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USC adds two more commitments for '21 class

PHIL KORNBLUT
Sports Contributor
Posted 7/4/20

The University of South Carolina football program added two more commitments for its 2021 recruiting class, adding wide receiver Derwin Burgess and athlete Simeon Price.

Burgess (5-feet-11-inches, 177 pounds) of Riverdale, Ga., announced on …

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USC adds two more commitments for '21 class

Posted

The University of South Carolina football program added two more commitments for its 2021 recruiting class, adding wide receiver Derwin Burgess and athlete Simeon Price.

Burgess (5-feet-11-inches, 177 pounds) of Riverdale, Ga., announced on Thursday, becoming USC's seventh commitment since June 1 and gives it 13 commitments in the class. USC has 16 scholarships counted for in the class due to three carryovers from last year.

Burgess gives USC four commitments who could be WRs in the program.

"Their consistency in recruiting me," Burgess said as a primary reason he chose USC. "It was clear cut but I didn't make it seem like that. I've known for a little while."

Burgess said the message he got from head coach Will Muschamp, former WR coach Bryan McClendon and current WR coach Joe Cox was clear.

"They told me how I was needed, not just wanted, and how I'm going to have an impact when I come in," Burgess said. "I'll be the best receiver and athlete there. They want to use me in jet sweeps, attacking the seams, working the slot."

Burgess narrowed his decision to USC, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Tennessee, Florida State and Coastal Carolina.

Burgess visited USC with his mother in January and had planned a return trip for March 28, but the coronavirus put an end to those plans. However, he saw enough on that first visit.

Burgess is rated a 3-star prospect and the No. 98 recruit in Georgia for '21 by the 247Sports Composite.

Price (6-0, 204) is from Pensacola, Fla., and announced on Wednesday. He picked USC from a favorites list that included Oklahoma, Mississippi State, GT, Virginia Tech, Arkansas, Nebraska, Mississippi, Michigan State and Tennessee.

USC offered Price in February and worked him hard with assistant coaches Bobby Bentley, Cox and defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson joining Muschamp in pushing their message across.

"I've been impressed by the players who have been there and the coaching staff," Price said this spring. "I've talked to Coach Robinson, Coach Muschamp and Coach Bentley, and they are great guys, and that's what I'm looking for."

Price can play WR and in the secondary, so having that kind of position flexibility was something he said Muschamp found valuable in him.

"I pride myself in being a smart player, being able to read body languages and really just make plays all over the field," Price said. "We talked about using me as maybe like (former USC WR) Deebo Samuel when he was at South Carolina. He also mentioned if I happen to be on the defensive side of the ball I'd be a Nickel guy, kind of like (former USC cornerback) Stephon Gilmore.

"I pride myself on whatever position you're in, you have to react to that and read the other guys. If you are at corner, you've got to read the body language of the receiver, running back the body language of the whole defense, and so on and so forth. You have to stay locked in at all times. I'm pretty results-driven.

Price will bring a lot of speed to the USC program. He qualified for the National Junior Olympics in track before he got to high school, and he has applied that speed on the football field on offense, defense and in the return game. His dad, Michell Price, played four seasons in the National Football League.

USC WR target Keon Coleman of Opelousas, La., has set today for his announcement date. He is down to USC, Kansas and Oklahoma. He's also a major basketball prospect and will play both sports in college. He has talked with USC men's basketball coach Frank Martin during the recruiting process.

USC defensive end target George Wilson of Virginia Beach, Va., will announce his commitment on July 12. He has USC, North Carolina, Penn State and Arizona State as his final four.

USC made the final six with 4-star defensive tackle Tyleik Williams (6-4, 317) of Manassas, Va. Joining USC in the group are UNC, Alabama, Louisiana State, VT and Ohio State. Those six were left over from an offer list of over 30.

WR Malachi Bennett of Fairfield, Ala., is in daily contact with USC's Cox and currently favors USC.

"I'm leaning toward them in my top five," Bennett said. "It's a good school and I like them. We've got to get down there for a visit and see what it's like down there."

Bennett also cited Ole Miss, Georgia, Louisville and Alabama-Birmingham high up on the list. He also had Texas, Texas A&M and Kentucky in his top eight.

