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Massive JUCO OL Turnetine commits to Gamecocks

BY PHIL KORNBLUT
Posted 6/6/19

Longtime University of South Carolina football lean Jazston Turnetine made an official commitment to USC last weekend.

The 6-foot-8-inch, 340-pound offensive lineman of Hutchinson Junior College in Kansas and Ellenwood, Ga., made his commitment …

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Massive JUCO OL Turnetine commits to Gamecocks

Posted

Longtime University of South Carolina football lean Jazston Turnetine made an official commitment to USC last weekend.

The 6-foot-8-inch, 340-pound offensive lineman of Hutchinson Junior College in Kansas and Ellenwood, Ga., made his commitment to head coach Will Muschamp and OL coach Eric Wolford on Sunday at the conclusion of his official visit.

"Coming from Nowhere, Kansas, to a big time SEC (Southeastern) school is nice," Turnetine said. "They were my first offer, and they show me they actually really want me. They showed me that they really cared, really cared about my family. When I got here, they showed me they really promote a family atmosphere.

"I really love South Carolina. They showed that they really love me and my family. I can tell my position coach is really excited about coaching me."

Turnetine said he met with Wolford and Muschamp on Sunday morning and during their exit conversation, he told them of his decision to join them for the 2020 campaign.

He picked the Gamecocks over offers from Missouri, West Virginia, Houston, Texas Christian, Utah, Arizona and others.

"It feels like a relief," he said. "I don't have to worry about the rest of recruiting and all the stress. They need veterans, and they want me to come in as a veteran from JUCO and want me to be a leader. They like me at my weight, they like everything me about me. They didn't care about nothing."

Turnetine did not sign out of high school due to his academics, but he has worked to improve those numbers so he can graduate in December. He said he is on schedule to do so and should be able to enroll in January of '20.

He said he plans to major in an area of arts at USC that will lead to a career in design, architecture, cartoons and the like. He was impressed by what USC had to offer in that area.

"That really stood out to me," Turnetine said.

He is the fourth OL commitment for the '20 class and certainly one of the largest OL commitments ever for USC. He gives USC eight commitments in the class.

USC hosted several other targets for official visits over the weekend, and while Turnetine was the only one to publicly commit, there are others on the cusp.

Cornerback Dominick Hill (6-2, 185) of Orlando, Fla., is one of the fastest players in Florida, but on Sunday he decided to slow things down regarding a potential commitment to USC while on his official visit.

That's not to say a commitment won't come later this month, it just didn't come on Sunday.

"I just didn't do it today," Hill said. "I'm holding off to a date later on. I've got other visits coming up in June. They are still at the top, and they strengthened their position with me."

Hill has official visits set with Mizzou on June 15 and Mississippi the following weekend. He has set Aug. 1 for a commitment announcement, but said one could come earlier than that. As for the visit, Hill said it could not have gone better for him.

"It was great, it was amazing," Hill said. "Just meeting the team and meeting the class of 2020. I also enjoyed going to Coach Muschamp's house and being around Muschamp a little more."

USC has yet to take a commitment in the secondary for the '20 class.

Defensive end Myles Murphy (6-6, 280) of Greensboro, N.C., was favoring USC going into his official visit. He did not intend to commit on the visit, and he did not, as he plans to continue with some official visits this month. That's not to say the visit wasn't beneficial to USC, however, in their pursuit of one of the nation's top DE prospects.

"I've got two more official visits, maybe three, and then I will make my decision," Murphy said. "They are still the leader. They are stronger (as a leader). I can't see anybody overtaking."

USC will have to withstand some strong competition over the next weekends as Murphy plans to take an official visit to Florida next weekend and Alabama the weekend after that. He's also considering taking an official visit to North Carolina on June 20 before rendering the final verdict.

USC apparently did all it could do over the weekend to convince Murphy there's no need to look elsewhere.

"It was great, I loved it," Murphy said. "How the players interacted, we were all close. The coaches treat us like it was home. I loved it here. It was good."

Murphy said he really enjoyed the Saturday visit to Muschamp's house on Lake Murray and his opportunity to visit with the coach before departing for home.

"He was telling me how much I would achieve here, how it would be like home, just two hours away from home and playing for the greatest fan base they have in Columbia," Murphy said. "He's a great person, he's like one of us. And that house was amazing."

Murphy does not have a set date for an announcement but plans to make his decision after he completes the remaining official visits.

One of the top uncommitted OLs in the country, Josh Braun (6-7, 320) of Live Oak, Fla., made his official visit to USC over the weekend. That was his second official visit. He was at UF two weekends ago. He will visit Georgia in two weeks, and he then will choose from one of those three.

USC did its best to make its move with Braun, showing off its new football digs but also impressing him with the best side of its academic world, which is the top ranked International business school.

