April 5, 2007
In-state WR makes another stop in Clemson
North Augusta WR Marcus Thurmond (6-2, 175) attended Clemson's practice on Wednesday. He was taken there by North Augusta coach Dan Pippin. "When we first got there, the Clemson coaches and players were getting ready for practice. Coach West came up to me and shook my hand. And I got to talk a little to Coach Swinney. He's so funny. He's the kind of guy I would like to play for in college. During the middle of practice, he had all the receivers in a group and said 'That's how you catch the football, just like Marcus Thurmond.' Then all the recievers looked over at me, and Coach Swinney was smiling. It totally caught me off guard."
"Clemson has told my coaches that they plan to sign at least two recievers next year, and they already have one WR commitment. They said that I was definitely a Div. I player because of my speed, and that I was candidate for the other spot. However, they said they were not going to offer at this time because they wanted to evaluate all the recievers out there before making a decision. I appreciate how they like me and how they are honest with me."
It was Thurmond's second visit of the spring to Clemson, with the other being Junior Day. "On that day, Coach Swinney went around introducing me to other people, saying 'Have you met the state's fastest player?' I thought that was really funny."
Thurmond earned his reputation for speed after running track as a sophomore only to stay in football shape. He ended finishing third in the 800 at the Class AAAA state championship meet with a time of 1:55, which is around two seconds off the state record. He is undefeated so far this year in the 800.
This past season, Thurmond caught 46 passes for 546 yards and 6 TD for 1-10 North Augusta. He can score from anywhere on the field. He was never caught from behind while running full speed the entire season. North Augusta coaches have toyed with the idea of using Thurmond at QB for a few plays each game like Florida used Percy Harvin.
South Carolina (recruiting coach is Robert Gillespie: "They signed eight WRs this year and said they plan to take two next year. They said they loved my speed, and that I was scholarship candidate. They want to see me in camp. I would love playing at USC because of Coach Spurrier. He rotates a lot of different receivers in his offense, giving people a chance to make plays. They have some great young quarterbacks at USC which would fun to play with."
Clemson: (Ron West) "Reggie Merriweather went to my school, and has nothing but great things to say about Clemson, even though everybody around North Augusta feels like he got a raw deal. If he still loves Clemson after all he went through, then that must be a great place. I know they love to run the football, but they also count on a speed WR like Stuckey to balance things out. Hopefully, if they offer me, I could be that speed guy."
Georgia: (Jon Fabris) "CJ Byrd was a senior at North Augusta when I was a freshman, and I look up to him like nobody else. He was one of the most recruited players in the country, but he never talked about it or let it get to his head. I try to emulate him. Georgia is always a contender for the SEC championship, they are only 100 miles from North Augusta and they have the best sophomore QB in the country in Stafford. They said they loved my speed and will be watching me at Nike Camp."
Florida State: (Lawrence Dawsey) "FSU has always been my dream school since the days of Deon Sanders and Warrick Dunn. When Coach Pippin was at South Aiken two years ago, he had one of his players (DaKota Watson) sign with FSU and he is still tight with the coaches. When I went down there for Junior Day, most of the coaching staff was new . They said they were focusing on spring practice, but they knew about my speed and would get back to me."
Kentucky (Joker Phillips): "They are a program on the rise. They beat Georgia last year with a lot of young players. I think they are going to surprise a lot of people again this year."
Thurmond has attended Junior Days at South Carolina, Clemson, UGA, FSU and Tennessee. He is going to practice on Friday night at South Carolina, and UGA's spring game on Saturday. He will be at Nike Camp in Athens on April 21. He plans to go to prospect camps at Clemson, South Carolina, UGA, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Tennessee and Troy, among others.
North Augusta coach Dan Pippin on Thurmond: "He can flat-out run with anybody who plays the game on Friday nights. Now he's raw, and a long ways from being a developed player. But he is a hard worker, and his upside potential is enormous. And again, Marcus has a gift you can't coach: big-time speed."
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