ROCK HILL SC - FEBRUARY 14: Jadeveon Clowney announces his college football commitment to the University of South Carolina Gamecocks during a press conference at South Pointe High School on February 14 2011 in Rock Hill South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Jadeveon Clowney Is A Gamecock: Top Recruit Picks South Carolina Over Clemson, Alabama

The nation's No. 1 recruit has made his decision: he'll play for the South Carolina Gamecocks in the fall.

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Jadeveon Clowney To South Carolina: Top Recruit Commits To Gamecocks Over Clemson, Alabama

This fall, Jadeveon Clowney will be a South Carolina Gamecock. And with that, recruiting for the class of 2011 is done.

In his nationally televised announcement on ESPN this morning, Clowney, wearing a garnet shirt and a black tie, chose South Carolina over Clemson, joining an impressive class put together by Steve Spurrier, staying in the Palmetto State, and heading to a school he feels comfortable with.

Clowney went wire-to-wire in his senior season as the nation's consensus top recruit, and should make an immediate impact in the SEC. He joins a South Carolina defense that was capable up front in 2010 — the Gamecocks recorded 41 sacks, fifth in the country — and could start from Day One.

His choice of South Carolina over Clemson and Alabama — on his 18th birthday — likely has to do with the Gamecocks' long courtship of him; Clemson closed fast, and would have added Clowney to maybe the nation's best haul of linebackers, and Alabama presented an opportunity to join an NFL Draft assembly line, but there was likely too much ground for each school to make up and not enough time to do it.

Clowney's announcement completes the full schedule for the Class of 2011's recruiting announcements.

For more on Jadeveon Clowney and what his college choice means, check out our South Carolina blog, Garnet and Black Attack, and our Clemson blog, Shakin the Southland.

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Jadeveon Clowney's Decision Coming Monday, But Will He Qualify?

One of the nation's most highly touted recruits, Jadeveon Clowney, is going to announce Monday that he will attend either South Carolina or Clemson. Maybe. The New York Times is now raising concerns that Clowney might not qualify to play for either of the Palmetto State's programs based on his academics.

Two people with knowledge of his classroom performance while attending South Pointe High School in Rock Hill, S.C., have raised questions over how he will be able meet the N.C.A.A.’s minimum academic standard if he wants to play next season.

The most damning assessment comes from Troy Davis, who coaches football at Hargrave Military Academy. Davis' program gets a lot of its players from recruits that don't meet the NCAA's standards and need a couple of years of better grades to play football at the highest level.

Troy Davis, the coach at Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va., said he had reviewed Clowney’s transcript and described it as consistent with those of other prospects who had failed to meet the N.C.A.A.’s standards. ...

Speaking of students who had enrolled at Hargrave, Davis said "it was pretty common" for a nonqualifier to have a transcript like Clowney’s.

The other source, in case you're wondering, is one of Clowney's high-school teachers. Again, this is someone you might expect to know of which he speaks. None of which is to stay that Clowney won't qualify; we'll find out soon enough once he chooses a school and that university starts working with the NCAA to get to the answer.

But the celebration among fans of the school that does get Clowney might be dampened a bit by knowing that it's not the end of the recruiting process. In this case, it's just the beginning.

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Jadeveon Clowney Has Decided To Sign With ... Somebody

Huge news on the college football recruiting front, where we learned this morning that the top-ranked football prospect in the class of 2011, Jadeveon Clowney, has decided which school he's going to sign with ... and he's still not telling anybody. But hey, he knows! Progress!

In an interview with Josh Kendall of The State before his basketball practice on Thursday (courtesy the Charleston Post and Courier), Clowney said that he made his final decision three days ago and has only told his mother. The choice was based on "who I felt at home around the most and how I'm going to feel when I'm playing with the people."

The Worldwide Leader is interpreting this as a tip of the hat to South Carolina, although Clemson has been very much in the mix since National Signing Day. Alabama, for what it's worth, has reportedly pretty much conceded, and doesn't really have anything to cry over after poaching Cyrus Kouandjio from Auburn at the thirteenth hour.

