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Monday, March 16, 2009
Clemson early favorite for DE/OLB Ball


Defensive end/outside linebacker Neiron Ball (Jackson, Ga./Jackson) says that Clemson is a slight leader ahead of Georgia, where his brother Neland plays, at this time. Alabama, LSU, Tennessee, Nebraska and others have offered the 6-foot-4, 210-pounder.

Ball visited Clemson for junior day and said he liked that the Tigers treated him like family and that he felt comfortable there. He also visited Tennessee for a junior day and praised the Vols' academic support structure. Florida has not offered but is just behind Clemson and Georgia. He said that he liked the idea of playing in The Swamp.

Ball added that he was not close to making a commitment.

"I want to go someplace with strong academics," he said. "I also want to play for a fun coaching staff. I may make my decision in the middle of my season. I am going to wait it out and see who all offers."

Quick hitters
• There is little doubt that athlete Jaylen Watkins (Cape Coral, Fla./Cape Coral) is a heavy lean to Florida. In fact, it would be no surprise at all if Watkins committed to the Gators at some point in the near future.

• Alabama could be the next school to offer cornerback Terrence Mitchell (Tampa, Fla./Hillsborough). He picked up offers from Tennessee and Ole Miss earlier this week and Florida State, among other programs, has already offered.

• Wide receiver Kenny Shaw (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips) has Florida State and Michigan as his co-leaders right now, but his relationship with the Seminoles coaches could prove to be the difference.

• Speaking of Florida State, it looks like the Noles may be getting ready to offer defensive lineman Tavaris Barnes (Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast) a scholarship. That offer could come as early as this week, according to sources.