You have wanted this for awhile and I apologize for making you wait.
I have delayed putting out an update because I wanted to see how much of the Georgia/Clemson Gameday recruiting infomercial would really have lasting power. Unfortunately it may not be that strong with the 2014 class (but will pay dividends in the 2015/2016 classes). Here are all the negative pieces of news first.
Case in point, OL David Sharpe who loved the atmosphere and seemed to be giving Clemson a legit shot only to turn around and visit Georgia the next week and say that there fans were the craziest. It does not seem right now like we have staying power with Sharpe.
Word is that OL Donnell Stanley is still heavily leaning towards South Carolina (he has been for awhile) with suitors UNC and Alabama in the mix. Clemson helped its position with Stanley but right now we are on the outside looking in. Having said that Stanley hasn't been in a rush to decide and is still listening and interested in Clemson. It has supposedly been a matter of time until he commits to the coots. The longer it plays out the better for us.
WR Artavis Scott continues to get pushed by Florida. They never stopped recruiting him. There was a blurb written that Scott was thinking about visiting Florida. This was all Joker Phillips doing after he camped at East Lake High School this past Friday. He is trying to grab Scott and his teammate 2015 Michigan commit, WR George Campbell. Do not ever underestimate guys named Muschamp and Joker. We all know how Bud Robinson and his family were 'enticed' into attending Florida (where Bud rides the pine or goes in and blocks). Bud would be getting substantive playing time in this offense with the loss of Peake.
Scott has said he isn't visiting Florida and all things point to him being a solid commit at this point but the seesaw battle will continue until signing day. UF will try to get him to visit and Clemson will tell him not to, rinse, repeat. This is why Swinney likes silent commits so he doesn't have to spend the time and energy fighting this continual battle--it is a big investment. Hopefully Driskel's replacement will continue to throw those picks. UF also is having trouble holding on to Dalvin Cook who visited Texas the other week (which didn't go so well). Haven't heard of any talks between Clemson and Cook (sounds like Clemson is still open but the in-state schools with Florida and Miami have this locked down which is a shame since he is an elite talent).
DE Andrew Williams (6'4 250) once had Clemson in the lead for his services based largely on his relationship with Coach Hobby. That seems like a very long time ago. We pushed very hard for a commitment and that backfired a little bit and Williams has been more closely linked to SEC schools, primarily Auburn (enter the bagman former Georgia DL coach). He will be giving Clemson a visit for the FSU game, however, and his recruitment continues to be of the highest priority with the staff.
DE Lorenzo Featherston has trimmed his list to five with NC State, North Carolina, Clemson, Georgia, and Florida. Featherston is as reclusive with the media as Mackensie Alexander was last year. He just doesn't feel comfortable in front of the cameras. He is going to play in the Under Armor All-American game now as well. My worry with Featherston though is his knee's. He has already had some serious problems and had trouble staying healthy last year. He is a developmental prospect at 6'8 and only 220 pounds and knee problems could limit him. Still a very good pick-up because he plays so violently but not someone you want to rely on in a couple of years. This is why Clemson has no problem waiting until the end with his recruitment. Featherston will decide on signing day.
Former Clemson target DB Wesley Green de-committed from USCjr which may be an important development to watch (he might re-commit soon though). Clemson holds a very narrow advantage over South Carolina for DB(6'0 190) at this point. South Carolina has never stopped recruiting him, however, and they pose the most serious threat right now, along with Tennessee. It remains to be seen if South Carolina will get a little bump from having Green off the commit list. A slight bump could tip Smith to the Gamecocks--it is that close. Smith will be taking all his visits and is in no hurry to make a final decision.
More positive news--we have fought back in the race for LB Raekwon McMillan. I now consider this an Alabama/Clemson race ultimately. Ohio State has done a great job of selling McMillan every time that he gets up to campus but it seems to wear off after a period. I personally see the distance up to Ohio State as a hurdle--although McMillan would never say that. Alabama and Ohio State have been hammering him over Clemson's weak defense and getting him to the NFL. That is now a harder pitch after Clemson's strong showing against Georgia.
McMillan has also bonded most strongly with current Clemson players. Don't underestimate his bond with Milan Richard either. Georgia does not appear to be a factor.
WR Josh Malone (6'2 190) is now the offensive top prize. This is a smart kid who takes every piece of information into account. He knows, for example, how many teams are playing true freshman. Really impressed with him, he is a top 50 target. It seems that Tennessee, Florida State, Clemson, and Georgia are the major players here and will each get official visits with the possibility of a fifth. He was present for our defeat of Georgia and the game really helped our chances. Again, Milan Richard has been working in our favor and is building a strong relationship. Malone was in Tigertown about 7 hours before kick-off with his family and he was able to really get to know the coaching staff.
Malone will take his time and all his visits before announcing before early enrollment in January. He will probably visit sometime in November. I feel like Clemson is positioned nicely, a long way to go but you like your position if you are Clemson. Most think Tennessee is in the lead but that seems to be shifting. He does like Clemson's offense and how we get the ball to wide receivers.
And what would a recruiting update be without a jab at ol' Danny Pearman. DL Shy Tuttle, OL Mason Veal, LB/S Tanner Muse and pretty much everyone Pearman recruits in North Carolina say that UNC is recruiting them the hardest. Coach Fedora is using that helicopter of his every chance he gets. Will help ever come to Charlotte??
As always ask about any other recruits in the comments (I will soon start transitioning to 2015 recruits so ask about that class as well).