Clowney's official announcement is still scheduled to take place at his high school on his birthday, next Monday morning at 10:15. (If he needs any more help firming up his choice, we've provided a handy guide to South Carolina football programs.) For more on Clowney and the two schools still in the race, visit SB Nation's Garnet And Black Attack and Shakin' The Southland.

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Jacoby Brissett, Nation's No. 3 QB Recruit, Signs With Florida Gators

After 2011 National Signing Day, there were three unsigned recruits out of the Rivals 100. One, Cyrus Kouandjio, inked a letter of intent to play for Alabama at the end of the week. The highest-ranked uncommitted player, Jadeveon Clowney, is scheduled to announce his choice on his birthday, which isn't until next Monday. The third prospect, quarterback Jacoby Brissett, announced his intent Friday to sign with the Florida Gators, and as of Monday morning, it's official. His letter of intent has been received in Gainesville, and the Gators have another QB in the fold:

"Jacoby will be a good fit in our program," said head coach Will Muschamp. "He is an outstanding quarterback and we are excited to have him join the Gator family."

Even after the announcement, Brissett's status as a Gator was a bit up in the air thanks to the strenuous objections of his mother over his spurning of Miami:

"I’m very disappointed. I didn’t like the way Florida handled the process. I’ve never been able to meet the head coach. ... I’ve never met (Will Muschamp) face-to-face and I find that very disrespectful and I’m just hurt with the whole process with the Gators. I was hoping that he would respect me and go to ‘The U’ because ‘The U’ showed respect to his mom."

Brissett is the 75th-ranked prospect overall in the Rivals 100, and listed as the third-best quarterback in the 2011 recruiting glass. For more on him and other Florida Gators athletics news, visit SB Nation's Alligator Army.

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De'Anthony Thomas Commits To Oregon On National Signing Day

De'Anthony Thomas, the last five-star recruit to choose a college football team on 2011's national signing day, has announced he'll play for the Oregon Ducks, not the USC Trojans. He's the nation's top ATH, the No. 5 overall, the No. 2 from California. The athlete from Los Angeles was offered by five west coast schools plus Florida. At only five-foot-nine and 160 pounds, projecting as a speed back, cornerback, slot receiver, or kick returner.

How Los Angeles is he? He's even nicknamed "the Black Mamba." So for him to join Oregon says something about the allure of Chip Kelly's offense. (By the way -- that show the Ducks put on this year was largely led by members of recruiting classes ranked No. 32 and No. 19. What'll Kelly pull off with a top-10 class?)

But how Oregon is he? Well, just look at him:

Screen_shot_2011-02-02_at_10

Via @BrandonHuffman

Thomas has been a longtime USC commit, but recently took a visit to Oregon that led to him dressing up in very Oregon fashions, to the disappointment of Trojans fans. At one point Washington even entered the discussion. USC put together a top-two class (as of this writing), partially on the strength of Thomas' commit, while Oregon crept very near the top 10 without him.

For more on Thomas and the rest of Oregon's recruiting class, join the discussion at Addicted To Quack. Our National Signing Day schedule has the full slate of high-profile announcements.

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Floyd Raven On Texas A&M's Official Signing Day List After Ole Miss Dispute

One of the most bizarre storylines of this National Signing Day appears to be winding its way to a close, with Floyd Raven's name officially being added to Texas A&M's list of signees. You might recall that Raven earned even more attention than usual for a four-star cornerback after his mother forged his letter of intent, part of a poorly-considered plan to get her son to attend Ole Miss.

It's official! Floyd Raven is an Aggie! #gigemless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone

 

Yes, he has a photo and bio on the Aggies' site and everything. So that would seem to end a recruitment saga that has included (as our Ole Miss blog Red Cup Rebellion dutifully recounts) Raven committing to a team that had not offered him a scholarship, then flipping and flopping back and forth between A&M and Ole Miss. That drawn-out affair might also be why the Raven tweet from A&M came a few hours after the account called Signing Day "a wrap."

Which proves one of the unwritten rules of National Signing Day: It will never be boring as long as Houston Nutt is gainfully employed as a head coach.

