Not much good news to talk about at the moment.
- OL Max Garcia of Norcross, GA picked Maryland over Clemson and Vanderbilt. He says he wanted to major in journalism, which Clemson does not have. Billy Napier was his recruiter of record and by my recollection, Billy didn't do a whole lot of recruiting during the season. I also wonder why, with the coordinators being busy with game prep, that the other OL coaches didn't pick up some slack and build a better relationship. Clemson should not be losing OTs to Maryland. However, if the kid is that excited about his next 40 years of life rather than 4 years of sucking at football, then I can't fault him.
- With Laurence Gibson decommitting and affirming a commitment to V. Tech, we appear to have lost out on the two highest offensive tackles remaining on our board. No word on who else they'll try to offer to get numbers in, but I'm not buying the P. Price line of bull that Swinney fed us. With J.K. Jay gone until at least August, if he ever can return, we could still be in a numbers crunch at OT in the fall with an injury. At least one of the other true freshmen (Webster or Timothy) may need to play, and Brandon Thomas will be coming off the RS. This would not be so bad to me if I had confidence in OL development, but you also do not need to be leaning on true freshmen on the OL. Will Clemson go after a JUCO to fill the hole vacated by Lambert and give us an immediate backup? Unlikely. It'll be David Smith and Brandon Thomas at #2 on the ends in 2010.
- DB commit Darius Robinson had been mentioned as saying he was pulling for Georgia Tech to win the ACC title game and that he would strongly reconsider his pledge to Clemson IF they offered him. Now he says something else: "It really wasn't what was said," Robinson said. "My words got twisted. I'm just going to stop talking to non-Clemson reporters. I don't have any involvement with anyone else."
- Recall I mentioned JUCO LB prospect Qua Gilchrist from Abbeville, he's now going to Sakerlina. Clemson never offered. I guess LB must not be a real need huh.
- LB prospect Darius Lipford says he's "pretty firm" to UNC. He's going to take his official to Clemson next month because he says he likes Dan Brooks, and his father played with Brooks. Losing out on him and Justin Parker, who will tell any reporter what he wants to hear right now, would mean that we really didnt fill a need at a crucial position in this class. Nicolopulos is probably done with football. Ricky Chaney will be the only LB brought in.
- DT prospect Ethan Farmer's low test scores may mean that even if he sticks with his current leader UNC, that he'll be a sign & place. God knows the AARC wouldn't try to get him in, and if he gets into UNC but not Clemson, someone should be punched in the face.
- DT Tra Thomas did commit late last week. He's rated 3-stars by Rivals at the moment, and I don't see that going upwards when the ratings are redone. Thomas will likely redshirt a year or play down the depth chart, according to his video comments after pledging. "I just think Clemson is the best place for me," Thomas said. "Dan Brooks is a great coach. We've got a great bond. They think I can play anywhere on the interior."
- Clemson is making a late push for RB D.J. Howard (***, 6' 195) against Auburn, to whom he is currently a soft verbal commit. AU is recruiting him as a safety, as are others, but his comments say they are going to give him a shot at RB. He wants to play RB. From his comments, I'd say a lot of people are telling him a lot of different things about where he'll play."I'm going to stand by my verbal commit to Auburn. I want to see where they stand with me and if they project me to play defensive back. All this safety stuff coming has me unsure, but I'm going to look around and make sure I'm making the right choice. Right now I'm still committed to Auburn with Clemson No. 2 and Kentucky No. 3." If Auburn got Marcus Lattimore, to go along with what they have now, I don't see how he'd play RB. Andre Powell has been dispatched to get him, which means we probably won't, but Harbison is in there recruiting him as well. His official to CU is Jan 8, Auburn the week after.
- Notice in that link how another 2nd year staff, which was totally turned over last christmas, is not having problems with getting good recruits when there was no relationship going into 2009, nor is Tennessee.
- Powell is still after RB James White of Ft. Lauderdale (St. Thomas Aquinas), who seems to me to be the better shot, but Wisconsin leads for him. He doesnt seem to be the type of bruiser that Wisconsin goes for in my opinion. He's smaller and quicker than what they bring in. Both RBs are the last two on our board and are set for official visits. RB Demont Buice is the only one currently committed.
- What bothers me this year is the lack of Florida recruiting, likely due to taking Swinney off the road as head coach and the loss of a Bowden. We've usually been able to go down and take a few players: 5 in 2006, 0 in 07, 8 in 2008, 0 last year, 0 this year. However, the staff did make a commitment this year to attacking Georgia, and we have done well there.
- Late offer QB Hutson Mason will choose between UGA and Miss. State. Clemson is out of it.
- DeAndre McDaniel is waffling between coming back or going pro this year.I think he's a definite AA next year if he comes back, but there is no cap next year for the NFL.
- Swinney says the goal is to sign "23 players for sure, but no more than 25" players in the class. We appear to be done to me, aside from fallbacks and those mentioned. I knew and expected 2010 to be a little further down than normal because of the staff turnover, but if we don't land one more DT or LB I think this class is a major disappointment.