Remember back at the beginning of Summer when we no recruits and were wondering if this class would amount to anything? I read all the time on other nameless sites that STS doesn't give any credit to Dabo, STS is too negative, blah blah...so this post is for you. We should feel very good about the recruiting class so far and Scott and Dabo deserve a ton of credit. Venables has already proven to be a plus recruiter (someone should come up with a WAR for evaluating recruits) and he has already pulled in two players for 2014. If we can just pick it up in Charlotte (to complete the three major talent pools with Atlanta and Jacksonville) there isn't a lot to complain about with the staff right now in recruiting.
Currently we are sitting at 17 recruits and, apart from Greenlee, I would take each one. Ben Boulware turned in a fine performance in his first game with 17 tackles and showing improved speed and the same power at LB. I am feeling much better about his ability to be a contributor at Clemson. Originally we had stated that this class would have 19-20 recruits with the breakdown looking like this:
2 RB (Dye, Gallman)
3 WR (Jenkins, 'Bud' Robinson, Williams)
1 TE (Leggett)
2-3 OL (Maverick Morris)
3 DE (Nkemdiche, Rogers, Daniels)
1 DT (Pagano)
3 LB (Boulware, Greenlee, O'Daniel)
4 DB (Kamara, Johnson, Kearse)
So the slots we have open are for 1 offensive lineman and 1 defensive back. That doesn't mean that we won't take commitments from these players, however.
Take All Day list
Marquez North WR Charlotte NC
Tyrone Crowder OL
Montravious Adams DT
Mackensie Alexander DB
So possibly we could have a total of 24 players in this class but we will definitely have at least 19. Lets look at where we stand for the final two slots and then talk about our Take All Day list.
- OL: Austin Droogsma remains the top candidate for this spot. He has recently listed us as being in his top two with Mississippi State. Florida State is not showing their legacy recruit the love and Droogsma and line coach Trickett didn't have the best of chemistry (to put it nicely). Unofficially we are rumored to be in the lead and FSU is filling up at O-line so we are in a good position. I won't feel too secure here until Droogsma publicly calls it for Clemson though. I would expect him to make a decision sometime in October/November after taking a couple of official visits. Gabe Brandner, a Duke commit, is another possibility but he has consistently said he is sticking to his original commitment.
- DB: This last position is a bit more up in the air. Venables has recently come out and publicly worried about his current CB depth, so my guess is that they will target a CB with the last DB spot. The only remaining impact corner who could potentially come in and push for serious playing time is probably Mackensie Alexander. Missing out on Kendall Fuller to VT certainly hurts and FSU's Ronald Darby who we finished second to last year is potentially starting in the place of departed Greg Reid. That is missing out on two impact corners to rivals two straight years (three if you count our slow-playing of David Amerson). Juwaan WIlliams, a versatile 3* athlete, is the most likely recruit here and will take an official visit to Clemson as well as Notre Dame and Oregon.
- Some other names to keep an eye on are the wonderfully named , at Hargrave with Shaq Lawon and Tankersely, and current Duke commit Everett Edwards of Woodbridge VA. Edwards is teammates with 2014 super recruit and potential #1 overall DE Da'Shawn Hand. Hand has spoken favorably about Clemson multiple times during the summer--nothing like potentially landing consecutive number one players. Mike Tyson named Clemson as his leader during the media day at Hargrave and will take an official to Clemson. Other names to get excited about only if they visit and get on campus are Safeties Marcell Harris and Vonn Bell who both have Clemson in their top six.
- Speaking of Shaq Lawson, he has really impressed the Hargrave staff. He came in at 275 pounds and will likely push for high 4* status by the end of his time at Hargrave. Shaq is the real deal and when combined with our other DE and D-line commits gives us arguably the best line class in the nation right now. Very upset he didn't get cleared because he would have stepped into out two deep this year and would have helped solidify out depth at DE.
Here are some quick hitters on the Take All Day list, if you want any more info please just ask in the comments. We have slipped some in the race for Marquez North. He has verbally named us his leader on two separate occasions but other schools are really going after us for already signing three WR's. This is also hurting Georgia. North could seriously care less about recruiting and lets reporters know it. After a loss in his season opener he was visibly perturbed when asked about recruiting. I have included the awesome video below. This race will really start heating up after his season, so Clemson has time but UNC is a major player here. Pearman needs to pick it up in Charlotte. TE coach needs to be a strength on the recruiting trail, not a liability.
Tyrone Crowder named us in his top 4 with Georgia, UNC and Standford. Supposedly this is a Clemson/Georgia battle but Crowder has built very strong relationships with the UNC coaching staff. It would really help us if the NCAA would come down on UNCheat soon.
Mountravious Adams has been one of my favorite recruits in this cycle. The thought of Nkemdiche and Adams together would make any defensive coordinator salivate. That is a national championship line in the making. This is a Clemson/Auburn battle right now with Georgia always wanting to get in the race. Trooper Taylor is leading the charge for Auburn which tells you everything you need to know. Adams is friends with many of the current Auburn commits like Carl Lawson and Reuben Foster. We need to get Adams mom on campus and beat Auburn this week.
Lastly the recruitment of Alexander which is the toughest of all to gauge. Most recently FSU was in strong contention and added his brother Mackenro to their commit list publicly. However, in the past couple of days FSU has removed his commitment because of a concern about grades. A curious move that can't help their recruitment of Mackensie. Mackensie keeps mentioning Clemson in interviews and as his childhood favorite we are still in this battle but need to get him on campus before getting too excited about landing him.