For more on the Floyd Raven saga, keep an eye on Red Cup Rebellion and our Texas A&M blog, I Am The 12th Man.

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Devin Lucien Commits To UCLA On National Signing Day

Devin Lucien, a four-star wide receiver from Encino, California, has announced he'll join the UCLA Bruins  as a member of their 2011 football recruiting class. Crespi High School's all-time leading receiver, he's ranked as the nation's No. 22 receiver and the No. 21 player from Cali.

Lucien had narrowed his choices to some combination of Arizona State, Colorado, Miami, and Utah depending on who you asked, though he also took visits as far away as Kentucky. Utah appeared to be the longshot coming into signing day, but the six-foot-one, 190-pounder clearly has a thing for current and future Pac-12 schools.

Oh you didn't know about the Canes?

Ralphie Report, our Colorado community, was eying Lucien all day long, while SB Nation Los Angeles considered the receiver a key piece of UCLA's class.

For more on Lucien and the rest of UCLA's recruiting class, join the discussion at Bruins Nation. Our National Signing Day schedule has the full slate of high-profile announcements.

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Curtis Grant Commits To Ohio State On National Signing Day

Ohio State has a fantastic recent history with linebackers, and adding one of the nation's best to their 2011 recruiting class will only help bolster that legacy: Richmond, Virginia linebacker Curtis Grant has committed to the Buckeyes.

Our Along the Olentangy had noted that Urban Meyer's departure from Florida made it possible for Ohio State to swoop in on Grant.

Grant is arguably the biggest recruit left on Ohio State's board and one of the biggest in the nation, period. He's ranked as the #2 overall recruit in the country by Rivals and has offers from literally every program in America. He's been linked to almost as many programs as he has offers, but much of his recruitment has centered around the Florida Gators. When Urban Meyer left, it opened up an opportunity for others to jump in, and jump in they did.

Since Meyer's retirement, Grant has taken four official visits to his four final suitors, Ohio State, Florida, Virginia, and UNC. According to the UNC Scout site, Curtis Grant informed UNC commit Norkeithus Otis that he was down to two schools on his official visit this past weekend, Ohio State and UNC.

Grant's a five-star prospect at both Rivals and Scout, and possesses a combination of size and speed that gives him elite pursuit ability and should make him productive early and possibly dominant later in his career.

For more on Grant and the rest of Ohio State's recruiting class, join the discussion at Along the Olentangy. Our National Signing Day schedule has the full slate of high-profile announcements.

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Isaiah Crowell Signs With Georgia, Wins Signing Day By Bringing Puppy Onstage

Isaiah Crowell, a Rivals five-star running back prospect, has announced he'll play college football for the Georgia Bulldogs. Crowell is a 5'11", 210-lb. bowling ball of a player out of Columbus, Georgia's Carver High School, and is the nation's fourth-ranked recruit at his position. Overall, he's listed as the third-best prospect in the state of Georgia and the 23rd-ranked prospect nationally.

Crowell may be diminuitive, but don't be fooled; he comes by that five-star rating honestly:

With Crowell it is not so much the weight as it is what the weight can do: at 210 he squats 455 and benches 315. The word muscular gets thrown around a lot with him, and it should since he's not dissimilar to Trent Richardson in build.

Crowell fielded offers from Alabama, Georgia, Cal, Florida, Miami, USC, and Auburn over the course of his recruitment, but took official visits only with the Bulldogs and Crimson Tide. He currently tops our Signing Day Stunts Leaderboard thanks to OMG PUPPY LOOK LOOK:

Screen_shot_2011-02-02_at_1

For more on Isaiah Crowell and for all your Bulldogs athletics news needs, visit SB Nation Atlanta and Dawg Sports. Keep up with the whirlwind of announcements at our 2011 National Signing Day schedule page.

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Cyrus Kouandjio Picks Auburn Over New Mexico In Signing Day Shocker

Cyrus Kouandjio, an offensive tackle from Hyattsville, Maryland, has signed with the Auburn football Tigers. The DeMatha High standout is the nation's top-ranked OT prospect per Rivals, the top prospect in Maryland, and the fourth-ranked high school recruit overall.

