Eleven-of-20: Clemson's 2012 commitments in spotlight as Shrine Bowl week begins

Eight future Tigers will play for SC, three for NC, four more remain Clemson recruiting targets

Football recruiting - Marty Williams

Photo by Mark Crammer

Football recruiting - Marty Williams

Eighty-eight high school stars from the Carolinas – 11 with Clemson penciled in beside their names.

The Tiger coaching staff’s in-state recruiting proficiency and close-to-home focus will be on display this week, beginning Monday morning when practice for the 2011 Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas gets underway at Spartanburg, SC.

A week of practice and activities will leap up to this year’s game, which will be played on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Gibbs Stadium on the campus of Wofford College. This year’s contest will be the 75th annual game between the Sandlappers and the Tarheels.

South Carolina leads the series 41-29-4, including a 42-10 victory a year ago.

Eleven of Clemson's 20 committed players will play in the game.

Eight players who have verbally committed to Clemson’s 2012 recruiting class will play for the South Carolina team. They include defensive backs Cordrea Tankersley of Silver Bluff, Marty Williams of Fox Creek and Ronald Geohaghan of Allendale-Fairfax; offensive linemen Patrick Destefano of Dorman, Javarius Leamon of Woodruff and Oliver Jones of Ninety Six; tight end Jay Jay McCullough of Nation Ford; and linebacker T.J. Burrell of Goose Creek.

Competing for the North Carolina team will be defensive lineman Carlos Watkins of Chase High in Forest City; wide receiver Germone Hopper of Berry Academy in Charlotte; and punter Bradley Pinion of Northwest Cabarrus High in Concord.

Clemson remains involved with at least four other players as it seeks to finish off a 2012 recruiting class currently ranked as high as No. 5 in the nation.

The Tigers remain among the possibilities for wide receiver Quinshad Davis of Gaffney, SC, running back Todd Gurley of Tarboro, NC, defensive end Jonathan Bullard of Shelby, NC, and offensive lineman D.J. Reader of Greensboro, NC.

Players committed to some of Clemson’s rivals include Greer, SC quarterback Caleb Rowe, who’s committed to Maryland; Lexington, SC wide receiver Shaq Roland, who was recently honored as South Carolina’s 2011 Mr. Football and is committed to South Carolina; wide receiver Damien Washington of Kannapolis, NC, who is committed to North Carolina; and Greensboro, NC quarterback James Summers, who is committed to NC State.

The Gamecocks’ Shrine Bowl picks also include Kwinton Smith, a wide receiver from Dillon, SC; Jody Fuller, a wide receiver from Monroe, NC; and Brock Stadnik, an offensive lineman from Greesnboro, NC.

Others who have made commitments to high profile schools include tight end Justin Meredith of T.L. Hanna High in Anderson, who recently switched his commitment from North Carolina to Tennessee; Columbia, SC defensive back Casey Gladney, who is committed to Alabama; and North Carolina defensive end Romeo Okwara, who is committed to Notre Dame.

The teams will told two-a-day practices Monday through Thursday this week – from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m., and from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. – at Spartanburg High School.

Players will attend a pair of banquets on Friday before playing the game on Saturday.

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