Saluda defensive lineman commits to Wake Forest

By By PHIL KORNBLUT

Defensive lineman Kelijiah Brown, of Saluda, on Wednesday night announced a commitment to Wake Forest over USC. Brown said Wake made him a priority and showed great loyalty towards him. Brown said is commitment ends his recruiting and he will graduate early. Brown is the second player from the state to commit to Wake Forest joining Wilson DB Zion Keith. Former Citadel coach Kevin Higgins recruits the state for the Demon Deacons.

Greenwood wide receiver Sam Pinckney was offered by LSU. He also has a USC offer.

Clemson landed another marquee prospect for its 2018 recruiting class Friday night with a commitment from defensive end Justin Mascoll (6-foot-4, 237 pounds) of Snellville, Georgia.

Mascoll had offers from coast to coast including USC, Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, LSU, Georgia, Florida State, Alabama, Auburn, Florida and Tennessee. Mascoll attended Clemson’s most recent junior day earlier this month. He also visited Clemson for the USC game last season.

“I picked Clemson because I love the feel there and it felt like home,” Mascoll said Friday night. I trusted the coaches and the people in the Clemson community, and I love it there. I feel it’s the best fit for me and my family.”

Mascoll got the chance to visit with new Clemson defensive line coach Todd Bates on his most recent visit and the two hit it off well.

“He’s a really cool guy,” he said. “I’m looking forward to him coaching for the next four or five years and getting to know him more as a person and building a better relationship. I’m looking forward to building a great relationship with Coach Bates and I’m looking forward to doing big things at Clemson. They can see me playing that athletic defensive end roll like a Vic Beasley.”

Florida State, Georgia and Auburn were three other programs high up on Mascoll’s list prior to his commitment to Clemson. Now, he said, his recruiting is over.

“This is it. I’m definitely one of those people that once I commit to something and put my mind to it, I’ll stay committed to it. I’m fully committed, 100 percent,” he said.

Mascoll is the second major recruit from Georgia to commit to Clemson for the 2018 class joining quarterback Trevor Lawrence of Cartersville. The Tigers now have six in the class. Last season Mascoll recorded 68 tackles with six sacks.

Offensive lineman Hank Manos of Chapin was back at USC Saturday for the second time to watch a spring practice. “It was great. Practice was intense and energetic. My parents got an opportunity to visit with Coach Wolford and Coach Muschamp. We were able to get a campus tour and meet with the academic folks which was really helpful. They emphasized that they really want me at Carolina. They feel like I am a perfect fit for what they are trying to build on the O-line.” Manos also has been to Duke, NC State and Sunday he visited Georgia State. He has offers from USC, Duke, NC State, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Coastal Carolina, East Carolina Georgia State and Appalachian State. He’s also getting interest from Clemson, Vanderbilt and Middle Tennessee State.

Defensive lineman Darnell Jefferies of Covington, Georgia, made his second visit of the recruiting season to USC Saturday to watch the Gamecocks practice.

“I experienced the 11-on-11 scrimmage. They were very competitive. I talked briefly with Coach Muschamp and Coach Lance (Thompson). They were just saying to come back to camp and come back as many times as I want to visit to get a better relationship with them.”

Wednesday Jefferies and his mother took a visit to Clemson.

“It was great, the family atmosphere. I had a sit-down with Coach Dabo (Swinney). We sat down for an hour and talked about lots of things. He was talking about how I can play the three technique and also play defensive end at Clemson.” Jefferies also visited Georgia Thursday. He plans to take visits to Miami, Oregon, LSU and Ole Miss in the weeks ahead. There is no favorite.

Other visitors to USC over the weekend included linebacker Dax Hollifield of Shelby, North Carolina; running back Clay Harris of Norcross, Georgia; 2019 quarterback Davis Beville (6-foot-5, 195 pounds) of Greenville High; offensive lineman Wyatt Campbell (6-foot-6, 285 pounds) of Lugoff-Elgin, punter and placekicker Nicolas Sciba of Clover; 2019 wide receiver Tyler Smith of Conyers, Georgia and 2019 defensive back Akele Pauling of Ben Lippen.