MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 04: Stedman Bailey #3 of the West Virginia Mountaineers scores a 3-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter against Bashaud Breeland #17 and Xavier Brewer #29 (L) of the Clemson Tigers during the Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 4, 2012 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
This is going to be a big week for Clemson sports and coverage so I wanted to get this posted before all the madness starts. This is a quick breakdown of the DB position and spots are quickly disappearing for this 2013 class. There are only 2 remaining DB spots out of the four originally slotted for this class. Four slots out of a projected 20 make up a large portion of the class and with Brewer, Hall, and Meeks all coming off the books at the end of this season there is a need for an infusion of talent in the secondary.
Two spots already belong to Orangeburg-Wilkinson's Jadar Johnson (6'1", 190) and Grayson's David Kamara. So who are the Tigers top prospects for these spots? First, one encouraging note is that Clemson has increasingly become a destination for lots of top recruits to at least check out and list in their top 5-10 lists. WR Stacy Coley, a top 100 player, stopped by this past weekend and S Vonn Bell has us in his top 7. We are highly unlikely to make the final cuts with these players but the momentum continues to roll.
At the top of our board is Kendall Fuller at 1a and Mackensie Alexander as a 1b. Both are over-sign worthy and the top two CB's in the nation. Vernon Hargreaves is also a top CB who had considered Clemson but his dad is a coach at South Florida and he recently loved a visit to the real USC so I would effectively cross him off the wish list. Kendall Fuller is down to Virginia Tech and Clemson. Michigan is running in a distant third and would get an official visit if Fuller doesn't commit before the start of the season.
Fuller is good friends with LB commit and awesome Clemson ambassador Dorian O'Daniel and even Ryan Jenkins was said to be working on Fuller at the Opening (where Fuller intercepted a pass to seal his teams 7-on7 championship and ran over a referee in the same play--two things I totally look for in a DB!). He just visited VT on the 14th and will be at Clemson this week. His brothers play at VT and he is very familiar with the players and coaches so it will come down to how he feels during his second visit at Clemson. He wants to compare his trip with VT so this week's visit will have a substantial influence on his ultimate decision. His mom is coming with him which is a very positive sign. After missing out on Darby last year to FSU, Fuller is an important target for this class.
Mackensie Alexander has the best film of any of the DB's I have seen. He is aggressive, tackles well in run support, sheds blockers, fluid hips, plus speed and ball skills. He is the total package. He is also very difficult to get a read on in his recruiting. He committed, somewhat surprisingly, very early on to the Vols but de-committed and now has an unofficial top four of Clemson, Tennessee, FSU, and Bama but no one is quite certain. He has a twin brother Mackenro who plays Safety and is a three star prospect himself but it is unclear how much a of a package deal this might be and whether or not it is that big a deal for them to play together in college.
Mackensie did grow up a Tiger fan but he is a very independent kid and doesn't give any interviews (when he does it can seem like he is stand-offish), which sometimes gets misconstrued so that he is labeled a possible problem/liability. I don't think that is the case. He is extremely focused on football and one of his main criteria for picking a school is getting on the field immediately. He is calling his own shots in his recruitment (not going through his coach or family members) so he is a bit all over the place and there is no way to really know where he is leaning. His brother is attending the upcoming Noles camp and there is a possibility that FSU could move ahead. He also has a good relationship with Joker Phillips at Kentucky so they are another school to look out for but this is going all the way to signing day.
Adrian Baker was going to come for an official visit but committed to FSU (although they at first denied his commitment and then when it started to blow up on Twitter, back tracked and accepted). Juwaan Williams (6'0", 180) and Jayron Kearse (6'4", 195) are the two most likely candidates from the remaining options on the board. Williams is an athlete we are competing with Vanderbilt to land. He prefers WR right now and has a top four of Vandy, Clemson and probably Notre Dame, Oregon and FSU. Kearse has de-committed from both Auburn and most recently Miami, after his visit to Clemson. There are several different opinions on Kearse--some see him as slightly overrated and not worth the risk/reward but our staff is genuinely interested. He is very high on the real USC (they would have to be considered his leader at this point) but since Kearse opened up his recruitment, USC has landed a couple of highly regarded DB's (the most recent Jalen Ramsey) and Vernon Hargreaves left a visit with USC at the top. Clemson is in the lead pack with Miami, Auburn, Notre Dame and USC (but its unclear how many of those are committable offers right now).
Other names to watch out for are Shaq Wiggins who is a Georgia commit but along with Tramel Terry has a good relationship with the Clemson staff. Korrin Wiggins is a UNC commit to watch if a lot of other possibilities fall through. Surprisingly Marcell Harris, a top Safety recruit who showed out at the Opening and Rivals challenge, stated that Ohio State and Clemson are recruiting him the hardest. As of yet, he has no plans to visit. Another player the staff will monitor is Mike Tyson (great name, 6'3", 195) who is enrolling at Hargrave and will benefit from the extra year to develop.
We think Clemson has an excellent shot with both Fuller and Alexander, and if we land both then we'll be done. Kearse may be an oversign in that event, but it appears unlikely any others would be oversigns.