Kouandjio had offers from such storied programs as Iowa, Miami, USC, UCLA, and Oklahoma, but his final decision came down to Alabama, Auburn, and New Mexico. Yes, the New Mexico coached by Mike Locksley. Yes, that's this guy. We do not understand this any more than you do, we assure you.

Kouandjio weighs in at 6'7" and 322 lbs., and comes slathered with metaphor-laden praise:

Massive, athletic body with wide shoulders and barrel chest. Kouandjio also has very long, muscular limbs and resembles a cross between a giant tight end and WWE wrestler.

For more on Kouandjio and for all your Auburn athletics news needs, visit SB Nation's Track Em Tigers. Keep up with all the announcement drama on our 2011 National Signing Day schedule page.

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Stephone Anthony Commits To Clemson On National Signing Day

Stephone Anthony is one of the best linebacker recruits in the nation, and he will be playing his college football with one of the nation's best linebacker prospects at Clemson. Anthony's commitment joins Tony Steward's as one of the day's surprises, as Clemson is building a strong defense with great last-minute commitments.

Anthony will move one state east: he's a North Carolina prospect, and had kept North Carolina as one of his three finalists with Clemson and Virginia Tech. But his move bolsters Clemson's class, which is now tremendously deep at both linebacker and wide receiver, and might sneak into the top 10 in various recruiting rankings.

Clemson's been here before, though. The Tigers signed Da'Quan Bowers, the nation's top recruit, in 2008, but Bowers' fantastic performance at defensive end was only good enough to make him a top-five 2011 NFL Draft prospect, as Clemson struggled to break through in the ACC.

For more on Anthony and the rest of Clemson's recruiting, join the discussion at Shakin' the Southland. Our National Signing Day schedule has the full slate of high-profile announcements.

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Tony Steward Commits To Clemson Over Florida State Giving Tigers Top Linebacker

Tony Steward continues a trend of out-of-state ventures for top 100 commits this morning by committing to Clemson University. Luginbill’s on television saying Steward liked Clemson’s small-town atmosphere, but it’s worth nothing that he’s also committing to a defense run by the Tigers’ defensive coordinator Kevin Steele. Steele is a linebackers guru, and was likely a serious edge in the recruitment of the nation’s number one outside linebacker prospect.

(He’s also a former Florida State assistant, though whether he gave any inside intelligence on the darker side of Tallahassee living is in the course of Steward’s recruitment is unknown. No one in college ever recruits negatively. Nope. Never.)

Steward continues a recent streak of five-star coups by Clemson on signing day. His commitment will likely bump Dabo Swinney’s class up from Rivals’ current number ten ranking, thus proving that as inconsistent as the Tigers can be on the football field, they maintain a tradition of being a heavy hitter in the world of recruiting.

See the entire National Signing Day schedule here.

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2011 National Signing Day Announcement Times Schedule: Curtis Grant, Cyrus Kouandjio, And More

It's 2011 national signing day, college football recruiting Christmas. And you wouldn't charge downstairs to open your presents without a detailed schedule that depends on a giant television network wrangling teenagers into public speaking events, would you? 

ESPNU will be broadcasting all day long, planning to show at least eight commits live, three of which appear to be happening all at once. But four- and five-star players will be announcing all day long, beginning with Erique Florence at 8 a.m. ET. Also, it's surprising to note so many defensive tackles will be announcing around lunchtime (six of them!), as they're among the players least prone to missing meals.

Fans of schools like Alabama, Auburn, FSU, Ohio State, and USC should stay glued to this signing day StoryStream, but plenty of other teams have dogs in todays fights as well.

Based on Rivals' latest schedule, almost all of which I've been able to confirm elsewhere, and the list of expected announcements provided by ESPN, here's the current slate. Remember, of course, that we're talking about 17-year-old boys, so things can change without warning. Also in the case of players like  Kouandjio, weather may impose delays of its own.

