Cann likes Clemson, a lot

There is a growing story out there that Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School standout A.J. Cann is already a done deal to South Carolina.

With his hometown of Bamberg just 60 miles down the road from Columbia, it does make sense.

However, Cann says the odds of him being a Gamecock are no better than the odds of him being a Clemson Tiger and in fact after his recent visit to Clemson for Junior Day, the Tigers are a lot closer to snagging another Red Raider from a school whose colors are garnet and black, then the so-called experts think.

"Coach (Brad) Scott said he really wanted me to come to Clemson real bad. He wants me to play on the offensive line for him," Cann said. "He said I'm ‘What he has been looking for.' Coach (Chris) Rumph said the same thing. I hope things will work out."

So does Clemson.

Cann is one of those special kinds of players that can play at the next level on either offense or defense. An All-State selection, the 6-foot-3, 265-pound junior is quick off the ball and has good technique, which has colleges from around the country offering him scholarships.

Besides offers from Clemson and South Carolina, he also has offers from every ACC school except Miami and Wake Forest and every SEC school with the exception of Arkansas and Mississippi State. Big 10 schools such as Penn State, Michigan State and Michigan have also offered as has Texas A&M and Colorado in the Big 12 and Tulsa. New Tulsa defensive coordinator Ron West, who coached at Clemson the previous 10 years, is recruiting him there.

West, of course, recruited both Bamberg-Ehrhardt graduates Ricky Sapp and Da'Quan Bowers to Clemson.

"He is being recruited as an inside guy on both offense and defense by a lot of guys," said Cory Crosby, Cann's position coach and defensive coordinator at Bamberg-Ehrhardt.

Crosby thinks Cann can make a living at the next level as a center, though he plays left tackle at B-E. Cann played center for the Red Raiders when he was on the junior varsity squad, but when he moved up to the varsity a few years back, they moved him over to left tackle because he is their best offensive lineman.

"When he is over there, we do not have to worry," Crosby said. "He is quick off the ball and has a strong first step and a strong upper body. He has good feet and finishes off blocks."

So good in fact, Cann had 34 knockdown blocks to lead the team last fall as Bamberg advanced to the Upper State Championship Game for a second year in a row.

"I think he will be a good center because he can get to the second level so quick on offense. I think he can make a living playing center," Crosby said. "That's something a lot of coaches have talked to him about playing."

"Coach (Brad) Scott said he really wanted me to come to Clemson real bad. He wants me to play on the offensive line for him," Cann said. "He said I'm ‘What he has been looking for.' Coach (Chris) Rumph said the same thing. I hope things will work out." (

Some have also talked to him about playing defensive tackle, though Cann says Clemson has only talked to him about playing on the offensive line.

"He plays low and he takes on the double teams," Crosby said. "We play him at both defensive end and at defensive tackle and boy can he pass rush. "His first five steps are unbelievable. He kind of reminds us of Da'Quan with his first five steps."

Cann, a humble young man, just laughed when he heard Crosby comparing him to Bowers. He played alongside Bowers during his freshman and sophomore years at B-E.

"Da'Quan is a pretty good athlete so I really appreciate that," Cann said.

As for his recent trip to Clemson, Cann said enjoyed it, especially his visit to Vickery Hall, Clemson's academic center for student athletes.

"I had been up there a couple of times before, but there were some things I had never seen before and I was impressed with it," he said. "I really like the way they work with the players' schedules and those kinds of things. I really liked it."

He also liked the new renovations being completed at the WestZone inside Memorial Stadium. Clemson is currently finishing the new 13,000 square foot state of the art weight room and the coaches' offices. The coaches are expected to be moved in by the summer.

"I was really excited about that," Cann said. "When I saw that, I was thinking that I would like to work out in that. It is going to be nice."

What is also nice is the fact that Sapp and Bowers are at Clemson. Though he doesn't have a top five or a favorite right now, Cann says Clemson does have a plus considering two former Red Raiders currently play for the Tigers and he knows exactly how things are run at Clemson.

"If I decide to go to Clemson it might be because both of them are up there," he said. "It would help that they are both up there if I decide to go to Clemson."

So far Cann has only visited Clemson, South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia, but he plans on taking other visits as well. He said he plans to experience the whole recruiting process and will not make a decision on where he wants to go until national signing day.

"It would be nice for him to be up there with Da'Quan because they have played together since A.J. was a freshman," Crosby said. "But I don't think that is a big factor in what he is going to do.

"He wants to see what schools best fit him and which ones are for real and which ones are just throwing their name out there." Top Stories