Matthews puts Dawgs at the top of his list

One of the top defensive ends in South Carolina, Cheraw's Cliff Matthews, has a new leader as he closes on a late summertime commitment. Read all the details on how the top three schools have shuffled for the Palmetto standout.

Four-star defensive end Cliff Matthews, one of the top prospects in South Carolina for the class of 2007, will be camping in Athens later this week.

"I am going down to the Georgia camp this week. I will be going down on Thursday and coming back Saturday. I am looking forward to that," Matthews told in a recent interview.

The in-state schools will also get another visit this summer. "I am going to take a visit to Carolina and Clemson again this summer. I am not sure of the dates yet."

When asked about his current leaders, Matthews responded, "Georgia is first, Clemson second and South Carolina is third."

Somewhat surprisingly, Georgia is the third team to lead for Matthews over the past six months.

"I've been narrowing it down. Georgia just kept popping up more than the others as I went through all the categories," he said.

So what happened to South Carolina? After all, the Gamecocks had been Matthews' clear leader for the past few months.

What prompted such a major change?

When asked that very question, Matthews responded, "It would probably be their chances of winning a championship."

Veteran recruiting fans will remember that Clemson was the early leader for Matthews before dropping to third on his list over the past few months, but the Tigers have now moved ahead of South Carolina thanks to some conversations with the Clemson coaching staff.

"Really, I have been talking to the coaches at Clemson more," Matthews said. "I have gotten more familiar with them. I have been talking some with coach Bowden and coach Rumph. I also have been talking with one of my teammates Terrance Ashe. He is a walk-on at Clemson."

At the same time, the prize recruit is getting closer to pulling the trigger on a verbal commitment. "I am going to go ahead this summer. I may be ready in early August. I will visit Clemson and Carolina again before making my commitment," he said.

What are the chances that Matthews will commit to each of his top three in early August? "I would say Georgia is about 60%. I would say Clemson is about 25% and South Carolina is about 15%," replied Matthews.

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