Speedy RB Antario Brown of Savannah, Georgia, who picked up his first offer from USC last summer and committed in August, announced a decommitment from the Gamecocks’ 2021 class on Twitter Sunday afternoon. Brown cited “unforeseen circumstances” for his decision.

Brown’s defection leaves the Gamecocks with 16 commitments in a class expected to number 21. It also leaves the Gamecocks with just one running back commitment in the class in Caleb McDowell of Leesburg, Georgia. Brown picked the Gamecocks in August over Virginia Tech.

He also had offers from West Virginia, NC State and Savannah State. USC is looking to add more speed to the offense and Brown has registered a forty time in the 4.3 category. Brown played in seven games last season and rushed for 1008 yards. He also had 500 yards receiving. His best game came against Benedictine when he rushed for 280 yards on 22 carries, had 4 catches for 119 yards and scored 4 touchdowns.

One-time USC target DE Demarcus Smith of Birmingham, Alabama, decommitted from Ole Miss. He named a top six of USC, Nebraska, Kansas, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Mississippi State as part of his decommitment announcement. Tracy Rocker, who first recruited Smith while he was at Tennessee, has been the Gamecocks lead recruiter, though Will Muschamp and Bobby Bentley are also keeping in touch. He has not yet visited USC.

Two-sport standout Keon Coleman (6-foot-4, 185 pounds) of Opelousas, Louisiana, committed to Kansas on July 4, but last week Coleman got his independence from the Jayhawks by announcing a decommitment. Coleman is an electric wide receiver and highly regarded shooting guard in basketball. His final three at the time of his commitment were USC, Oklahoma and Kansas, and he had a bevy of other offers. Coleman is now open for all interested parties, and the Gamecocks have been back in touch. Coleman also is a big-time basketball prospect who averaged 26 points per game last season. He plans to play both sports in college and has talked with Gamecock basketball coach Frank Martin about that. But he said his decision will be based more on the football side of things compared to basketball.

USC Thursday landed a commitment from WR Rodarius Thomas (6-foot-3, 194 pounds) of Eufaula, Alabama, the second receiver from Alabama to commit to the Gamecocks for the 2021 class and the fifth receiver in the class. Thomas was offered last month by the Gamecocks, the first Power 5 program to do so, and they immediately moved to the front in his recruiting competition. Thomas also has offers from Coastal Carolina, Austin Peay, Missouri State, North Alabama, South Alabama, Tennessee Tech, Tennessee State and Western Kentucky. And now he will get the chance to play in the SEC thanks to the Gamecocks’ offer. Last season, his first playing football, Thomas had 45 catches for 957 yards and 14 touchdowns. This season he has 48 catches for about 600 yards and 10 touchdowns.

USC missed on TE target Michael Trigg of Tampa, Florida, Sunday when he announced a commitment to Southern Cal.

Another USC target, LB Chase Hattley of Cary, North Carolina, announced a commitment to NC State last week. Oklahoma was the other school on his short list.

2021 DE Ian Mathews (6-foot-5, 270 pounds) of Columbus, Georgia, has emerged as a major prospect with SEC and ACC offers, and USC is one of the schools to jump into the fray. Mississippi State was the first big school to step up in September. Next came offers from Duke, Virginia Tech, Arkansas, Georgia Tech, USC, Florida State and, most recently, Vanderbilt. Mathews knew he was always worthy of SEC and ACC offers, and it was just a matter of time until those recruiters took notice of him. Mathews said he’s not looking to make his decision until after his senior season. He said he had 5 or 6 sacks as a junior and 4 so far this season.

DE Deonte Anderson (6-foot-4, 215 pounds) of Fort Meade, Florida, has held an offer from USC since March. Many more major offers have come in since then, including one from Illinois last weekend. The Gamecocks have been a constant with him, however, and he continues to hold them in high regard. Anderson has not yet visited USC, but he hopes to do so once the visit embargo is lifted. Some of his other offers are Arizona State, Boston College, Michigan State, Nebraska, West Virginia, East Carolina, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Mississippi State, UCF, Indiana, Northwestern and Washington State. Anderson is coming off a season of 40 tackles and 14 sacks. He is rated as a 3-star in the 247Sports Composite and ranked 25th nationally among weakside defensive ends.

CB Dontae Balfour of Starke, Florida, said USC and Ole Miss remain his top two at this point and he is actively hearing from both. He’s also hearing from Western Kentucky, Tulane, Georgia State and Coastal Carolina. Balfour said he will wait until the early signing day in December to announce his decision. This season Balfour said he has 2 interceptions and about 40 tackles.

Hartsville native and former Tennessee commitment RB Tiyon Evans of Hutchinson Community College (Kansas) was offered by Missouri.

FS Chris Rhone (6-foot-4, 200 pounds) of Gray Collegiate was offered by Georgia State, his first offer.

Clemson is in top 8 with 2022 CB Jaheim Singletary of Jacksonville, Florida. The others are Florida, Miami, LSU, Georgia, Auburn, Tennessee and Oklahoma. He will announce Jan. 1.

2022 5-star WR Caleb Burton of De Valle, Texas, included Clemson in his top 12. Burton is considered the top receiver nationally in the ’22 class. The rest of his top 12 is made up of Florida, Ohio State, Texas, Oklahoma, LSU, Oregon, Alabama, Stanford, Southern Cal, Auburn and Georgia. Last season Burton had 51 catches for 882 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Clemson target 2022 QB Ty Simpson of Martin, Tennessee, was offered by Louisville.

2022 ATH Sam McCall of Lakeland, Florida, who has a USC offer, plans to make his commitment announcement October 28th. He has named a top four of Alabama, Florida State, Florida and Oklahoma.

2022 OL Collin Sadler of Greenville was offered by Florida.

2022 RB CJ Stokes of Hammond was offered by Duke.


Clemson basketball coach Brad Brownell scored another impressive recruiting victory Friday night when 6-foot-6 2-guard Lucas Taylor of Wake Forest, North Carolina, announced a commitment to the Tigers. Taylor picked Clemson over Marquette, Wisconsin, Davidson and Cincinnati. He’s the third commitment for Brownell’s 2021 recruiting class.

Six-foot-9 Jalen DeLoach of Atlanta is working off a short list of USC, Georgia, Kansas State, Texas Southern, VCU and Ole Miss. He said all the schools are in regular contact, and in particular, USC is constantly in his hear with head coach Frank Martin and assistant Will Bailey leading the conversation.

Six-foot-5 Bryce McGowens of Legacy Early College in Greenville decommitted from Florida State Thursday, a story first reported by Stockrisers. McGowens is rated a 5-star prospect in the 247Sports Composite and ranked the No. 3 shooting guard in the country. Stockrisers reported some of the schools McGowens heard from Thursday included USC, Kansas and Kentucky.

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