USC offensive line coach Eric Wolford has taken two commitments for his position this month. If he decides to take a third, one prospect he likes is offensive tackle Anthony Belton (6-6, 320), a native of Tallahassee, Fla., who is going into his second season at Georgia Military College.

Wolford offered Belton about two weeks ago, but the two have been in conversation for several months. Belton had a feeling the offer would come and was happy to get it.

"I've been talking to Coach Wolf since December, January, and I've gotten the chance to build that relationship with him," Belton said. "When he offered me, I was really excited. I trusted him throughout the whole process, and he reminded me to stay patient and to keep working and do what I'm doing."

Belton said USC and Texas Christian are standing out the most to him at this point, and he wants to visit both before making a decision. He also has offers from West Virginia, East Carolina, Florida Atlantic and several lower division programs.

Marion High School DT TJ Sanders (6-4, 285) isn't looking to make a decision until the fall, but he is starting to make some progress toward that moment.

He said four schools are grabbing his attention the most at this point -- USC, North Carolina State, Vanderbilt and WVU. Those are the schools he hears from the most, and those are the four with which he is planning to set official visits.

After a flurry of offers in April, things have tapered off for Sanders. NCSU was his most recent offer. He also has offers from Wake Forest, Syracuse, Tennessee, Duke, Virginia, VT and ECU. Sanders has a 3-star rating.

USC offered '22 linebacker Melvin Jordan (6-0, 205) of Clearwater, Fla. He's rated a 4-star prospect. Some of his other offers are FSU, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois and Arizona State. He was committed to FSU until the coaching change there and has called Arizona State his current favorite.

USC offered 4-star '22 DE Justice Finkley (6-2, 255) of Trussville, Ala. Some of his other offers are PSU, Alabama, Indiana, UK, FSU, Tennessee, Auburn, Maryland, Louisville, Michigan and Arkansas. He also has interest from Clemson and visited there in October.

CLEMSON

Clemson DT target Payton Page plans to make his commitment in July. He did not give a specific date. He has Clemson, Tennessee and UNC as his three finalists.

Clemson OL target Jager Burton of Lexington, Ky., has now set August 24 for his commitment date. He has a top five of Clemson, UK, Ohio State, Alabama and Oregon.

Kenyatta Jackson, a '22 DE from Hollywood, Fla., has Clemson among his top 12. The others on the list are Ohio State, FSU, Auburn, Miami, Oklahoma, Nebraska, GT, UNC, UF, PSU and Oregon.

BASKETBALL

Clemson is on the board with its first commitment for the '21 class in 6-3 combination guard Joshua Beadle of Columbia's Cardinal Newman High School. Beadle chose Clemson over WF, Furman, College of Charleston and Virginia Commonwealth.

"It was a very hard decision because all the schools were good schools, but the degree weighed over the other schools," Beadle said. "That made a big difference."

Beadle plays both backcourt positions and averaged 16 points, five rebounds and three assists per game last season. He said Brownell has spelled out clearly for him what he wants him to do in his offense. "They want me to play the point guard position," the left-handed Beadle said. "They say I have a high IQ (intelligence quotient) and I have a good feel for the game, and that's what they want and that's what they need."

Cesare Edwards, a 6-9 player from Hartsville High and is one of the state's top prospects in the '21 class, announced a commitment to Xavier. His decision came as a bit of a surprise as Edwards had said he wasn't close on a decision and didn't have leaders.

His other offers included USC, Clemson, Charleston, Presbyterian, VCU, Ole Miss, VT, UF, A&M, Nebraska, Providence, Missouri and Wichita State.

Walhalla native and 6-11 Clemson target Gabe Wiznitzer, who attends Hargrave Prep in Virginia, committed to Louisville. Some of his other offers were LSU, Ohio State, Nebraska, PSU, TCU, Iowa, WF, VT, Cincinnati and Kansas State.

The USC women's program landed its fourth highly rated recruit for the '21 class in 5-8 PG Raven Johnson of Atlanta. ESPN HoopGurlz rates her as a 5-star recruit, the No. 2 PG in the country and the No. 13 prospect overall. Last season, she averaged 15 points, five rebounds and four assists. She averaged 27 points as a sophomore.