Still, here's a list of four- and five-star players who are expected to announce today (all times ET):

8 a.m.
Erique Florence on ESPNU (No. 69, safety - Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, USC) [UPDATE: Signed with Auburn]

9 a.m.
Lamar Dawson (No. 45, ILB - Kentucky, Tennessee, Oregon, UCF, USC) [UPDATE: Signed with USC]

9:30 a.m.
Darius Jennings (No. 191, ATH - Ohio State, Virginia, Wake Forest) [UPDATE: Signed with Virginia]

10 a.m.
Tony Steward on ESPNU (No. 13, OLB - Clemson, FSU) [UPDATE: Signed with Clemson]
Nickolas Brassell (No. 51, WR - Alabama, Mississippi State, Ole Miss) [UPDATE: Signed with Ole Miss]

10:30 a.m.
Aundrey Walker (No. 64, OG - Michigan State, Ohio State, USC) [UPDATE: Signed with USC]
Curt Maggitt (No. 198, OLB - Florida, Tennessee, Wisconsin) [UPDATE: Signed with Tennessee]

11 a.m.
Timmy Jernigan on ESPNU (No. 29, DT - Alabama, Florida, FSU, LSU, Tennssee) [UPDATE: Signed with Florida State]

11:20 a.m.
Delvon Simmons (No. 80, DT - Oregon, Pitt, Texas Tech, USC) [UPDATE: Signed with UNC]

11:30 a.m.
Stephone Anthony on ESPNU (No. 24, OLB - Clemson, FSU) [UPDATE: Signed with Clemson]
Christian Heyward (No. 94, DT - Oregon, San Diego State, USC) [UPDATE: Signed with USC]
Todd Peat Jr. (No. 182, DT - Arizona State, Nebraska, Oregon State) [UPDATE: Signed with Nebraska]
Dominique Terrell (No. 204, ATH - Miami, Virginia, West Virginia) [UPDATE: Signed with Virginia]

Noon
Cyrus Kouandjio on ESPNU (No. 4, OT - Alabama, Auburn) [UPDATE: Signed with Auburn] [UPDATE: Er, maybe not.]

1 p.m.
Marquise Wright (No. 149, DT - Michigan State, Rutgers) [UPDATE: Signed with Rutgers]

1:30 p.m.
Curtis Grant on ESPNU (No. 2, ILB - Florida, North Carolina, Ohio State, Virginia) [UPDATE: Signed with Ohio State]
Isaiah Crowell on ESPNU (No. 22, RB - Alabama, Georgia) [UPDATE: Signed with Georgia]
Gabe Wright on ESPNU (No. 141, DT - Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Tennessee) [UPDATE: Signed with Auburn]

2 p.m.
Jermauria Rasco (No. 168, DE - Florida, FSU, LSU, Texas) [UPDATE: Signed with LSU]

3 p.m.
Marqise Lee (No. 36, ATH - California, Oregon, USC) [UPDATE: Signed with USC]

5:55 p.m.
Devin Lucien (No. 190, WR - Arizona State, Colorado, Miami, UCLA)

9 p.m.
De'Anthony Thomas (No. 5, CB/RB - USC, Oregon)

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Ray Drew Commits To Georgia Football, Is Serious This Time

Ray Drew, a five-star defensive end prospect from Thomasville, Georgia, has committed to play football for the Georgia Bulldogs. Drew made his announcement at Thomas County Central High School, where he played for the Yellow Jackets, a coincidence that does not appear to have pushed him to sign with Georgia Tech despite receiving an official offer.

Drew's recruitment has been a hair-pulling ride for hardcore recruitniks, with red herrings dropped willy-nilly on his Facebook and Twitter accounts. Georgia OC Mike Bobo showed up at the school for the announcement, however, so we suppose it's best Drew didn't pull any more tricks.

To the video! Here are some of the fun things Ray Drew can do for you, Bulldog Nation.



Drew is currently the highest-ranked player in Georgia's 2011 recruiting class. For more on Drew and other Georgia commits, join the discussions at Dawg Sports and SB Nation Atlanta.

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