Can we hold off on that applause?? - Kevin C. Cox
When I saw DeMarcus 'Bud' Robinson trying to persuade Montravious Adams to come with him to Florida on Twitter while he was still a Clemson commit, you had to know something was up. Bud de-committed from Clemson to the Gators yesterday after an in-home visit with the Florida coaching staff. I thought this would happen during his official visit over the weekend and not before our own coaching staff got a chance to talk with him.
Now Ryan Jenkins has been offered by Tennessee and he is thinking about it since his dad went to Tennessee.
Needless to say it has been a rough couple of weeks for us Tiger fans.
Robinson was the best offensive player on our current commit list. There is no sugar coating this one, we just lost our future at WR and it should sting. I'm ticked so permit me some venting. We have been battling with UF since day one for Bud. We kept him from taking the official visit earlier last month and it looked like we would hold on. UF's WR class is stacked with Ahmad Fulwood and Alvin Bailey and 5 total WR commits. We threw the ball twice as much and gained twice as many yards as they did last year. Don't count on 5* WR Marquez North either. I keep hearing UNC and that he has attended multiple basketball games. We will gain ground after the Robinson de-commit (also not sure what will happen with Martavis Bryant in regards to grades and academic eligibility) so that will help but I think we are still in a solid second with the new Tennessee staff making their best effort to get back in it too. I just have no faith in Pearman to get it done.
Tramel Terry would have been able to take the Robinson's place on the commit list but like I alluded to in an earlier post, the Morris instability hurt us there and at one point Terry was set on Clemson. This is why Terry was so closed about it but the Georgia staff was able to sell Terry on Clemson coaching instability, playing in the SEC and being used like Earl Boykin.
Robinson was sold on playing in the SEC over the ACC. All you ACC lovers out there need to realize that increasingly the conference will become a bigger drag on our recruiting. Can it be overcome? Absolutely. But when a Florida or Georgia can come in the 11th hour draped in an SEC banner and cherry pick your recruits its not good for the future. Add in the economic disadvantage (and like we have been saying on here since that horrid ACC TV contract came out) and you can see why Maryland wouldn't hesitate from jumping ship. Joker Phillips was also a great hire by Muschamp. He did the persuading and very quickly developed a tighter bond with Robinson than any of the coaches on Clemson's staff (certainly he was able to push Scott out of the way here in a hurry).
The other major disadvantage that the coaching staff artificially imposes (that no SEC team follows) are arbitrary scholarship limits based on positions. They only want 5 RB's and 15 OL on scholarship, for example. We generally don't deviate from those numbers and I get that part of Dabo's allure is that he is straight up with players and coaches about numbers and not pulling kids schollies like our feathered friends do.
I'm fine with playing the holier than thou card to a point. But when other teams are signing 30 players consistently and you are afraid to offer a top 50 player like RB Derrick Green because of numbers then you are at a disadvantage. This also really hurts if you have de-commits late in the class like we are seeing. This year Dabo's entire don't take visits, commit to me or we get divorced stuff hasn't played as well after the Nkemdiche saga (it was a good move to publicly pull the plug although I still think Clemson has a shot here) and has resulted in even a recruit like Jenkins thinking of visiting.
Here is my specific example. Quinshad Davis. A highly thought of 4* recruit sitting in our backyard of Gaffney waiting on an offer. We are looking at the strong WR class of this year and say thanks but no thanks. He had some health concerns, blah, blah, blah and we let UNC scoop him up. Turns out as a true freshman in a pass happy hurry-up offense (not unlike our own) he was dynamite. Stat line: 61 receptions, 776 yards, 5 TDs (all team high's) and this is with not playing much the first three games. He finished the season with three consecutive 100+ yard games.
So you don't sign this guy because you are looking to the future and counting on recruits in future classes. Luckily we decided to move on Mike Williams (who we almost let go to the Coots because we were too full) although he is more of a Martavis Bryant project. Am I being too tough on the coaching staff? Maybe, but at some point you have got to make the numbers work (until the NCAA comes down with 4-yr guaranteed scholarships we will be at a disadvantage).
Jenkins hurts our recruiting of Lawson if he takes that visit. WR is the position we can take a hit in this class and still be ok if we sign a top WR next year. Hopper is supposed to be special next year.
In summary, the ACC sucks for recruiting and we still don't manage scholarships as well as I would like. We don't have a great margin for error and losing on Bud Robinson will hurt down the road.
Any positive news to post? We are still the team to beat for 4* OG Tyrone Crowder who is playing left tackle and holding his own. He will be switched to guard in college but despite about 20 pounds of unwanted weight--he is agile and can bend. He also has a powerful base and some serious strength. He is the real deal and will only get better as cuts a bit of weight. He may need to redshirt but I could see him playing in his redshirt frosh year. LB commit Ben Boulware likes to hit. Boulware likes his fellow players to stand WR's up so he can come and hit them. Sounds like toughness that even Batson can't remove.
(Still think that TJ Logan 3/4* RB commit to UNC turns into this year's Gurley)
Jadar Johnson is playing CB and looks alright. He will need to play Safety in college though (thanks Cheese). Long arms, athletic but needs work on fundamentals and some on hip flexibility.
UNC commit 3* DB Korrin Wiggins is waiting until we name our new DB coach before he decides to take a visit.
FSU commit 3* DB Adrian Baker did visit Clemson and loved the visit. He will visit Oklahoma this weekend and then we will hear more news on if he will budge. He has been looking around since Mark Stoops got the job at Kentucky.
Dylan Sumner-Gardner the elite 4* DB out of Texas who rode a bus all day long to be at Clemson's camp may follow coach Cheese to Auburn. Cheese coached Dawkins and he is attached to coach Cheese. If Clemson wants to keep this kid I would start with getting Brian Dawkins himself to give the kid a call and remind him that it is all about Clemson. Auburn is a dumpster-fire that should be hit with NCAA recruiting violations soon and I would hate to lose this kid.