Conway DT Tonka Hemingway is the next major in-state prospect who will announce his college commitment. Hemingway has set 3:30 p.m. Thursday for his moment with USC, Duke and North Carolina the finalists.

He also had offers at one point from Clemson, Maryland, NC State, Georgia, Alabama, Ole Miss, Louisville and Vanderbilt. Hemingway, whose brother played at Michigan and in the NFL, took official visits to USC and North Carolina in June. He also visited UNC unofficially in June, and he make unofficial visits to USC and Duke in the spring. After his official visit to USC, Hemingway said the Gamecocks “are in a good place” with him.

USC target SAF Ja’Qurious Conley of Jacksonville, North Carolina, has set Thursday for his commitment announcement. He is down to the Gamecocks, North Carolina, Duke and Virginia Tech. He has an official visit to USC set for Sept. 14. He’s also made two unofficial visits to USC this year. But his most recent visit, prior to the dead period, was to North Carolina and the Tar Heels made a big impression on him during that visit.

RB Tank Bigsby of Hoganville, Georgia, Friday announced a commitment to Auburn over USC, Georgia and LSU. Bigsby made numerous visits to USC over the spring and summer, including an overnight stay with his mother. The Gamecocks recruited him from the angle of coming in and being their primary ball carrier and, based on numerous reports, looked like the frontrunner. Then, they landed a commitment from an equally highly regarded back in Marshawn Lloyd. Bigsby took an official visit to USC in June and continue saying the right things about playing in the backfield with Lloyd. But that commitment appears to have impacted his feelings toward USC. Georgia also has a major running back talent committed for the 2020 class in Kendall Milton, and Bigsby has not done all that much with the Bulldogs. Auburn did not have a 2020 running back commitment, and Bigsby’s most recent visits were to Auburn, including unofficial and official visits in early June. The Gamecocks would like to add a second back to the class and have offers out to Henry Parrish of Miami, who is committed to Pitt, and Marvin Scott of Port Orange, Florida. And there’s baseball commitment Brandon Fields of Orlando, who, if he makes it to school, also plans to play football.

WR EJ Williams of Phenix City, Alabama, has a commitment date of 2 p.m. Aug. 24 at his school. His final four are Clemson, Auburn, Alabama and LSU. Williams continues to hear from all the school and said there’s really nothing else he can learn from the phone calls. He thinks he’ll have his mind made up sometime this week. Williams said he is consulting with his mother regarding his decision. Of his finalists, he has been to Clemson the most including a June camp stop and a return visit later in the month for the All-In Cookout. He said he enjoyed that weekend but there wasn’t much more Clemson could do or say to advance its position with him. “I already had a pretty good bond with all the coaches and the players there,” he said. All four schools remain in the running, Williams said, and his decision will be based on a couple of factors.

CB Jahquez Robinson of Jacksonville, Florida, was scheduled for an official visit to USC in July but that trip was scratched. But Robinson and the Gamecocks continue to communicate and the plan now is for him to take his official visit the weekend of the Alabama game. And that will put Robinson in an interesting position. He’s been committed to the Crimson Tide since February. Robinson and Will Muschamp are in regular contact with Robinson in an attempt to turn him from Alabama. Along with USC and Alabama, Robinson said he’s looking at Texas, Oregon, Michigan and North Carolina for official visits. All face an uphill battle in pulling him away from Nick Saban. Robinson made an unofficial visit to USC in June. He also made unofficial visits to Alabama, Florida, LSU and Florida State.

WR Rico Powers of Hapeville, Georgia, camped at USC in June and worked closely with receivers coach and offensive coordinator Bryan McClendon. He has built a good relationship with McClendon and area recruiter Mike Peterson, and he considers the Gamecocks as one of the schools at the top of his list. Powers said his communication with McClendon and Peterson has continued on a regular basis since they first started to recruit him when he lived in Savannah. And he has found one very appealing factor about the Gamecock program. Powers had wanted to make his decision before the season but he’s been advised to wait until after he takes some official visits this fall, and that appears to be the course he will follow. In May, Powers named a top five of USC, Auburn, Georgia, Oregon and Nebraska. But he recently said USC, Oregon and NC State were the three standing out the most to him because of how hard they have been recruiting him. Last season Powers had 17 catches for 552 yards and 6 touchdowns. He played mostly in the slot as a junior, but at his new school he expects to play outside and see his numbers go up.

OL Byron Floyd (6-foot-1, 250 pounds) of Mentor, Ohio, doubles as a long-snapper. It’s that particular skill that has grabbed Clemson’s attention. Floyd comes highly recommended by Rubio Long-Snapping and earned their highest rating this spring. Floyd displayed his skills at camps this summer, including Clemson, and the Tigers liked him enough to offer him a preferred walk-on opportunity. That’s an offer he is considering. Floyd also visited Miami (Ohio) and said the RedHawks also interest him. He also has an offer from Toledo.


USC landed its first basketball commitment for the 2020 class last week when 6-foot-10, 235-pound power forward Patrick Iriel of AC Flora in Columbia announced a commitment to Frank Martin. Iriel is a player who saw his stock start to rise in his junior season and continue to grow in the spring and summer. He said the Gamecocks offered him in late July and that made his decision simple. Iriel will give the Gamecocks a big body inside, but he has the skills to play away from the basket as well. Last season Iriel averaged 12 points and 10 rebounds per game. He also had offers from Southern Cal, Wofford, Georgia Tech and Cincinnati.

Phil Kornblut covers college baseball, basketball and football recruiting around South Carolina.