE Jacolbe Cowan, tight end Garmon Randolph and TE Tyler Fromm.


Clemson hosted a pair of defensive back targets in Mario Goodrich of Lees Summit, Mo., and Patrick Surtain of Plantation, Fla. A third DB prospect, Taiyon Palmer of Lawrenceville, Ga., had been scheduled for Clemson but went instead to Tennessee.

Goodrich is a former Nebraska commitment. He has taken visits to Louisiana State and UGA and is scheduled to visit Arkansas this weekend. Oregon has come in late on him. he Ducks' DB coach came from Nebraska where Goodrich was previously committed. Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables and assistant coach Mike Reed were out to see him last week.

Surtain has visited LSU and Alabama and is scheduled to visit Miami this weekend.

Scheduled official visits over the weekend for other Clemson targets included DB Leon O'Neal to UGA, OL Richard Gouraige to UF and WR Justyn Ross to Auburn.

O'Neal also made visits to Clemson, Texas A&M and Oklahoma.

Gouraige continues to mull over his decision with Clemson, UF, Auburn and Ole Miss in contention. He's actually been committed to UF, but that was to the previous staff, so he is seriously looking at his other options. Gouraige also has taken official visits to Clemson and Ole Miss.

Ross also took visits to Clemson and Alabama.


Conway High LB Jaylen Moody visited Arkansas over the weekend. He has set a visit to Alabama for this weekend. He has been to Georgia State and Ole Miss.