CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 03: Coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers gets very excited, I mean really excited, and celebrates after being showered with gatorade during the fourth quarter of the ACC Championship against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Bank of America Stadium on December 3, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
My favorite part of having Robert Nkemdiche (yes I love writing that so much I'm going to do it again), #1 consensus recruit in the nation from the state of Georgia--Robert Nkemdiche commit is seeing Kornblut headline 'Nkemdiche commit concerns Nash.' No offense to Miles Nash who is an athlete from NJ and wasn't on my recruiting radar but that is hilarious. Also I love that as soon as Robert commits now is the time to publish all of the Clowney comparisons. My purpose here though is to get you caught up with what you might have missed and give you that much needed recruiting fix to keep the high of landing the number one recruit in the nation going.
This is also the perfect time to give Dabo and the staff some much deserved credit. I said before that we were not yet at the point of doom and gloom for this class and just needed a big commitment to energize the class. Well we got the biggest commitment possible and I believe that the entire complexion of this class is going to change. This is such a big commitment for Clemson because we haven't been able to maintain much traction in the talent hotbed of ATL. I can see how this commit will have ripples in the same way that we are still reaping the benefits of CJ Spiller in Florida with Bellamy and Dalvin Cook (after the camps are done I will have a spotlight on both of our 2014 commits). I will say quickly that 2014 Texas Safety commit Dylan Sumner-Gardner traveled 22 hours on a Greyhound bus to come and camp. That is amazing dedication and I am glad it paid off for him. He is a big fan of Brian Dawkins and I will say more later.
Paul Strelow is absolutely right when he tweeted today that Clemson was wise to continue their current camp structure of three days versus the one day showcase. The more time recruits have with Dabo the better. So here is the list I have compiled of recruits that should be on campus for the second installment of camp (this is by no means comprehensive), followed by key items from the first days of camp in the next installment.
**Update: Jayron Kearse decommits from Miami right after attending camp in Clemson. Kearse looked very athletic and impressed the coaching staff. He is very much in play now and would be a great addition to this class.
So can we keep this momentum going? Dabo has set this up perfectly (if this was by design) by having Nkemdiche commit in the first session and letting it impact those coming to campus now. I believe any recruits who were on the fence about coming are not going to miss out. Ryan Jenkins is visiting and has favored the Tigers and consistently said that he wants to decide by the end of summer so keep a watch on his status. He will probably wait to announce his decision on a school at the Nike 'Opening' spectacle, however. Other WR prospects include Mike Williams,
Demarcus Robinson, and Marquez North. Tramel Terry is on even on campus now just to watch and support teammates but it is always lots of fun to watch Georgia fans in panic mode. North is obviously a top target for the weekend.
Also attending will be the top Offensive Lineman on the board--Tyrone Crowder. He is on the top of my list in terms of needs for this class. Austin Droogsma was also at camp for the first session but unfortunately came down with the flu. You just hate for that to happen but it makes Crowder all the more important. I have been very impressed with Clemson offer Donell Stanley who is the top 2014 OT in SC and its not even close. This will only help Clemson who was on him early at last years camp. He may be the most impressive OL in camp so far despite being a 2014 recruit. He will be a top priority for next year.
On the D-Line DT Jay Woods is visiting and so will 2014 DT's Kwamelle Barnes (on campus) and Dexter Widman (can't confirm on campus yet) from Saluda SC who will be good prospects. I'm also very encouraged that Tyshon Dye and his brother will be visiting from Elberton GA. Their teammate who is going to be a big name prospect 2015 DT Ken Allen will be attending too. DJ Greenlee will also be attending. Saturday WR/RB T.J. Logan should be there and this will probably be the last chance Clemson has to really make up ground with him. He is currently favoring North Carolina and South Carolina but the door is still open for Clemson.
There is also the possibility that 2014 Bamberg recruitwill be at camp. This would really help us because he just attended an Alabama camp and we have slipped from atop his leader board. Other 2014 notables include Jae'lon Oglesby who was smartly offered by the staff before he headed down to the Gamecocks for their camp. He is from the DW Daniel pipeline and is cousins with Nuk Hopkins, Williams, and Shaq Lawson. If Oglesby commits we will most likely be done at RB for 2014. Monster TE for 2014 Jeb Blazevich will also be in on Saturday.
The other major recruit to track this weekend is DE Demarcus Walker who has a top eight that he is considering. Alabama and Florida have long been rumored at the top but after his visit to Auburn he said that were also very high and to pay no attention to what the media have been saying about a top two. So it will be interesting to see if Nkemdiche's commitment puts Clemson in play with Walker. Right now I don't believe we are in his top three. I will have my current camp observations coming out in part 2.