Kornblut talks to Kiwanis Club about college football signings
Phil Kornblut, recruiting reporter with the SportsTalk Radio Network, was the guest speaker at the Florence Kiwanis Club luncheon meeting on Feb. 4 at the Florence Country Club. The meeting followed College Football National Signing Day. In introducing Phil, Charles Howard described him as the “godfather of football recruiting,” adding that he has addressed the club concerning college football for 10 years.
Phil confined his report to the recent signings for Clemson and the University of South Carolina. He began with Clemson, prefacing his remarks by comparing Clemson’s signing day to grading a Miss Universe pageant. Clemson’s recruiting program is one of the best in the country, he said, adding it shows on the field.
Today, college football needs a good quarterback or they are dead in the water, Phil stressed. Clemson has two highly qualified quarterbacks coming up, he said. “Clemson had a great day yesterday,” Kornbult commented. Phil started off mentioning top recruits, Trayvon Mullen of Florida, K’von Wallace of Virginia, and John Simpson of North Charleston.
Rashan Gary, also sought by Clemson, picked Michigan instead, he reported. He noted that Simpson, a state champion wrestler, is a server at Hall’s Chop House in Charleston and at 6 foot 3, 230 pounds, he was easy to spot. Another top pick is Dexter Lawrence who signed early. Xavier Kelly, Nyles Pinckney, Rahshaun Smith, Tre Lamar and Tremayne Anchrum also signed on to play for Clemson.
Chandler Reeves of Georgia also signed for Clemson and Cade Stewart of Central, S.C., accepted a greyshirt offer. Zerrick Cooper signed as a quarterback and Tavien Feaster as running back. J.C. Chalk of Texas will play tight end. Wide receivers signing included Cornell Powell, T.J. Chase and Diondre Overton. Brian Dawkins Jr. and Nolan Turner will play safety. Commenting on the Clemson Class for 2016, Phil said he sees a lot of guys who will make major contributions this season and a lot who will be coming up in the future.
Kornbult praised Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson saying he voted for him as the number one best player, because of his stats on the field and his character off the field. Clemson, he concluded, has the goal and is motivated to be the greatest offense in college football. The University of South Carolina has a recruiting class too, Phil continued. If Muschamp can get the quarterback straightened out, they will have a good team, he commented.
He said National Signing Day was a great day for the South Carolina Gamecocks. When finished, USC got four out of its five targets and didn’t lose anyone who had committed. Muschamp picked up two good receivers and two good lineman, Phil said. However, the coach was hoping to add DL Karamo Dioubate of Philadelphia who signed instead with Temple University. Lineman Sadarius Hutcherson of Tennessee and defensive end Griffith Gentry of Alabama signed with USC.
Cornerbacks Chris Smith of Rock Hill and Jumarcus King of Alabama, also top picks, signed on. Defensive linemen Aaron Thompson of Maryland and Dennis Wonnun of Georgia; along with Keir Thomas of Miami and Darius Whitfield of Alabama, defensive ends, will play for the Gamecocks. Another big pick, according to Phil, was defensive lineman Stephon Taylor of News Orleans. Defensive tackle Kobe Smith of Georgia also signed.
Linebacker T.J. Brunson of Columbia will be a terrific player, Kornbult predicted. Offensive linemen signing included Will Putnam of North Carolina, Akem Cooperwood of Tennessee, and Pete Leota of North Carolina. Quarterback Brandon McIlwain signed to play football for the Gamecocks and is also a good baseball player. Phil said he is a special player because of his personality and level headedness.
North Carolinians C.J. Freeman of Greensboro and Rico Dowdle of Asheville, signed as running backs. Phil praised tight end Evan Hinson who at 6 foot 4, 228 pounds is also a good basketball player. Wide receivers picked up included Chavis Dawkins of Moore, S.C.; Kiel Pollard, Korey Banks and Randrecous Davis, all of Georgia. A total of 24 signed to play for the Gamecocks. Phil said the door is still cracked for Jeriko Morris and Tyren Jones, should they get their academics in order.