Wesley Green (CB, 5'11 170) has announced for the Gamecocks. Our DB board is getting really thin now with DJ Smith being the top guy on the board (and perhaps the only one left on the board). We will see if the board gets expanded now. Clemson backed off of Green a couple of weeks ago which paved the way for him to commit to USCjr where his friend is a 2015 commit. Did we back off because he was a Gamecock lock or because of concerns about height and weight and wanting to go after Smith?? Not exactly clear but we haven't been actively recruiting here for awhile. What is certain is that we will only take up to 1 DB this cycle and will be relying heavily on the 2013 class to pan out. If we don't land DJ Smith then we will may not take a single DB this year. We signed 8 DB's last year (I would have saved one of those offers for this year) so the thought is that if we don't sign a DB, that extra slot will be spent on the lines, most likely to a second DE. I have no problem with that.
Jalyn Holmes (DE, 6'5 240) Norfolk VA, absolutely stood out in camp. He was a beast and looked to be an elite star in the making. It seemed after camp that we had gained ground and were equally situated with Florida State (his childhood favorite) and Ohio State. Ohio State pulled this one out though and really landed an explosive player. With their powderpuff schedule I don't see Urban losing this guy--he is a priority for them.
We are only recruiting one on the defensive line (with the outside chance of landing 2 DE's) so we really need to land an elite prospect. It seems we are in a first come, first serve type of deal. I would love to grab two of the guys we are recruiting so that we can stretch the numbers out a bit and not have a huge gap again but that doesn't seem to be likely with the number crunch unless we go with no DB's. We will continue to push for 2 OL takes and 2 DL takes as well. With DT Dexter Wideman (6'3 280) from Saluda, SC looking less and less likely to qualify, I don't see us moving on any DT prospects. Andrew Brown (6'3 300), the elite 5* DT from Virginia, had listed Clemson as being one of the 5 schools going to receive an official from him but more and more he is a Virginia lock. We may sign 0-1 DT's this cycle. Right now I would say 0.
Our top prospect on the board at DE continues to be Andrew Williams (6'4 250) from McDonough, GA. He is being worked hard by Clemson's contingent of committed Georgia players. Even LB Raekwon McMillan and Williams have been communicating. Again, I really think that the work of Milan Richard will pay off for connecting this class of players together. Williams seemed to again enjoy his time in Clemson. He didn't work out but was the MVP on the defensive side of the ball for the 2014 class last year in camp. Clemson is in a solid position here. Williams will soon release a top 10 and Clemson, Auburn, and Notre Dame will certainly be on the list. The Bagman Gardner is recruiting Williams for Auburn. He may decide before his senior season. Clemson made an impression by selling him on being a 4-3 DE rather than playing as an outside LB in 3-4 schemes.
Lorenzo Featherston (DE, 6'7 220) from Greensboro, NC wasn't in camp but is also very high on the board and will hopefully be back on campus in the summer. I put us as slight leaders right now over UNC and probably Tennessee. Rick Leonard (DE 6'7 250) from Middletown, Maryland was in camp and was also very impressive. He is down to Clemson and Florida State and could be deciding soon. His teammate OL Justin Falcinelli was also in camp and is high on Clemson. We certainly have Donell Stanley and Nolan Kelleher above him but if Leonard wants to commit then that may push Falcinelli into real consideration as an oversign candidate and above the others. Leonard grew up a big fan of Florida State--going so far as to call FSU his dream school. He will visit FSU next and then probably have a decision. I like Clemson's chances here. Leonard is growing into his massive frame, learning to play with more skill at the position and possesses a mean streak. I would be thrilled to land him--he is 4* elite material to me. His best playing is ahead of him and is less of a project at his height than Featherston (who will also be a good player but may take more time to develop the needed bulk).
Raekwon McMillan (LB, 6'3 235) from Hinesville GA, worked out and dominated the camp. Clemson commit Korie Rogers also was on campus and worked out but it was clear who was the 5* and who was the high 4* talent. McMillan plays with an edge, even in drills, despite having nothing to prove. He was quicker at 235 pounds than I had anticipated but still packs that explosive punch and burst to the ball. He spent the past two weeks at Florida, even bringing his parents for the second trip and remarked that the 2 hour trip from his home is an easy trip. His top five in no order of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Ohio State, and Clemson means we are again recruiting with the big boys but right now I give us the edge here. We have our committed LB's right now and will go down to the wire for McMillan.
0-1 LB's (McMillan)
1-2 DE's (Williams, Leonard, Featherston in that order)
0-1 DB's (DJ Smith)
0-1 DT's (Wideman)
0-1 OL (Stanley, Kelleher, Falcinelli)
1-2 WR's (Quinn, Scott, Thompson)
**Scott update: We continue to remain near the top of Artavis Scott's (WR, 5'11 180, Tarpon Springs, FL) list and are in serious contention now. I still give Michigan the lean here because of his teammate, Michigan commit Mason Cole. Seems the team has a connection to Michigan. Florida is also another possibility (I hate the idea of Muschamp eying any of our recruits after the Bud saga last year but so be it...). Sammy Watkins is definitely a big boost to our pursuit of Scott.
As always feel free to ask me about any recruit from this year or 2015 that you want to know about in the comments.