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RECRUITING CORNER

Sumter DE Boone picks up two more offers

BY PHIL KORNBLUT
Posted 9/11/19

Sumter High School defensive end Justus Boone, a 2021 football recruit, has picked up two more scholarship offers. The 6-foot-5-inch, 240-pound Boone received offers from both Virginia and Charlotte. That gave him three offers, with the first one …

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RECRUITING CORNER

Sumter DE Boone picks up two more offers

Posted

Sumter High School defensive end Justus Boone, a 2021 football recruit, has picked up two more scholarship offers. The 6-foot-5-inch, 240-pound Boone received offers from both Virginia and Charlotte. That gave him three offers, with the first one coming from South Carolina. He visited USC for the Charleston Southern game on Saturday.

JJ Jones, a '21 wide receiver from Myrtle Beach High, was scheduled to visit USC Saturday. He has an offer from West Virginia. He is sitting out this season after transferring from Socastee High in Myrtle Beach.

Prestin Hawkins, a '21 offensive lineman from Indian Land High in Fort Mill, visited Duke on Saturday. He's also drawing interest from USC and plans to visit there in a couple of weeks.

USC offered '21 DE Kenau Koht of Vero Beach, Fla., '21 athlete West Weeks of Watkinsville, Ga., and '21 linebacker Damon Owens of Brentwood, Tenn.

Desmond Tisdol, a '20 LB form Rochelle, Ga., has been hotly pursued by USC and several others over this recruiting season. At one point, it appeared he might make a summertime decision, and USC, as the first to offer, appeared to be in strong shape. Over time though, that lead has vanquished as Tisdol weighed other options.

He's now primarily looking at USC, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Kentucky and Georgia Southern.

"Desmond has his focus down to a few schools," Wilcox County High head coach Rob Stowe said. "South Carolina has always been one of the constants. Couple of schools he's always been interested in filled up quicker than he anticipated, so he was kind of left with not being able to commit to them maybe."

Tisdol visited GT on Saturday. He plans to be at USC for the Alabama game this Saturday. He is looking at visiting Kentucky for a game in October. The only official visit set at this point is to FSU in December for its awards banquet.

"I think Florida State is hoping he remains uncommitted up to that point and they seal the deal on that day," Stowe said. "I think he likes them. He's got an open mind. If he really just absolutely knew that was the school, he would have already committed to them, and he hasn't. While they may be one of the top schools he's looking at, I wouldn't call them necessarily the leader, but he definitely likes them a lot."

As for USC, Stowe said it's doing all it can at this time with Tisdol from a recruiting standpoint.

"Still remain in contact with him pretty constantly," he said. "They send him art work stuff every week. I'd say they're still recruiting him pretty hard."

USC also likes Stowe's junior LB Martez Thrower, and he will join Tisdol on his visit to USC.

Safety DJ Taylor of Tampa, Fla., is another of USC's few remaining targets for the '20 class. Taylor currently is committed to Arizona State but is far from shutting down his recruiting. USC, Louisville and Penn State are others actively pursuing him.

USC coaches and his good friend, USC freshman cornerback John Dixon, have been in his ear a lot.

"Still keeping in contact with South Carolina, with (head) Coach (Will) Muschamp; he texts me daily," Taylor said. "He's sending me some motivational quotes. And Coach T-Rob (defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson) texts me once a week. And John Dixon is making sure I'm always talking to the coaches, keeping the connection so I can set up a visit and get the game day feel of the school. They just want to let know that they really want me and can really use me for the safety spot."

Taylor wanted to take his official visit to USC his birthday weekend of Oct. 4, but USC is off that weekend, so they are talking about a date later in the season. At this point of his recruiting, his interest level remains high.

"The feeling is good," he said. "I've been there a handful of times, so I know how it is up there. I've never had one of the actual game day experiences, but I was one of the first recruits to make it up there to see the new facility. I'm keeping the connection with Coach T-Rob and I've been keeping the connection with Coach Muschamp after the offer."

Taylor took his official visit to Arizona State in May and committed soon after. He has scheduled an official visit to Louisville on Oct. 4. He has been unofficially to South Florida, Louisville and Cincinnati among others. Some of his other offers are Michigan State, Wake Forest, WVU, Rutgers, Kansas State, Iowa State, USF, Central, Duke, Illinois, Syracuse and Pittsburgh.

CLEMSON

Saturday could not have gone better for Clemson. On the field, Clemson handled its business with Texas A&M, winning 24-10. Off the field, it handled its recruiting business with a pair of commitments for the '21 class, giving it three pledges for that group.

Prior to the game, WR Dacari Collins (6-3, 180) of Powder Springs, Ga., announced his commitment while on campus for an unofficial visit. Collins is considered a national level recruit. His offers include USC, Georgia, Louisiana State, Alabama, Auburn, Florida, FSU, Tennessee and Virginia Tech.

He made numerous visits to Clemson through the process, including camp visits since the seventh grade, culminating with his Saturday pledge. He loved his feeling around the program.

"Just how they keep it real," Collins said. "They don't feed you with all this glamorous stuff. They give you the real thing about how it's going to be when you get here. It's a great place. All the coaches just show love."

Last season, Collins averaged over 21 yards per catch with four touchdowns.

After the game, '21 LB Jeremiah Trotter Jr. (6-0, 210) of Philadelphia also announced a Clemson commitment. Trotter is the son of former National Football League star LB Jeremiah Trotter, who spent most of his career with the Philadelphia Eagles and is in that team's Hall of Fame.

The two were down for the A&M game, and Trotter Jr. was so caught up with what he experienced after the game he decided to pull DC and LB coach Brent Venables aside and make his commitment, much to his own surprise.

