USC target safety Anthony Rose (6-foot-4, 180 pounds) of Hallandale, Florida, has set Tuesday for his commitment announcement date. On Saturday, he named a top three of South Carolina, Penn State and Arizona.
It’s well known Clemson is waiting on a decision from quarterback Ty Simpson of Martin, Tennessee, for its 2022 quarterback spot. Martin was scheduled to announce last week but pushed that announcement back to Friday because of the winter storm that smacked the area and caused the school to close.
So, this week, Simpson will make his decision known.
“Alabama, Clemson, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, and Texas are a big part of my recruitment right now just because of the SEC and getting the best out of me and my abilities, the coaching staff, and the relationships,” Simpson said last week in an interview with 104.5 The Zone in Nashville. “Those are my top schools. I’m just praying to God that I have (six) schools that if I came there, I would have a heck of a time if I went there.”
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter have been very active in recruiting Simpson. They also enlisted the help of a not-so-secret weapon in former quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
“He (Lawrence) actually called me one time,” Simpson said. “It was a Georgia number and I thought it was a spam call, but all of a sudden it was, ‘Hey Ty, it’s Trevor Lawrence,’ and I was like ‘Holy crap, I’m talking to the future No. 1 overall pick.’ It was really cool. I asked him, ‘Why did he go to Clemson?’ and ‘Why didn’t you stay in the SEC?’ and ‘How was your walk with Christ there?’
“I told him I appreciate what he does from his platform showing kids like my brother, who is a diehard Clemson fan, how a quarterback should act. I just appreciate him and he gave me some good advice. Some things I didn’t realize, so it was cool to talk to him.”
Watching from Austin, Texas, will be quarterback Cade Klubnik. He and Swinney, Streeter and Tony Elliott have built a strong relationship over the months, though Clemson has not yet offered him. Klubnik has been willing to hang in with the Tigers to this point while the Simpson issue plays out.
“I mean, it’s going good, building a relationship, taking it day by day and week by week, but it’s going good,” Klubnik said. “Talking with Coach Streeter, Coach Elliott and Coach Swinney. I would say I probably talk to Coach Streeter every two or three days, Coach Elliott and Coach Swinney once a week.”
Klubnik has numerous Power Five offers that include Auburn, Baylor, Arizona State, Penn State, Florida, Florida State, Texas, Texas A&M, North Carolina, Michigan State, Colorado, Arkansas and Arizona. He’s been willing to hold off all the others until he sees what Clemson does, and that depends on what Simpson does. And that’s not a problem with him.
“Not really,” Klubnik said. “They are always a slower process. I think we’re still seeing what’s going on. Just taking it day by day.”
Klubnik said Clemson, Texas, North Carolina and Florida are the four schools he’s most focused on at this point, with no favorite. He plans to make his decision within the next two months.
USC coach Shane Beamer last week filled out his 2021 recruiting class with a commitment from Assumption University transfer cornerback Carlins Platel (6-foot-2, 190 pounds). The Massachusetts native chose the Gamecocks over Mississippi State and Coastal Carolina.
He played three seasons with the Greyhounds and will graduate in May, leaving him one year of eligibility as a grad transfer with the Gamecocks.
“It feels great. I think they are a great program, great coaches, great scheme. I’m excited to get down there,” Platel said. “They were all excited. I didn’t tell any coach where I was going. I just tweeted it out. When I tweeted it out, they all called me excited. They can’t wait for me to get down there.”
Platel has never met his new coaches. He has only communicated with them from long distance via virtual connections, cell calls and text messages. But he learned enough about Beamer, Clayton White and Torrian Gray through that to feel comfortable with what they were selling him.
“I think the coaching staff is great,” Platel said. “I’ve talked to Coach Gray every single day. I know his background. I did my research on him. I saw what jobs he had before this one and who he coached, and most of them are in the league right now and that’s where I want to go. He would be a great coach. And Coach White, he’s also a great coach. I think they are going to have a great scheme.”
Platel was first team All-Conference in 2019, his last season of football. He played 33 games for the Greyhounds and recorded 96 tackles with 30 pass break-ups and seven interceptions. He knows there will be skeptics who don’t believe he will successfully make the transition from Division II to the SEC.
“I don’t say anything to people that say that,” Platel said. “I’ll just show them with my actions. I’m going down there and I’m going to have a chip on my shoulder. People are just going to see how I do down there and that’s what’s going to tell them how it is.”
Platel gives the Gamecocks five cornerback signees in the class, four of which are transfers from either junior college or another four-year program.
New USC running backs coach Montario Hardesty has been scoping out the running back prospects he likes for the 2022 class, and one he’s heating up on is right down the road from the campus.
CJ Stokes (5-foot-10, 190 pounds) is a speedster from Hammond School who was offered by the previous Gamecock staff.
Hardesty has followed up and is keeping the recruiting going for the Gamecocks. The two talked earlier this week.
“He said he loves my film. He thinks I’m the best back in South Carolina,” Stokes said. “We are just going to continue building a relationship. But he said he loves my tape and he can’t wait to see me in person. He said I put my foot in the ground and go and have a lot of speed.”
Stokes added that Hardesty has already started to coach him up a bit offering him some advice to improve his overall game.