Clemson, Carolina still have targets on board

Posted 12/26/17

One signing period down, one to go for the 2018 football recruiting campaign.

Last week saw a massive rush to sign by recruits across the country, but not all did, so there are still targets on the respective boards at both Clemson and South …

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Clemson, Carolina still have targets on board


One signing period down, one to go for the 2018 football recruiting campaign.

Last week saw a massive rush to sign by recruits across the country, but not all did, so there are still targets on the respective boards at both Clemson and South Carolina, with which they will attempt to fill the remaining spots in their classes on Feb. 7.

Clemson signed 15 last Wednesday, accounting for all of their commitments. USC signed 20, including '17 commitment defensive end Tyreek Johnson of Lakewood High School, who grayshirted due to an injury. USC also has to count running back Ty'Son Williams, the former Crestwood High standout who paid his on way this past season after transferring from North Carolina, in the '88 class, and it has four prior commitments who did not sign last week.

Here are some of the players Clemson and USC will be recruiting into February, keeping in mind new names could be added in the weeks to come:


Defensive back Brendan Radley-Hiles of IMG Academy in Florida will be the first one off the board when he announces on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Army All American Game. He also has Florida State, Oklahoma and UCLA on his short list.

DB Matthew Hill of Snellville, Ga., is committed to Auburn as a wide receiver, but will take official visits to Clemson and Auburn in January.

"Clemson is a great program," Hill said. "It's kind of like the high school I am out now as in the coaching staff. Everything about Clemson basically reminds me of the team I play for now. There's nothing too different about the systems."

Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables and safeties coach Mickey Conn visited Hill at his school earlier in the month. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney will make his in-home visit next month. The Tigers like Hill as a safety and he's fine with playing that position in college.

He said the Auburn commitment is still strong. "Auburn is home for me," he said. "There's still stuff to consider. I'll know when my mind is made up."

Auburn has not yet had its in-home with head coach Gus Malzahn. Hill said he's not sure if he'll wait all the way until Feb. 7 before announcing his final choice.

Offensive lineman William Barnes of Apopka, Fla., has had Florida, UNC, FSU, Ohio State, Alabama, Auburn and Georgia on his short list.

DB Leon O'Neal of Cypress Springs, Texas, is a former Texas A&M commitment. He's also looking at UGA and Oklahoma. He plans an official visit to Clemson in January.

WR Justyn Ross of Phenix City, Ala., also is considering Auburn and Alabama. He has taken his official visit to Clemson.

OL Nicholas Petit-Frere of Tampa, Fla., also has Clemson's interest. Michigan, UF, FSU, Miami, Louisiana State, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Alabama have also been involved.

DB Patrick Surtain of Plantation, Fla., has Clemson among his favorites with LSU, UF, FSU, Miami, Ohio State and Alabama. FSU and LSU are perceived as the favorites.


The four unsigned commitments are DB Marlon Character of Northwest Mississippi Junior College, DB Bryce Thompson of Dutch Fork High in Irmo, WR Ronnie Jamision of Highland Junior College in Kansas and OL Lamarius Benson of Covington, Ga.

OL Dylan Wonnum of Tucker, Ga., has USC, UGA and LSU as three of his top schools. He has officials to USC and Auburn planned for January.

Defensive end Dennis Briggs of Kissimmee, Fla., plans an official visit with USC in January. He's also the target of FSU, UF, Tennessee, Miami, UGA, Oregon and others.

DE Jamarcus Chatman of Rome, Ga., was once committed to LSU and then to Tennessee but signed with neither. USC, FSU, UNC, Georgia Tech and UF are some that will recruit him in January.

DE Dorian Gerald of Florence and College of the Canyons JC in California remains a light Tennessee commitment. The interest with USC seems to have waned and Louisville, Texas Tech, Mississippi and UF seem the strongest with him.

Defensive lineman John Mincey of Homerville, Ga., has been committed to Arkansas, but did not sign and is looking at other options, including USC with a potential visit in January. Kentucky, UGA and Louisville are others still involved, according to Richard Davenport of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

DL Rick Sandidge of Concord, N.C., is down to USC and UNC and will take official visits to each in January. Michigan and UF did not make the cut with him. Sandidge saw four USC games this season and has family ties to the program through his mother, who is a graduate. He tentatively is scheduled to visit UGA on Jan. 12, UNC on Jan. 19 and USC on Feb. 2, but those dates are subject to change.


Ty Evans, a '19 quarterback from Monument, Colo., who decommitted from Arkansas on Nov. 26, will take an unofficial visit to USC in January. He passed for 3,600 yards and 42 touchdowns this season and was the state player of the year. He also has an offer from North Carolina State.

Jacoby Pinckney, a '19 WR from Dorman High in Roebuck, was offered by UF.

Clemson '19 DB commitment Joseph Charleston was offered by UF.

USC '19 linebacker offer Tra Wilkins of Lithonia, Ga., was offered by UGA and Ohio State on Friday. He also has offers from Alabama and Louisville.


DJ Burns, a 6-foot-9-inch player at York Prep Academy in Rock Hill, is one of the top '19 prospects in the state and USC has moved into a strong position with him.

"USC has done a great job with recruiting, and they are one of my top choices so far," Burns said. "They call and text every week. They come to my games even though they are playing right now themselves. That's big. It's relationship building at its finest. They let me know they can see me fitting into their program. I've even talked to their academic adviser."

Burns has an impressive offer list that reads USC, GT, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, UGA, LSU and Virginia, and he said Ohio State also reached out to him. He also hears from Clemson through the mail.

He was at Tennessee for the game with UNC, and UVa has invited him in for a game after Christmas. He was at USC earlier in the season.

Burns said he plans to name a leader "very soon."