Braun said he could play either tackle or guard on the next level.

Longtime USC commitment OL Issiah Walker (6-4, 302) of Miami made his official visit over the weekend with his parents. Walker has been committed to USC since May of '18. He has taken unofficial visits to several other places, and he plans to continue with his visits. However, he said his commitment to USC a nine on a scale of 10, and he doesn't foresee any change in his future plans.

Walker also has a strong bond with the coaching staff, in particular Wolford. Walker said the only other official visit he has in mind right now is to Louisiana State and no date has been set.

The other non-committed official visitor to USC over the weekend was running back Tank Bigsby of Hoganville, Ga. USC has had him on campus more than any other school and would love to add him to its other RB commitment, Marshawn Lloyd, to give it a dynamic package in the future.

Auburn also has been strong with Bigsby. He's also had LSU, UGA, Alabama and Tennessee on his short list.

Lloyd gave Muschamp one of his biggest recruiting victories at USC when he publicly announced his commitment last week.

Lloyd is a native of Delaware, but he attends Dematha Catholic in Hyattsville, Md. Lloyd visited USC in February and in April, and RB coach Thomas Brown kept USC in a strong position with him. However, the choice of USC and the timing of the announcement were not expected by the recruiting world because Lloyd has had little to say about his recruiting.

USC beat out the likes of UGA, Maryland, Penn State and Ohio State for Lloyd. He also had offers from Clemson, UF, Kentucky, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Texas A&M and Southern California.

Lloyd's head coach, Bill McGregor, said speed makes Lloyd special.

"He's fast. People say he's 4.4 (seconds in the 40-yard dash). He may be. I don't know. I know he can go," McGregor said. "He's the type of back who, honestly, anytime he touches it (the football) can score. That's pretty good for a 215-pound young man to be able to run that way.

"He trains very diligently, very careful in terms of what he puts into his body. His thighs are enormous. Football means a whole lot to him, and he knows he has to take care of himself to get to where he wants to be. He's just a good boy."

Lloyd visited USC twice, most recently for the spring game. He developed a strong relationship with Brown, but it was thought he would wait a little longer in the process to further evaluate other pursuing programs like Alabama, UGA, Maryland and Ohio State.

Muschamp does not direct his commitments to shut down their recruiting, leaving it open for them to continue with other visits and contacts from recruiters. McGregor, however, said with Lloyd, he expects the recruiting to be over.

"As far as I'm concerned he's shut down," McGregor said. "I don't believe in a soft commitment or anything along those lines. I'm a little bit old school, and I think you honor your word or don't give your word. I know this, because of the type of back he is and the kind of young man he is, everybody in the world is going to still stay on him. But as far as I'm concerned, people come into the school and ask to see Marshawn and things like that, the answer is no, he's committed to the University of South Carolina. It's a done deal and we're moving forward."

Safety Ja'Qurious Conley of Jacksonville, N.C., has been a top USC target this recruiting season. He has visited twice already this year, in January and March, and he has set his official visit with USC for the Alabama weekend. Conley said he will get to VT in June, and he's also set to visit Tennessee June 22. He also plans to get back to UNC for an official visit this summer.

Conley has had a short list of USC, Duke, VT, Tennessee and UNC. Recently he said Georgia Tech, UGA and Ohio State have been coming on stronger.

Conley is as serious about his academics as he is his football. He plans to be a physical therapist one day, and the academic part of the recruiting process also will be critical to his decision. Conley said he hopes to make his decision going into his senior season.

Tight end Eric Shaw of Notasulga, Ala., has increased his offer list in recent weeks to include Tennessee, VT, Southern Mississippi, Ole Miss, UF and LSU. He's been sitting on offers from USC, UK, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Auburn, Texas A&M, Virginia, Nebraska and others. Shaw visited USC in April for the spring game and recruiter Bobby Bentley has maintained steady contact with him. Shaw said he's not ready to elaborate on other teams he considers among his favorites because he needs to take more visits. Some of the trips he plans to make this summer will be to UF, LSU, A&M, Tennessee and Ole Miss. He also plans a return trip to USC.

Shaw can play linebacker as well as TE. He said USC has been recruiting him strictly for TE.

According to his head coach, LB Desmond Tisdol of Rochelle, Ga., made a good showing at UGA last week but was told by head coach Kirby Smart he's taking just one LB. The coach said Tisdol ran a 4.7 and stumbled out of the block. Tisdol visited Auburn on Saturday and will visit USC this Saturday for an unofficial visit.

USC was the first to offer and has been a strong player for him ever since. The competition is stiff though with Auburn, UGA, GT, Tennessee and Alabama also in the hunt.

