Henry still a priority for USC

Posted 11/19/17

Defensive end KJ Henry of Clemmons, N.C., continued his official visits tour with his stop at the University of South Carolina last weekend for the Florida football game.

He previously visited Georgia, Virginia Tech and Clemson. He will still …

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Henry still a priority for USC


Defensive end KJ Henry of Clemmons, N.C., continued his official visits tour with his stop at the University of South Carolina last weekend for the Florida football game.

He previously visited Georgia, Virginia Tech and Clemson. He will still visit Alabama on a date to be determined. All along the way Henry has spoken highly of each program as he's visited and that also was the case with USC.

"It was another great weekend," Henry said. "My family had a good time. Putting a win on top of it makes the weekend even better. Obviously they are playing very well."

Henry has been a recruiting priority of USC head coach Will Muschamp, who perhaps has worked him harder than anyone else he's recruiting for the 2018 class. Henry said he got more of that one-on-one recruiting effort from Muschamp over the weekend. "Coach Muschamp, the best relationship I have with a head coach is with him. We just built more upon the opportunities that's being projected to me as far as what South Carolina has to offer. The opportunity to compete, play, to start and to help the program. They have great athletes, but at the same time they are a very young team so I would be competing with guys a year or two ahead of me." Henry said he also got more insight into the specific plan Muschamp has in mind for using him.

"I've known that they would be using me in the "Buck" position, which is their versatile guy, standing up in the 3-4, and in the 4-3 they'd have my hand in the dirt, which is where I see myself being." Henry has set Dec. 20 for his announcement, and if he had to make the decision today, he said he couldn't; the clarity is just not there yet.

"These trips make it even harder with all these great schools in mind," Henry said. "And now I've got the No. 1 team in the country (Alabama) who I have to visit as well coming up soon."

USC was a late entry into the recruiting sweepstakes for DE Jarrett Jackson of West Palm Beach, Fla., so USC used the official visit with Jackson over the weekend to try to make up some ground on Louisville, the school to which Jackson has been committed since August. Jackson said he remains a Cardinal commitment and is continuing with the process, but USC gave him something more to consider.

"They were telling me their need for me and how I could come in and make a big impact right away," Jackson said. "They told me how much they want me and want to develop me for the next level. I think it's a great program and I think they are doing great things. I wouldn't be shocked to see them in the top four (College Football Playoff) in these next few years."

Jackson has official visits set with Pittsburgh for Dec. 1 and Louisville on Dec. 8. He said he will also take official visits to Florida State and Texas. After his visits he will declare his final decision. Jackson will be an early enrollee.

Also taking an official visit with USC was defensive back Saivion Smith of Mississippi Gulf Coastal Junior College. The former Louisiana State cornerback also has visited Alabama officially and has had Mississippi and Mississippi State on his short list.

Among the players making unofficial visits to USC were offensive lineman Dylan Wonnum of Atlanta; '19 defensive lineman Howard Lee of Baldwin, Fla.; '19 DB Quinton Newsome of Suwanee, Ga.; '20 linebacker Antoine Sampah of Woodbridge, Va.; '20 DB Miles Brooks and '20 DB Fred Davis of Jacksonville, Fla., both of whom received offers; '20 running back Max McClendon, son of former Florida RB Willie McClendon' and '21 quarterback Ridge Jacobs, whose grandfather played at USC, also of Jacksonville.

USC DE target Dorian Gerald of College of the Canyons JC in California, has decommitted from Tennessee. He was scheduled for his USC official visit this weekend. He also has Tennessee, Louisville and Texas A&M set for visits.

LB Channing Tindall of Spring Valley High School in Columbia remains one of the top uncommitted players in the country. He said the three main schools he's looking at now are USC, UGA and UF, and he won't make his decision until the end of the year.

He did not visit anywhere this past weekend. He took an unofficial visit to UGA for the USC game.

"I grew up a Georgia fan, not a South Carolina fan, and the coaching staff (at Georgia) is what really impressed me," Tindall said. "Everything that they said they are going to do, even before the season, they have done, and they show proof, which is really impressive to me."

Asked if Georgia is his favorite, Tindall replied, "Just going to have to wait and see what happens." He added that a recent website story saying he basically had his mind made up was not correct.

"No, it was three main schools, that was it. And through those three main schools I was thinking maybe this or maybe that, but not a specific school."

Tindall said he will return to USC for one of USC's final home games, but he's not sure which one. He has not set dates for his official visits, and he is planning to make his decision before the end of the year. A big part of his decision will not be related to football.

"I really just want to go somewhere that is best suited for me, not just the school, but the people there," Tindall said. "See what type of people I interact with, seeing what they really have to offer in dealing with like majors and whatnot, those are the really big factors to me. I am thinking football, too, but there also things I'm thinking outside of football."

