We have known here for some time (major hat tip to a great source on this!) that Josh Brown had really been considering going to Marshall instead of Hargrave. We sat on this information by request. Brown really had tried hard to qualify for Clemson and wanted to be on the field as soon as possible. In order to qualify he needed to get A's in two-three summer classes and was hopeful that he would get the score on the ACT to put him in whereas Marshall has an open enrollment school policy. He has been given a release from his national letter of intent by the Clemson coaching staff. I really thought he was a solid prospect and the early returns were that he was really working out hard and already starting to transform his body so I am disappointed with this outcome.
It is always hard on recruits, especially when they see their fellow recruiting class already in school, to have that long-term perspective. I think Josh Brown would have really benefited from Hargrave and going to Marshall is a significant step down. He will have a much tougher road to the NFL and won't have the excellent coaching and degree from Clemson. Hargrave is an excellent warm-up for college. It gives you a good dose of competition, chance to improve your on the field skills and get acclimated to the college lifestyle away from home. We have had great success in using Hargrave prep school as a kind of red-shirt year for athletes like DeAndre McDaniel, Corey Crawford, and Jacoby Ford. It doesn't count against college eligibility but provides lots of quality experience.
Its hard to know when Marshall got involved but you never like to hear that prospects decide after signing to jump to another school. The hope is that Brown decided this on his own and informed Marshall coaches. They certainly had interest in him before the end of the recruiting process. We will continue to look into this because it is important that after recruits sign their letter of intent that there be no
tampering, persuading and we don't want there to be some precedent for messing with Clemson recruits. I have zero evidence of any misconduct on Marshall's part so this is not any kind of accusation.
I also don't have any information on how willing the staff were to give up Josh Brown's scholarship. It is conceivable that the coaching staff were sad to part with Josh Brown the person and his potential but happy about gaining another scholarship for a prospect this cycle. With the number of 4-5 star prospects giving us a look this could be considered a blessing in disguise. Lets hope this slot is put to good use. Again, I think Brown would have provided quality depth along the defensive line and wish him nothing but success in the future. He really did want to be a Tiger and I think got frustrated with the process more than anything. On a more positive note, as of right now I have the class pegged at 20 recruits, which makes next Thursday all the more interesting (more on this shortly).