Clemson RB Tavien Feaster, who has his name in the NCAA transfer portal, was to visit VT last week, according to VTScoop, Virginia Tech's 247Sports site.

The report did not quote Feaster, but Feaster did say last month that VT was one of the schools to contact him. He's also heard from USC, Alabama, East Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas.

Feaster is in summer school at Clemson and has a heavy class load to complete to be able to graduate, a source with knowledge of his situation said. Feaster said this month he fully intends to graduate this summer, but if he's not able to complete the academic work, he would have the option of withdrawing from the portal and remaining at Clemson, with head coach Dabo Swinney's approval. Or, he could still transfer as a non-graduate but only to a lower division program if he wants to play in '19.

CLEMSON

Safety Tyler Venables (5-11, 185) of Daniel High School in Central, the son of Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables and brother of Tiger LB Jake Venables, made his pledge to Swinney on Saturday while helping out with a youth camp on campus.

Venables hadn't planned to commit so soon, but when the moment struck him on Saturday night, he moved on it.

"I saw Coach Swinney and he pulled me aside, and he was like, 'When are you going to commit?' And I was like, 'You know what, I will go ahead and do it, and I committed,'" Venables said. "It wasn't planned or anything. I just told him last night, and I tweeted it out this morning. I had been thinking really hard about it for about a week. I told Coach Swinney, and then I drove and he (Coach Venables) was at the house. He was like, 'Dude, when are you gonna do this?' He didn't know anything about it at all. I told him, 'I did it like 15 minutes ago.' And he was like oh really and was very happy, so it was good."

The youngest Venables knows the reaction by some in the community will be that he's a gift offer because of his dad. But he has proven his skills on the football field with the Lions as a 2-way player, and he looks forward to showing people what he can do on the bigger stage.

He's the 17th commitment overall.

TE Sage Ennis of Tallahassee, Fla., visited Florida State again last week and planned to be back for another visit there this week.

He also planned to attend a Clemson camp this week, hoping to land an offer. He has been to Clemson unofficially.

"It was just a great time," Ennis said of the Clemson visit. Ennis also has a USC offer and visited there in January. He's also been to Rice, Memphis and Central Florida. Some of his other offers are WVU, Miami, Maryland, North Carolina State, Louisville and South Florida.

BASKETBALL

Myles Tate, a 6-0 point guard from Dorman High in Roebuck, has seen his reputation in the recruiting world grow, and he added a recent offer from Murray State to a list that includes USC, Clemson, VT, College of Charleston, Wofford, Appalachian State and others. And Butler is now showing interest.

He took an unofficial visit to VT over the weekend. New VT head coach Mike Young, the former Wofford head coach, was in for a visit last month.

Tate plans to visit USC on June 17. USC head coach Frank Martin was scheduled for an in-home visit this month but had to postpone it. He and his assistants continue to do their work with Tate.

"I talked to Coach Frank Martin a few days ago, and he was just telling me that he knows what I can do, and he knows how much he wants me," Tate said. "I love South Carolina. They are one of my favorites. I love the way they do things in recruiting. I love how Frank Martin coaches his guys and I love how disciplined they are."

Tate said he's still open to all the schools that have offered him but along with USC, the other schools standing out the most at this point would be Charleston, VT, Murray and App State.

Along with his visits to USC and VT in June, Tate said he'll also visit Butler. He has no timetable for a decision, though he'd like to make one before his season if he can.

One of USC's primary basketball targets for '20, 6-7 Matt Cross of Beverly, Mass., has three official visits scheduled. He was at Indiana last weekend and will visit USC and Miami the next two weekends.

USC has been persistent in its recruiting efforts with Cross. Since making an offer, Frank Martin and assistant coach Chuck Martin have had their in-home visit and have followed Cross along the AAU circuit. And they remain in regular contact via the phone and social media.

The official visit Cross will make to USC won't be his first visit to Columbia. He also was in for the UGA game the end of last season. However, the official nature of the visit will give him more time to look mroe deeply into the program beyond what he's heard from the Martins.

Cross said he might take more official visits and is looking at UF, Cincinnati and Iowa for those trips. For now, he feels good about the three official visits he has set and said USC, Indiana and Miami stand as his top three at this point, with no leader.

Dorman forward PJ Hall took an official visit to UF over the weekend, his first official visit. He also plans to see USC, Clemson, VT and Tennessee.

Jon Rothstein of CBSSports reported Oregon, Houston, and Clemson are potential landing spots for Alabama graduate transfer Tevin Mack.

Seventh Woods, the former sensation at Hammond in Columbia and the former UNC guard, told The State last week he's considering USC, Gonzaga and Michigan for his next stop. USC currently doesn't have a scholarship to give, so Woods would have to walk on. He is not a grad transfer so he will have to sit out next season under NCAA transfer rules.