OL Jerome Carvin of Cordova, Tenn., went to UCLA last weekend and also has taken officials to Tennessee and Mississippi State. He was scheduled to visit Memphis weekend. That leaves one official visit for Carvin, and USC OL coach Eric Wolford is doing his best to convince him to spend that weekend in Columbia.

"It's really between them, Indiana and Texas A&M," Carvin said. "I think they are trying to set it up for Dec. 15. I think a lot of the offensive line commits are coming in that weekend. I hear from them a lot, Coach Wolf. He's saying they are low on numbers on the offensive line."

He said he does not have a favorite and wants to make his decision the second or third weekend in December.

DE Jamarcus Chatman of Rome, Ga., is the latest in a growing line of Tennessee commitments to decide to look around at options. USC is one of the schools on his interest list. He has been talking to DL coach Lance Thompson, and they are working on a date for a visit. Chatman said he's also talking with Georgia Tech, North Carolina, UF, Syracuse and Baylor this time around.

DB Divaad Wilson of Miami said he's not heard much from USC since his official visit in late October. Wilson has been committed to UF and is holding to that right now despite the upheaval in the program. Wilson will take an official visit to Alabama this weekend and to UF the following weekend.

USC offered '19 LB Ralen Goforth of Bellflower, Calif., and '20 RB Zachary Evans of Houston.

DL Rick Sandidge of Concord, N.C., also stayed home on Saturday. He has seen USC play four times this season, twice in Columbia, and has also been to Virginia Tech and UGA for games. It's possible he'll see USC for a fifth time for the Clemson game.

Sandidge was in Athens for the USC-UGA game, his first game at Sanford Stadium, and he said it was a good visit and, "It looks like they are really interested in me."

As for his official visits, Sandidge had some schools and dates in mind but he said he's going to have to reschedule all of them. USC has always been in good position for an official visit from Sandidge and he said that is one that will not change.

"They've always been good," Sandidge said. "They call or text almost every day really. Coach Muschamp, (assistant) Coach (Bobby) Bentley, Coach Thompson. Once again had a good time (on the visit for Vanderbilt game), really enjoyed my time with my teammates." Sandidge said he has no time frame at this time for making his decision.

USC offered '19 OL Caedan Wallace of Princeton, N.J. He also has offers from VT, Virginia, Rutgers, Penn State, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Minnesota, Maryland and FSU.


Clemson did not have any official visits for the FSU game, but had several set for this weekend. Among the top prospects in for unofficial visits were DB Quindarious Monday of Atlanta; '19 DE Curtis Fann Jr. of Twin Cities, Ga.; '19 LB Drake Thomas of Wake Forest, N.C.; UF '19 DL commit Jaquaze Sorrells of Largo, Fla.; and '20 RB Kimani Vidal of Atlanta.

OL Jordan McFadden of Dorman High in Roebuck did not make it to Clemson last weekend. He was scheduled to take his official visit there this weekend.

DB Tyreke Johnson of Jacksonville reaffirmed his plans for an official visit to Clemson this weekend. He has been to Ohio State and UCLA. He announces on Dec. 3.

OL Jamaree Salyer of Atlanta is down to Clemson and UGA. He will take his official to Clemson this weekend and that will be key to winning him over, according to his head coach, Chris Slade.

"I think Jamaree is so smart; he listens to things most kids his age don't listen or pay attention to," Slade said. "Most kids are like, well they've got great facilities, or they've got great uniforms or they are sponsored by Nike. Those words never come out of his mouth.

"It's always academics, socially, life after football, the culture, how much the coach loves the kids. That's why he got turned off by a couple of quote-unquote football schools because he didn't feel like they were focused on everything outside, everything was just about football. Don't get me wrong, he's a dude, he loves it, but there's a lot more there than just playing offensive line. I do know what he's looking for ain't what more kids at 17 are looking for."

Salyer has set Dec. 15 for his announcement.

Clemson is in the final five with DB Kelvin Joseph of Baton Rouge, La., a former LSU commitment. The others on his short list are Alabama, FSU, UGA and LSU. UGA replaced UF on his list. He was slated for an official visit to Clemson this weekend.

Clemson OL target Cade Mays made an official visit to Ohio State over the weekend. He was visit Clemson this weekend and will also take officials to Tennessee, UGA and Notre Dame. Mays decommitted from Tennessee last week.

"I'm completely open, everything is open," Mays said. "I don't have a favorite. I have schools I'm visiting and I'll sign with my favorite at the end."

He was at UGA for the USC game. Mays plans to sign on Dec. 20 and enroll in January.

Luke Deal, a '19 tight end from Emerald High in Greenwood, was offered by North Carolina State and Clemson might not be too far off from offering as well. He has visited Clemson and been there for camps.