COLLEGE FOOTBALL

O-lineman Moore commits to Carolina

By PHIL KORNBLUT
Special to The Sumter Item
Posted 12/18/18

There is plenty of drama ahead for South Carolina and Clemson football fans this week with the arrival of the 3-day early signing period commencing on Wednesday.

It started on Monday for USC with the announcement by offensive lineman Jakai Moore …

This item is available in full to subscribers

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

O-lineman Moore commits to Carolina

Posted

There is plenty of drama ahead for South Carolina and Clemson football fans this week with the arrival of the 3-day early signing period commencing on Wednesday.

It started on Monday for USC with the announcement by offensive lineman Jakai Moore of Nokesville, Va., that he would be signing with USC over Penn State. USC head coach Will Muschamp got the final in-person visit on Friday. PSU head coach James Franklin made his visit on Thursday.

Some of his other offers were Clemson, Maryland, Louisville, Rutgers, Florida, Ohio State, Southern California and Pittsburgh.

"We don't want you, we need you and I can come in and start early," Moore said was the message he got from Muschamp and offensive line coach Eric Wolford during the recruiting process. "When I talked to them, the first thing they told me is they are going to take care of me and my mom. They didn't leave my mom out of anything. My mom is coming down there with me."

Clemson is still waiting to learn its fate with OL Will Putnam of Tampa, Fla. He put off announcing on Friday to take the weekend to further ponder his decision between Clemson, Florida State and Auburn. All three schools had coaches in to see him last week.

Former Sumter High School standout and USC DL commitment DL Jahkeem Green (6-feet-4-inches, 305 pounds) of Highland Junior College in Kansas, does not graduate until May at the earliest and is not sure if he'll sign this month. He said he still has some classes to complete, but he's confident he'll meet the academic requirements to be able to transfer.

He said he's in touch with USC's Thompson, and they spoke last week. He's also talked with Muschamp, and Green said USC is sticking with him at this point. Green said Tennessee, UGA, Alabama, Florida and Mississippi State also have offered, but he remains committed to USC. He visited unofficially for the Chattanooga game.

Green had 67 tackles with seven tackle for loss and 2 1/2 quarterback sacks this past season. He has three years to play two.

USC is also going to the wire with prospects who have remained committed to other schools but have been willing to meet with their coaches and keep the door open. Those include UF linebacker commitment Tyron Hopper of Roswell, Ga., Auburn wide receiver commitment Jashawn Sheffield of St. Simon's Island, Ga., Indiana OL commitment Matthew Bedford of Memphis, Tenn., and Mississippi State OL commitment Dariuis Washington of Pensacola, Fla.

Clemson, which missed on OL target Clay Webb when he committed to Georgia, has been showing interest in Washington, according to his head coach. Rhett Summerford said Washington will not sign early, and he does have interest in other schools including Clemson and USC. FSU also has talked to him. Mississippi State and Miami have been in to see him.

Summerford said he has been contacted by Clemson OL coach Robbie Caldwell, who has been in to see Washington and has followed up with calls. Washington has taken official visits to USC, Mississippi State and Miami and was to take an unofficial visit to FSU this weekend.

USC apparently was not able to turn CB Jaydon Hill of Madison, Ala., from his commitment to UF despite a strong effort to do so. He remains publicly committed to UF.

USC and Clemson each will have to wait on a major target who will sign this week, but not announce until the U.S. Army All American Game on Jan. 5. For USC that's cornerback Chris Steele of Bellflower, Calif., and for Clemson that's LB Quavaris Crouch. Steele has USC, UF, Oregon, Oklahoma and Southern California as his final five. Crouch is down to Clemson, Michigan and Tennessee. He apparently visited Tennessee over the weekend, according to a video he posted on his Instagram account.

Clemson made an 11th-hour offer to OL Jimmy Fritzsche (6-feet-7-inches, 245 pounds) of Greenville High School last week. Fritzsche had been focused on Syracuse, Connecticut and Nebraska, but now Clemson has given him more to think about.

"It means a lot growing up around the Clemson area and knowing the ins and outs of Clemson and the tradition they share for their football program," Fritzsche said. "It's truly amazing." Fritzsche took an official visit to Nebraska over the weekend.

Clemson also removed the grayshirt label from their offer to Hanahan High OL Cooper Dawson last week, so it is ready to take him now if he wants to go there.

"This makes it more difficult," Dawson said. "It's always been the school of my dreams."

Dawson also was offered last week by Virginia. He did not take a visit this past weekend, and he plans to announce at his school on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. He's down to Clemson, Syracuse, Central Florida, UCLA and UVa.

On the defensive line, Clemson is hoping for good news on Wednesday from Tyler Davis of Apopka, Fla. He will sign either with Clemson or FSU.

Clemson offered running back DJ Williams of Sebring, Fla., last week, while RB coach Tony Elliott was in for a visit, according to Williams' head coach, Lamar Scott. Williams has been committed to Appalachian State, but he won't be going there. His list has expanded to include Auburn, Miami, Alabama, UGA, USC and Michigan. He took an official visit to UGA over the weekend and also took officials to App State, Auburn, Miami and Alabama.

Another Clemson RB target, Jerrion Ealy of Jackson, Miss., and a Mississippi commitment, took an official visit to Mississippi State two weekends back. Clemson had been trying to get him in for a visit.

USC RB target Eric Gray of Memphis took an official visit to Tennessee over the weekend. He took an official visit with USC earlier this month, and Muschamp was in for a follow-up visit last week. Those were his only two official visits since he just recently decommitted from Michigan. He plans to sign on Thursday.

USC should be in good shape this week with CB Johnny Dixon of Tampa. He has been strongly favoring USC, though he took a recent official visit to Miami. He plans to sign on Wednesday at 8 a.m.