"I didn't really expect to," Trotter Jr. said. "Everything factored into it, and I felt like this is the place for me. When I heard (head) Coach (Dabo) Swinney talk in the locker room, and seeing him talk to his guys and the way he celebrated with them after the win, and seeing how all the guys treated him, it was more like he was a real nice guy, real genuine. Just hearing him talk and the message that he was giving to the guys, I really liked. It was like a lot of the same stuff I hear at my high school. It just really felt good to hear that, hear what they were thinking."

The Trotters also witnessed a strong defensive effort keyed by an excellent game plan drawn up by Venables. That too played a role in the decision to commit on the spot.

"The defense is playing with very high tempo and energy and making a lot of stops. That was really good to see," Trotter Jr. said.

Trotter also holds offers from USC, Tennessee, GT, Miami, FSU, Wisconsin, Arizona State, Pitt, Nebraska, Rutgers, VT, Oklahoma State, Baylor and others. Jared Wilson, a '21 OL from Clemmons, N.C., '21 OL Amarius Mims of Cochran, Ga., '21 LB Deontae Lawson of Mobile, Ala., and '21 OL Marcus Tate of Jacksonville, Fla., planned to visit Clemson on Saturday.

Ryan Linthicum, a '21 center from Damascus, Md., a Clemson target, planned to visit VT on Saturday. He has Clemson, VT and Michigan as his top three. He plans to visit Clemson for the Charlotte game.

CLEMSON AND USC

Will Shipley (5-11 198), a '21 running back from Matthews, N.C., is one of the more exciting players in the Tar Heel state this season. Shipley can also play WR and in the secondary. As a result, he's drawn a large variety of offers, including Clemson, USC, Stanford, Notre Dame, UF, UGA, Southern California, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Oregon, WVU and PSU.

He made his first visit to Clemson for a game on Saturday. Clemson RB and co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott is recruiting Shipley. He's handed out two RB offers for the class. One went to Shipley and the other to Phil Mafah of Loganville, Ga., who committed in late August.

"Coach Elliott did mention from the beginning that he was only going to take one guy," Shipley said. "He said he's going to continue to recruit me."

USC has been in strong pursuit of Shipley as an RB, and he's had more exposure to USC than most of the other schools. He's made four visits to the campus for recruiting purposes, so the two sides have mutual affection.

"I actually love what's going on over there," he said. "Obviously they took a tough loss to UNC (North Carolina) the other day. Everybody is going to have a day here and there when they're not clicking on all cylinders and things don't go their way. I don't think any less of them because of that loss, and I'm excited to go up there for a game as well this year."

Shipley said no visit date has been determined, but he is thinking about the Alabama game for his next trip to Columbia. He plans many more visits to other schools this season, having not closed the door on anyone that's recruiting him. He has set a visit with ND for the Southern Cal game on Oct. 12. He's looking to make his decision before next season.

Colten Gauthier, a '21 quarterback from Dacula, Ga., is one of the QBs Clemson is evaluating for an offer in the next round of recruiting. He made a 6-hour visit with Clemson in late July, his first time on the campus. He returned on Saturday for the A&M game, knowing he is one of a small number of candidates for a '21 offer.

"As things stand, they are looking at three 2021 quarterbacks, and I am one of them," Gauthier said. "As far as an offer, they have mentioned that that is a possibility, but they are wanting to come watch me play this year. A Clemson offer would be a great offer, and it would be a privilege to receive one from them.

"As with all the offers I receive, I will sit down with my family and my head coach and offensive coordinator, Jeff Saturday and John Russ, and discuss all possibilities."

USC is one of Gauthier's offers at this point. USC offered in May after QB coach Dan Werner made a spring evaluation. USC remains a contender as well, and he plans to visit for the UK game.

"I talk to Coach Werner every week," Gauthier said. "The plans haven't changed, and they continue to be a high priority for me. Nothing has changed. I am their quarterback in 2021, and I still feel good about them."

He plans to vist UCF on Saturday. His offer list includes USC, Syracuse, Pitt, GT, Miami, UCF, USF, Troy, Colorado, Boston College, Louisville, UK, Duke, WVU and VT. Along with Clemson, he's also hearing from Texas Tech, Missouri, Purdue, UNC and Oklahoma State.

Jake Briningstool, a '21 tight end from Brentwood, Tenn., also visited Clemson on Saturday. He also has a USC offer among others.

Tony Grimes, a '21 defensive back from Virginia Beach, Va., was at Clemson on Saturday then visited Charlotte on Sunday. Last week, he issued a short list of Clemson, USC, Texas, A&M, Ohio State, PSU, UVa, VT, Alabama, Oklahoma, Maryland, LSU and UNC.

BASKETBALL

PJ Hall, a 6-9 player from Dorman High in Roebuck, took his second official visit to Clemson over the weekend. He also took one in June as a junior, and he was back for an unofficial visit for the GT game. Hall also took a junior official visit to UF, and he will take another one with UF on Sept. 20. His last three official visits will be to VT, Tennessee and GT.

USC 6-11 target Cliff Omoruyi of Roselle, N.J., was to take an unofficial visit to St. John's on Friday, and he has an official visit to Texas Christian later in the month, according to Adam Zagoria. He visited Pitt last month. He's also been unofficially to Connecticut.

USC 6-5 target Earl Timberlake of Dematha High in Washington has remaining officials set with Miami this weekend, Alabama at the end of September, and UNC and Seton Hall later in the fall, according to PantherLair. He took an official visit to Pitt last month. He also has taken official visits to USC and Providence.

JaVon Benson, a 6-8 player from Ridge View High in Columbia, has rescheduled his official visit to USC for this weekend, according to The State. He also is looking at an official visit to Indiana State later this month or in October. He took an official visit to College of Charleston at the end of August.